Friday, June 14, 2013

Strawberry-Mint-Vanilla-Bean Cake

I loved the Strawberry Cake I made a few days ago.  I loved, loved, loved it.  My children loved it.  When I was driving around town, I thought about the Strawberry Cake and how much I loved it and wanted to eat it.  I may have been a little obsessive about the strawberry cake? I'll leave that up to you to decide.



But in that perfection of the cake, I wanted more strawberries floating in it.  And as I was driving around town, thinking about that cake, I thought, why just add water, why not add some flavor into that water?  What goes well with strawberries?  Mint, of course... and vanilla.  More vanilla! And it just so happens that mint is a noxious weed here in Oregon, so I have a bundle of it growing in my herb garden, totally overtaking (hello, can someone say mojitos??!!)


And I had these strawberries quickly disintegrating in my fridge.


So, I took a risk.  I decided to add strawberries to the bottom of the cake, as well as the top.  Remember, I'm a novice here.  I had no idea if these strawberries would burn and destroy the whole cake, just sitting on the bottom in a 375 degree F oven.  But I had to try.


Anyway, so, with more strawberries, mint and actual beans from a vanilla bean,  I created the Strawberry-Mint-Vanilla-Bean Cake.  The results?


Going

Gone
Strawberry gooey deliciousness on the bottom, with a hint of mint flavor.

It's good!


Strawberry-Mint-Vanilla-Bean Cake
adapted from Simply Romenesco

Ingredients:

·         1/2 kilogram (1 pound) fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
·         200 grams (7 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
·         4 grams (1 teaspoon) baking powder
·         3 large eggs, at room temperature
·         200 grams (7 ounces) confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         50 ml vegetable oil
·         50 ml tap water, at room temperature infused with a million little pieces of mint (that is, one or two mint leaves chopped up extra finely, creating about one teaspoon of chopped mint)
·         a billion little vanilla bean seeds, scooped from one vanilla bean
·         pinch of salt

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, grease a tin, about 9x9 inches
2) Combine flour and baking powder
3) Separate the egg yolks and whites
4) Beat the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract until all blended with an electric mixer
5) Gradually add the oil, mint infused water and a billion little vanilla beans until well combined
6) In batches, add the flour and baking powder mix
7) In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until they form medium peaks (I used the bowl that my strawberries had been sitting in, so really, these were strawberry infused egg whites, and ended up a gorgeous mild pink color)



8) Fold these into the batter
9) Add strawberries at the bottom of the pan (hope they don't get burned!)
9a) Pour batter into the cake tin
10) Add strawberries on top of the batter... they float... it is the coolest thing!  I left no space un-strawberried.  
11) Cook for 45-50 minutes, until golden brown and a knife comes out clean of the cake.  
12) Dust with extra confectioner's sugar, and enjoy!





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