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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Family-sized strawberry cake


One of the reasons why I don't bake very much is because most recipes produce quantities too large for us to consume in a timely manner. I'll bake for an event, but if it's just for us the cookies, cupcakes, and pies linger longer than their deliciousness lasts. I know it sounds perverse, but you really can have too much of a good thing, even homemade desserts.

When I was growing up in a five-kid family, the food marketing term "family-sized" meant gigantic. It still does, I believe. But my idea of family-sized food means something a wee bit more diminutive given our one-kid family, especially since that one kid practically lives on air. Cutting recipes in half makes me nervous. I still remember a mathematician trying to tell me that it won't actually work--his explanation had something to do with pi. Anyway, with cookies you can freeze half the dough. But what about cake?

I've found my family-sized dessert recipes lately in Nigella Lawson's cookbook Feast. Ordinarily I don't like celebrity chefs and authors, but I love using this cookbook because Nigella has such excellent taste. So far her desserts are all on the small size and do not overstay their welcome in our kitchen.

I used her Love Buns recipe to make strawberry cake the other day. The recipe is actually for cupcakes (12 instead of the usual 24) but it worked well for a one-pan cake.

1/2 cup plus 1 T unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 1 T sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teastpoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1/2 cup fresh, chopped strawberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and butter and flour one 9-inch round cake pan. Cream together butter, sugar, and eggs. Mix in vanilla and buttermilk. Sift together flour and baking soda. Combine flour mixture with butter mixture. Gently stir in strawberries. Pour batter into pan and bake for 10 minutes. Turn pan and bake another 10-15 minutes until cake is done.

2 comments:

Luisa Perkins said...

Yup, my cookbook is gonna bug you. Just about everything serves eight, since there are eight of us.

Emily said...

I love Nigeller. She's gorgeous, her kitchen skills are TERRIBLE, and she does have perfect taste.