Dear world/lord/universe/god/lady gaga/divine being,
Thank you for summertime.
Thank you for summertime, for strawberries, for ovens, and for New York City.
Do you have any idea how much I love those four things? Any idea at all? Well I’m sorry if you don’t, because there’s absolutely no way that I can put it into words. No way possible. Not even worth an attempt. Just don’t even.
It’s clear why I’ve chosen to mention my intense adoration for summer, strawberries, and ovens. It’s summer, I made strawberry cake, and without ovens, well… I’d be blogless. That’s a no brainer. But New York City? What? Yeah.. I’m here. In Manhattan. For six weeks. Why? Well, I don’t think I’ve ever previously mentioned that I’m a dancer… but I am. I spent last summer working my dessert off at a dance program in the city, and fell so in love that I couldn’t resist coming back again. It pretty much rocks more than The Rolling Stones.
Manhattan is foodie paradise. My friends and I ended up in Chelsea Market a few days ago, and I was speechless. Literally considered moving in. I’d sleep in the basket shop. They have a basket shop! All baskets! We drooled over the railroad track ceiling and hearty brick walls.
Moving on, have you ever eaten Ray’s Famous Pizza of Greenwich Village? Because it’s ridiculous. The slices are like… the length of my torso.
We have a (tiny) (but cute) kitchen in our suite-style dorm, so I’ve been spending plennnnty of time taking in all of the incredibly precious markets here, and cooking cooking cooking. This vegetarian chili and cheddar cornbread got me the Roomie of the Night award. Thank you and you’re welcome.
And this strawberry-banana-chocolate chip-brown butter bread (thank you Joy the Baker!) fed 12 rambunctious dancers staring at a tiny t.v. to watch Beyonce on the BET awards. Dorm life is awesome. Especially with loaves of things.
There’s a gourmet Belgian Waffle truck here. We ate gourmet street cart pretzels (truffle cheddar, anyone?) on the steps of the Met. The Whole Foods is like Disneyland. This city.. I can’t get enough of it. Ever.
On a sadder note.. my camera broke. It straight up broke. I didn’t drop it, didn’t get it wet. It just stopped. So that’s cool… but hopefully it’ll be fixed soon!
Anyway.. back to this cake I made. It’s called a Summer Strawberry Cake, because it’s just that. A dollop of softly whipped cream and it’s a picnic treasure. 4th of July loves this cake. Pool parties love this cake. Those farmers markets strawberries that were calling your name? Please turn them into this cake.
Summer Strawberry Cake
Via the NYC Queen herself, Smitten Kitchen
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pie plate
1 1/2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup (200 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup (118 ml) milk
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 pound (450 grams) strawberries, hulled and halved
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 10-inch pie pan or 9-inch deep-dish pie pan
Whisk flour baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.
Pour into prepared pie plate. Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.
Bake cake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 50 minutes to 60 minutes. (Gooey strawberries on the tester are a given.) Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into wedges. Serve with lightly whipped cream.
It’s summer. Eat cake.