Sunday, August 23, 2009

Let the Fun Begin

Today has been a long day. My roommate and I arranged for an early move-in time for our dorm room so today we hauled A TON of stuff down to campus. Really, how we managed to fit two bed, two fridges, two desks, a couch, microwave, teapot, storage units, and impressive amounts of clothes into one room is beyond me. I guess miracles do happen :).

After a few hours of unpacking, stacking, hanging, rearranging, and recharging with gyros, my parents and I headed home. At some point during the car ride my parents reached the mutual decision that it would be an awesome idea for me to make cinnamon rolls. Well that's really great, but cinnamon rolls are a piece of work. Mixing, rising, rolling, rising, baking, frosting... my enthusiasm died after reading through a few recipes and recalling my last not-so-super encounter with cinnamon rolls. Fortunately my brother decided he'd much rather have something else.

After he suggested scones or strawberry shortcake I presented an option to my brother that he immediately agreed to. The Kitchen Sink always has delicious looking recipes and the strawberry cake I pulled up was a winner for Nick. Not to mention, SO MUCH EASIER THAN CINNAMON ROLLS.

Strawberry Cake with Vanilla Sauce

So I went to work. As a general rule, anything made in a pie pan is fantastic, and this cake was no exception. A basic cake recipe really, but the kicker is the fresh strawberries pressed into the top of the batter topped with a generous sprinkling of raw sugar.

Strawberry Cake with Vanilla Sauce

So rustic, so gorgeous! And it only looked better and better as it baked. A light, puffed cake with strawberries barely buried under the golden brown crust, could it get any better?


Turns out it can. I didn't have vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, the two things the recipe insisted should go with this delicious cake, so I improvised! I whipped up a quick, half improvised vanilla sauce using a vanilla bean from a private stash I've had hidden in the cupboard for quite some time. Personally, I think vanilla ice cream would be the ideal thing to pair with this cake, especially if it's like French Vanilla... a little melted... oh yes. But, what can I do?

Strawberry Cake with Vanilla Sauce

Oh yeah, and when digging out my vanilla beans I came across a bag of slivered almonds and immediately decided that I would find a way to work them into the finished dessert! I popped a handful onto a piece of aluminum foil and let them sun tan in the oven until they were light brown and fragrant. According to dad the almonds were a good flavor combination with the strawberry cake, and I have to agree. I was tempted to sprinkle them onto the top of the cake before I put it in the oven, but was afraid in the hour cooking time they'd be a little over done, but who knows. Whether you top this cake with vanilla sauce, ice cream, or whipped cream, the almonds really are a wonderful addition.

Strawberry Cake with Vanilla Sauce

Well, I'm about to fall asleep, apparently carrying boxes and moving beds and couches has taken it's toll on me. But before I go, I should tell you tomorrow I'm making dinner :D. I may have taken some books to Half Price Books... and I might not have walked out with any of the cash they paid me... I might have walked out with a couple cook books... one might be an Indian cook book... maybe ;). Tomorrow should be a delicious day.

Oh yes, and you can find the recipe for strawberry cake here:

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