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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Dreaming of A Garden and a Tea Time Sweet

With all the rain the good fortune of planting a garden has not been so fruitful. We have the pots ready and are ready to go get our plants but every day it seems to rain. The weather is getting warmer and the rain hopefully will hold off a bit this week to plant our container garden. I guess I could always hope for good luck using the technique that was very popular in the 1900's 

You simply put a pillow on your fridge. Well it may not have started that way but the 29th of each year in both Europe and the U.S. was a day that prosperity, good fortune and a bit of fun as well was found in this act. The early days of this good luck trick would find families placing a piece of cloth or linen that they had in the same place where their food was kept. It was hopes that there would be plentiful food and rich fertility to their home. Whether it works or not I am not sure but anything is worth a try. 
In the meantime we will enjoy a tea time treat. 

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (see notes for substitute)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons freeze dried strawberries, blended into powder (I used my coffee grinder)
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberry puree (I pureed about 2 1/2 cups (1 pint) fresh strawberries)
  • 8 strawberries, diced
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature (see notes for substitute)
  • 1-2 drops of Red or Pink Food Color **optional if desired
  • 7-8 strawberries, sliced for garnish if desired

  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 2/3 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 - 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons heavy cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9X13 baking pan with parchment paper leaving an overhang and set aside.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and freeze dried strawberry powder together and set aside. Cream butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes) in a large bowl using a mixer set at medium-high speed.
  3. Add strawberry puree and eggs, one at a time, blending each addition thoroughly.
  4. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat in vanilla extract and optional food coloring. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture by thirds, alternating with the buttermilk and ending with a final addition of the dry ingredients. Fold in diced strawberries.
  5. Pour batter in prepared pan and bake on the middle rack of oven until a tester inserted in the center of each cake layer comes out clean -- about 25 to 35 minutes.
  6. Cool in pan for 30 minutes then lift cake out with parchment paper and cool completely on a wire rack before topping with frosting. Slice into squares and top with strawberry slices before serving if desired.

  7. For the icing:
  8. In a large bowl with a hand mixer (or in a stand mixer) cream butter until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add the vanilla and mix well. Turn mixer on low and slowly add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of heavy cream and turn mixer back to medium and mix until light and fluffy. Add additional heavy cream or powdered sugar to reach desired consistency. Frost on cooled cake using an offset spatula.
recipe source here

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