Do you ever wake up in the morning and decide that you’re going to do things the hard way?
Because apparently I do.
Last week the grocery store had decent-looking strawberries, and I was seized with the urge to make a strawberry cake. And not just any strawberry cake, but the strawberry cake I use for weddings – plush, finely textured, and rich with butter and egg yolks, filled with a strawberry-balsamic-black pepper jam. But I wanted it now, and I didn’t want to deal with my stand mixer, or with stacking, filling, and frosting a layer cake.
I also didn’t want to spend time finding a recipe that checked all those boxes.
So I decided to do it myself – partly because I’m apparently a masochist, and partly because the science of baking is just really freaking interesting.
Coming up with a cake from scratch seems scary, but, as with most baked goods, successful recipes are based on simple ratios and rules. Batters need balance – flour, dairy, and eggs for strength, fat and sugar for tenderness.(more…)