I realized yesterday that I completely missed the anniversary of this blog (I forget birthdays, too). A year ago February 25 I wrote, and re-wrote, and edited, and obsessed over my first post discussing my obsession with baking. Five people read that first post, now more than fifty check each new post and I even have some subscribers. I’m amazed by that. Quite honestly, I’m surprised that I have stuck with it. I’m not always a completer; I start tons of projects that I never finish. I think that is part of why I love baking. Baking is something that I can see through to the end. It makes me feel like I have accomplished something each time I take a cake, cookies, or pie out of the oven and that makes me happy.
It’s been a long year: I lost my teaching job (thanks, Kansas), had major surgery, moved to a new state, am still looking for a new job, and am contemplating a new career path. But it has also been a great year: I moved to a great city with the man I love, I get to live with him and his amazing sister and her adorable dog, I got to miss Snowpocalypse 2011, I got to meet my friends’ two gorgeous babies H. and E., and (despite still getting carded for buying rated R movies) I turned 30. All in all, I think it has been a rather successful year.
To celebrate my successful blogging year, yesterday I made Strawberry Upside Down Cake. Now, I know most of you have probably had a pineapple upside down cake (my mother makes a great one), but I bet you are not familiar with using other fruit. Neither was I until a local movie theater added it to their menu. I haven’t gotten the chance to try theirs yet, but the description made my mouth water resulting in my decision to recreate it. So, I gathered my ingredients, turned on some Mumford & Sons (because I started listening to them about this time last year), and began to experiment while singing along and dancing around my kitchen as the dog looked at me like I was crazy. However, all of this craziness led to a wonderful vanilla-scented cake with a hint of lime covered with slightly tart strawberries enveloped in a sweet, brown sugar glaze. It’s amazing.
Here’s what you need:
for the top
1 lb strawberries, hulled and halved
6 Tbls butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbls lime juice
1 Tbls water
zest of one lime
for the cake
12 Tbls butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
zest of 2 limes
1/4 cup lime juice (from about 3 limes)
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp slat
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbls vanilla
3 extra large eggs or 3 large eggs plus one egg yolk
Here’s what you do:
Line two greased 9 inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Arrange the hulled and halved strawberries in the bottom of both pans. Remember that this will end up being the top of the cakes, so make them pretty.
In a sauce pan, melt 6 Tbls butter add brown sugar, 1 Tbls lime juice, water, and zest of one lime. Stir until fully incorporated. Pour over prepared strawberries.
In a large bowl, cream 12 Tbls butter, sugar, the zest of two limes, and 1/4 cup lime juice until light and fluffy.
In another bowl, combine dry ingredients and set aside.
In a two cup liquid measuring cup, combine milk, vanilla, and eggs.
Add the dry and wet ingredients alternately into the creamed mixture beginning and ending with the dry.
Divide the cake batter evenly between the two pans. Make sure to completely seal in the topping mixture already in the pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown and a cake tester (toothpick) comes out clean.
Let cool in pans for five minutes, then turn out onto serving tray removing the parchment paper from the tops. Serve warm.