Sunday, July 22, 2012

Strawberry Jam Cake and Homemade Vanilla Icecream

That is a really lousy picture of a pretty decent dessert.

After my success with the world's largest strawberry rhubarb pie, I decided to try and bake a cake.  Sounds so simple, doesn't it?  Living 5,500 feet above sea level makes it a daunting task.

But let's start with the ice cream recipe.  Normally, I use a sweet cream ice cream recipe from my trusty Ben & Jerry's book.  Today I wanted something a little less fussy, because I was  also fixing dinner and baking a cake.

I googled "easy vanilla ice cream recipe" and this is what I found.  I like it because it only has a few ingredients, and it doesn't require eggs!  That turned out to be a really good thing, because later, I needed all 3 of my eggs to make the cake!

With the ice cream churning around in my ice cream maker, I turned my attention to the cake.  I found this recipe in the July/August 2012 issue of "Tea Time" magazine.  The recipe was for fussy little individual cakes.  I made the batter and baked it in a 13x9 pan.

Strawberry Jam Cake

2 cups cake flour (I used AP because at my altitude, it gives more structure)
1 teaspoon baking powder (I used about a quarter teaspoon less, again because of altitude)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar (I subtracted 2 tablespoons- altitude)
1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Red food coloring
1/3 cup buttermilk (I used about 4 tablespoons more- altitude)

Preheat oven to 350- I baked mine at 375 to adjust for altitude.  Grease a 13x9 cake pan- I used my pyrex.

Mix everything from the flour to the baking soda in a medium bowl.  I used a whisk to get everything really incorporated.

Cream the butter and sugar in your mixer until light and fluffy- about 4 minutes on high speed.  Add the strawberry jam and mix well.  Add eggs, one at a time, and mix well after each addition.  Add vanilla and a tiddly bit of food coloring.  Now alternate the dry ingredients with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Make sure everything is well incorporated, stopping to scrape down the sides of the mixture every once in a while during the process.

Pour the batter evenly into your prepared 13x9 dish.  Bake for about 25 minutes- but start checking for doneness at about 15 minutes.

Here's the frosting recipe:

Strawberry-Cream Cheese Frosting

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
2 tablespoons seedless strawberry jam (I added a little more for additional strawberry flavor)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
Red food coloring (I didn't use any)

Put everything in the bowl of your mixer and start on low speed until everything is incorporated.  Switch to high speed to whip in some air to make it light.  Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before using.

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