I'm a hostess at a restaurant, and somehow last week I ended up promising to make a birthday cake for one of the servers. He literally couldn't believe I was going to do it--he kept saying "I'm holding you to this"--so clearly I had to make something good. He wanted a strawberry shortcake, and I remembered seeing this recipe on the website of my personal hero, The Pioneer Woman.
In the spirit of Ree, I give you the cast of characters.
I dumped the dry cake ingredients into a bowl
and "sifted"--whisked--them together. I don't own a sifter. I don't have room for a sifter. I think this works just fine.
In the bowl of my beautiful Martha blue Kitchenaid I creamed together 9 tablespoons of butter
with 1 1/2 cups of sugar
until it looked like this. Someone please let me know: is this creamed? It seems creamy to me, but I never know exactly what it's supposed to look like.
Then you add in three eggs, mixing after each one. This is much more runny than PW's looked at this step. Oh well.
Add the sour cream and vanilla
and then the dry ingredients.
Then you mix it until it's just combined, which to me always equates to lumpy.
For the icing, which was a huge hit (and which I'll probably double next time) you need 8 oz of cream cheese, 2 sticks of butter, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla.
It ends up looking like this and tasting as good as you imagine.
This was after I had halved the strawberries, let them sit in sugar for 30 minutes, and then diced them in 2 batches. PW says to mash them, but when I mashed the strawberries it just flattened them.
You turn out the cake onto a cooling rack as soon as it comes out of the oven, and attempt to ignore the big chunk that stuck to the pan.
After you slice it in half you have two big mistakes staring at you.
This is easily fixed.
The strawberries are spread onto the cut side of each layer, and then they are frozen for 5 minutes to make icing easier.
The icing wasn't much easier. It might have just been my decision to dice that did this, but the strawberries didn't want to stay put. I know, I know, this isn't a pretty cake. I don't really care, though--it was good. GOOD. Damn good. It made servers smile during a lunch rush, it was that good. If it hadn't taken so long to make I would be making myself another one right now.