Strawberries, Cream & Vanilla Cake

Fresh picked strawberries, vanilla cake and whipped cream and a layer of homemade freezer jam (made from the rest of the strawberries).  It was quick to make, perfect red and white for Canada Day, and delicious!

We whipped 2 cups of whipping cream with 1 tbsp caster sugar and about a tsp of vanilla, just enough to give a little flavour.  Slice a vanilla cake or vanilla sponge through the middle, spread a layer of good strawberry jam over the top of the bottom layer, then some sliced berries, a good layer of whipped cream.  Add the top layer and press down slightly, just until the filling starts to squish out the sides.  cover the top of more whipped cream and a few berries.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

IN MY KITCHEN MAY 2016

Spring is finally here, it took forever, but I have one lonely tulip in the back garden and the rhubarb is up with two small leaves!  That is very exciting.

It has been extremely busy since my last IMK post, we had an 8th birthday party and first Communion along with a few other happenings.  Needless to say not too much in the kitchen this month just surviving!

Here is a little peek:

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The annual funfetti cake for the party, you can get the recipe here, Sally has two cookbooks now!

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Bags of cotton candy for the carnival birthday party.

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After school surprises on her actual birthday.

A couple of deserts from the Italian bakery.

I hope you enjoyed your visit and I hope you come back soon.  If you’d like to write an In My Kitchen post, please do so by the 10th May and send your link to Maureen at The Orgasmic Chef. Thanks for hosting Maureen!

SMARTIE CAKE

IMG_6279There are two types of Smarties, the Canadian/UK kind, candy coated chocolate pieces.  There is another kind in the United States that resemble the hard sugar candies.  We are Canadian and to us it is the candy coated chocolate.  We are Smartie girls, not M&M’s.  This was our Easter desert, it is a favourite of some family members so we decided to bring it for Easter dinner….of course in bunny form.  This is a nice moist cake with flecks and small pieces of Smarties chocolate throughout.

For this recipe you will need:

1 box vanilla cake mix (I use French vanilla), make batter according to box directions

1-2 boxes of Smarties, crushed (I buy a scoopful at the bulk food store)

We used about 1/3-1/2 cup of crushed Smarties, gently fold that into the prepared cake batter. Pour into a greased round cake pan that has had the bottom lines in parchment paper.

Bake according to box directions.  The box makes two cakes, we did one round cake and the rest of the batter into 1 dozen cupcakes.

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Cut cake in half and stick flat sides together with frosting.  Then lay on serving plate cut side down and frost the rest.

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Then add jelly bean eyes and black licorice whiskers and mouth.  We made the ears from white paper with the pink coloured in with crayon.

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For the grass we used a bag of shredded coconut with green food colouring added and tossed around in a zip top bag.  Keep adding more drops and mix around until it is the colour green that you want.

The cupcakes Evie frosted by herself and sprinkled with the leftover Smartie crumbs and jellybeans.

Vanilla Bean Cake with Buttercream Icing

This post is for Mandy, who said that she was looking for a vanilla cake.  I hope you like it, we sure did!  This cake gets better a day or two after is has been made.  I find it best to make the cake and frost it, then keep well covered in the fridge for a day before eating it…if you can wait that long.

This cake was a promised gift for a friend as a congratulations for a huge career accomplishment.  Her favourite is vanilla cake and this cake has got vanilla!

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Preheat oven to 350F and grease two 8″ cake pans and line with parchment.  I forgot to line and had a little trouble getting them out, but they came out fine in the end.  My round and are 9″ and they baked fine but I just caught them from getting too dark.  I would say, whether you use 8″ or 9″ and keep a close eye towards the end of the baking time.

For the cake

3 cups of cake flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 vanilla bean, split with the seeds scraped out

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups sugar

5 large eggs, room temperature

1 & 1/4 cups buttermilk

1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

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Take 1 cup of room temperature cubed butter

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Place in bowl of mixer.

Split a vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.

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Add the vanilla seeds to the butter and beat until well mixed, 2-3 minutes on medium speed until the butter is light and creamy.

You get this beautiful butter mixture flecked with vanilla seeds.

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Add 2 cups of white granulated sugar, I beat in 1/4 cup at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition and beating for about 1 minute after each addition.

Add the eggs, one at a time. Continue beating until incorporated. Reduce speed to low.

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Add the vanilla extract to the buttermilk

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Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk.  Mix just until incorporated.  Sharpe sides of bold and mix for about 20 seconds to make sure everything is all mixed together well.

Add batter to prepared pans and bake for about 35 minutes or until done.

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Let cool completely before removing from pan.

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Once the cakes are completely cool you can prepare the Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting.

1 cup butter at room temperature

4 cups icing sugar (powdered sugar) (you can add mote if needed, but I didn’t want it too sweet)

1/2 cup milk

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

In mixing bowl cream butter with vanilla seeds until smooth and creamy.  Add icing sugar a cup at a time, add milk and vanilla extract, continue beating until light and fluffy.

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