Monday, September 28, 2009

Ina Garten's Strawberry Country Cake ... Made Easier

Whenever I see "country" or "rustic" cake recipes, my eyes will immediately light up. For me, those 2 words spell "messy", which means I have plenty of room for decorating error :)

This cake is so easy to bake and assemble. It is supposed to be a 2-layer cake, with berries and cream in between ... but I didn't bother doing the sandwich. Instead I made 2 single-layer cakes - one for my family, the other I gave to my lovely neighbour. Just plonk cream and berries straight onto the top!


Nothing is more rustic than fresh berries over squishy cream :) Check out the HUGE strawberries, which made the cake look so small. Messy = Quaint = Country.

Recipe
(adapted from here)

- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks or 170g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups (450g) sugar
- 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (about 175ml) sour cream, at room temperature (which I replaced with buttermilk)
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest (I omitted this and used only lemon zest)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (I replaced with cake flour)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch (which I omitted since I was using cake flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda

For the filling for each cake:
- 1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy cream, chilled
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I only used a couple of drops)
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- Sliced almonds, lightly toasted (depends how much you want on your cake)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 F / 175 C.

2. Butter the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans. Then line them with parchment paper and butter and flour the lined pans.

3. Cream the butter and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 1 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.

4. Pour the batter evenly into the pans, smooth the tops, 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. If using 1 cake, wrap the second well and freeze.

5. To make the filling for one cake, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until firm. 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 1/2 the whipped cream and scatter with sliced strawberries. Cover with the top slice of the cake and spread with the remaining cream. Decorate with strawberries.

* Or like me, you can simply decorate the cake without the sandwich layer - the quick, easy, lazy way ;) I added almonds for some crunch.

23 comments:

  1. Looks gorgeous Little T. This is a favorite recipe of Ina's for me too. I love that you get two cakes for your trouble. I usually stash one in the freezer for another day...but you were so sweet to give one away.
    Yours looks just beautiful...those berries look amazing!
    L~xo

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  2. This looks absolutely gorgeous! I've seen Ina Gartens one, I much prefer this one!

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  3. Ju I hope you feel better soon:) That cake is lovely enough to make anyone feel better.I was at my daughter's yesterday and she had 3 episodes of BC taped..Back To basics..

    I really really like her AND Jeffrey.
    They are so cute together and all her recipes are scrumptious.
    I think she's beautiful too:)

    And what a house and gardens:)

    Thank you!

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  4. Your cake looks so delicious!!! I love fresh cream and strawberries... I want to be your neighbour!

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  5. Oooh, seems like we have the same mindset! I'm a sucker for galettes because of its 'rustic = messy = just plonk it' appeal :P

    I don't eat cream (yes, you'll realise in due time I don't eat PLENTY of things!), but slab on some chocolate ganache with that strawberry, and I'll be good to go! Btw, I absolutely adore your plate :) Too pretty!

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  6. Absolutely gorgeous, as Dominique, I just want to be your neighbour !

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  7. Look at that silky whipped cream on top of that beautiful cake. My mouth is watering. Stunning!

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  8. The cake looks so beautiful with fresh, bright strawberries....easy and delicious!

    Angie's Recipes

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  9. La tua torta è deliziosa oltre che molto bella da vedere, la proverei subito se potessi.. brava.
    Ciao Daniela.

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  10. very pretty, restaurant quality presentation

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  11. Ju, this looks wonderful! I would go for this one over all of the chocolate!

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  12. you are amazing! What a cute little looking cake. I like the toppings are even higher than the cake, it looks indulgent :)

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  13. What a georgous looking mini tarte!! That plate is so colourful too!

    Must taste divine!!

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  14. I wish I could be your neighbour!

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  15. Oh yum yum yum! This cake looks so so good. And your photo is just too stunning!

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  16. SIgn me up to be your neighbor. It looks so good!

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  17. Ah Nya...:-) Your Strawberry Country Cake is so yummilicious. I had one problem though... my little boy insisted to go out to buy after he saw the photo. Shops closed at 6 pm over here! The nearest supermarket that closed at 8 pm is 6 kms away...geeeshhh :-P

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  18. Ju, what a lovely cake and beautiful pictures. I cannot believe that u use a point and shoot for your photography!

    I have gone thru all your posts that I have missed and I can see that you have been sooo busy and creative. I am seriously attracted to the cotton cheesecake. But I cannot make it. not yet. But will. when Im not feeling too guilty. and then this ....:))

    happy birthday to your litte one year old. I can just imagine him gnawing the salmon patties and grinning with only 4 baby teeth! :))) so adorable. brings back memories.

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  19. Oh, all of you ... thank you!!! I humbly accept your compliments with a bow. Thank you!

    And Chuck, coming from you, it's a huge compliment :) I am a big fan of your blog and the gorgeous breads you create each time.

    Zurin, I am so very happy you're back and really, I feel honoured that you bother to "catch up" on my posts. Thank you for your lovely birthday wishes. (Hugs)

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  20. Beautiful! Luscious berries and cream. I want some now!

    Thanks for stopping by our site :-)

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  21. That's not messy at all, it's beautiful! Great job!

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  22. Love it, love it...lucky neighbor!!

    Diane

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