Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Compote


Strawberry Cake
adapted just a tad from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pie plate
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
Powdered sugar for topping (optional)


Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a 10-inch pie pan or 9-inch deep-dish pie pan OR a 9- to 10-inch springform cake pan. Whatever ya got. Just don't use a regular 9-inch pie pan or it will overflow.

Sift flour into medium bowl. Lightly whisk in baking powder and salt. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. Add dry mixture, gradually, until just smooth.


Pour into prepared pie plate or cake pan. Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer.


Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.


Bake cake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, then reduce oven temperature to 325 and bake cake until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.


Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into wedges (remove from springform pan first, if used). Sift/spank powdered sugar over the top, if desired. Serve with strawberry compote (see below).


Strawberry Compote

Ingredients

1 pound strawberries, hulled and chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Method

Place strawberries and sugar in small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat (if cooking this small amount, it may start to bubble too violently; simply reduce temperature to medium low) until compote thickens slightly and just coats the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving.


NOTES

Tasting notes:

This cake is awesome and makes such perfect use of seasonal strawberries. It tastes of milk, butter and fruit, and is taken to new heights with a spoonful of the sweet compote on each bite.

Cooking notes:

If the batter seems too thick to pour into the pan, gently incorporate another splash of milk. Works beautifully.

The first time I made this cake, I crammed more strawberries into the empty spaces on top and served the cake with fresh whipped cream. However, I much preferred it the second time, which is pictured here. Less strawberries made it far easier to cut into pretty wedges and the compote adds that extra strawberry flavor.

Making ahead is recommended. Both times I found the texture and taste better after letting it rest at least half the day, even overnight (if keeping overnight, loosely cover with foil on a cool counter).