Hello sweet world, I’m Jordana. I’m a sprightly seventeen and have a fabulous affection for dessert.
Today is a lovely day, it’s Valentine’s Day! A day to celebrate love, the only thing more important than a KitchenAid mixer. The one day of the year it’s acceptable to cover everything in roses and chocolate and kisses and pink and get away with it, oh what a beautiful thing!
My valentine’s day this year was a pinkie’s up, no elbows on the table, please pass the scones style tea party with some of my nearest and dearest friends, and it was out of this world delicious.
There was tea. Lots of tea. Lots of tea on the tablecloth.
There were buttermilk scones, which were really buttermilk biscuits cut in triangles, shhhh.
These truffles happened. My first truffle making experience ever! By the time they were finished I looked like a little boy playing in the mud.
Obviously, there were sugar cookies.
Let me tell you something about royal icing– it’s worth it. It’s without a doubt more annoying than a bug bite on the bottom of your foot in knee-high boots, and it doesn’t even taste all that amazing, but the Wow Factor is unbeatable.
Here’s what our out-of-an-unrealistic-movie-or-american-girl-craft-book table looked like ! :
Above all, this cake happened.
Strawberries + Rosé Champagne + a lot of butter = Great success. Make this cake! It’s dense and almost gooey from the moisture of the strawberries, super sturdy and easy to assemble, and the frosting is fluffy and bubbly and sweet with just enough tang from the champagne to make you giggle. It’s a good thing, this cake.
Adapted from Martha Stewart & Sprinkle Bakes
For the cake: (I made a 1 1/2 batch of the original recipe, so the measurements are a little funky.)
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/4 cup self-rising flour
1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 + slightly over 2/3 cup sugar
6 large eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 3/4 cup + 2 tbspn milk
15 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut into a small dice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 cake pans with nonstick spray, and line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper. Spray those too, just to be safe.
In a medium bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, and salt. Set this aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and then beat in vanilla. With the mixer on low, add in some of the flour, then some milk, then more flour, the rest of the milk, and the rest of the flour. Beat just until combined, and then fold in the strawberries. Resist eating the batter with a spoon.
Divide the batter evenly among the cake pans somewhere between 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full, this batter doesn’t puff up all that much. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, and the tops are just golden brown. Start checking them around 18 minutes. Transfer them, in the pans, to a wire rack to cool, and then to the fridge to chill out and firm up until frosting.
For the frosting:
2 cups + 2 tablespoons pink champagne (or any champagne or sparkling wine your heart desires)
4 sticks of butter, softened. I won’t tell if you won’t.
5 cups powdered sugar, sifted.
Place 2 cups of the champagne in a small saucepan and boil until it’s reduced to about 2 tablespoons. It should be a bit thicker and very strong to taste. Set it aside to cool.
In an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar until creamy, thick, fluffy and irresistible. Pour in 2 tablespoons of the reduced champagne + 2 tablespoons straight from the bottle. Beat until fluffy.
Enjoy your love day!