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About Me

Phoenix, Arizona, United States
The most important thing in my life is my family. I love my dear husband and 4 wonderful children (ages 11 through 18). I am a stay-at-home mom (my dream job!). Some of my favorite things to do include cooking (and eating!), photography, reading, piano, flute, watching my favorite TV shows, swimming, traveling, and most recently...using the rip stick with my kids. I would love to attend culinary school someday & fit my love of photography in with that somehow. My dream vacation is Italy - something I was recently blessed to experience! I'd love to return and see more of that beautiful and DELICIOUS country! My days are usually full of running kids to and from activities - scouts, sports, music and church. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe, but I absolutely LOVE my crazy life and the people I am lucky enough to share it with!

Monday, February 15, 2010

STRAWBERRY COUNTRY CAKE (from Barefoot Contessa Parties!)

MAKES TWO 8-INCH CAKES
EACH CAKE SERVES 6 TO 8

This is the most delicious cake to make when strawberries are in season. It reminds me of Strawberry Shortcake! The recipe makes two 8-inch cakes. if you are not using the second cake, let it cool completely, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 6 months.

3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup sour cream at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

FOR THE FILLING FOR EACH CAKE
1 cup heavy whipping cream (1/2 pint), chilled
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans.
Cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. On medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, then the sour cream,
zests, and vanilla, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine just until smooth.

Pour the batter evenly into the pans, smooth the tops with a spatula, and bake in the center of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then remove to wire racks and let cool to room temperature.

To make the filling for one cake, whip the cream by hand or in a mixer until firm; add the sugar and vanilla. Slice one of the cakes in half with a long, sharp knife. Place the bottom slice of the cake on a serving platter, spread with half of the whipped cream, and scatter the sliced strawberries. Cover with the top slice of the cake and spread with the remaining cream. Decorate with strawberries.

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