As a treat and respite, tonight, from my studying I set out to make the Barefoot Contessa’s strawberry country cake. The picture in the book always looked lip-smackingly delicious and when the strawberries made their first appearance a few weeks ago at Whole Foods, I knew what I had to do.
First, I made a self-conscious change from my normal, deplorable habit of spraying butter into the cake pans. I faced my options head on:
“Spray me!” said the can butter. “I’m so simple and so easy to use! Two squirts and you’re done!”
“Noooo!” said the real butter. “I’m fresh and real and much more authentic! Use me and gain clout with your foodie friends!”
The latter argument won me over so I buttered and floured the cake pans.
Next, I put the sugar and butter in the mixer:
And I whipped it: (Cue “Whip It” by Devo):
After which I added four extra-large eggs (the Barefoot Contessa loves her some extra-large eggs, don’t ask me why):
Then I sifted together the dry ingredients: flour, corn starch (<--this is key, it makes the cake taste like corn bread!), salt, and baking soda:
Combine the dry and the wet and pour the batter into the cake pans:
Baked for 40 minutes, and voila:
But, alas, the one on the left had a fissure:
And Lauren began whining in the other room: “Where’s my cake! I want my cake!”
So I threw my hands in the air and waved them like I just didn’t care and I said: “Fine! You want cake now? We’ll make TUPPERWARE cake!”
And I dumped the fissured cake into the tupperware:
Tore it up into pieces so it would absorb better:
Made Lauren whip the whipped cream by hand:
But she got tired so I stuck the bowl under the mixer:
Added the cream to the cake:
And topped with strawberries:
Scooped some out into bowls and you know what? It was delicious. That cake is awesome: the lemon, orange and sour cream make for a very complex, very unique–and wonderful–flavor. Fresh whipped cream, of course, rocks. And the strawberries: perfection. Who cares if it’s served in tupperware? In fact, the casual presentation made it taste even better. I took the other perfect non-fissured cake and plopped it into some tupperware too. Suddenly I felt liberated; like my inner perfectionist had suddenly choked on a peanut. I went around pouring everything into tupperware until Lauren smacked me across the face and said: “Snap out of it!” I did and ate some more cake. It was delicious.