Saturday, May 14, 2011

White Cake Strawberry Shortcake

This was a quick dessert to pull together. I've been hunting for a great white cake recipe, I tried this one. I thought it was going to be different but actually worked much better for a strawberry shortcake anyway. I thought it was going to be incredibly moist and have those tender crumbs just falling away from it. But actually, it was more of a cross between angel food cake and a dense white cake. It was not too spongy but still had alittle bounce to it. I'm glad it kept a firm shape which is great for layering- thus, perfect for filling with strawberry pie filling and topping with fresh strawberries and fresh cream.

Finally a vanilla cake that doesn't taste like pancakes!

Note: I halved the recipe, not sure if that had anything to do with the results. Also, my butter may have been too soft and I think I overmixed the batter. Next time, I would just add all the milk/eggs in at the same time instead of in two parts because thats when the batter looked thicker. I probably overbaked it too, which is bad for vanilla cakes!!

White Cake Strawberry Shortcake
Adapted from: Piece of Cake

2 1/4 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting the pans
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, softened but still cold
1 can strawberry or cherry pie filling (optional, for filling)

To make the cake, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

In a large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, egg whites and vanilla. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt at low speed. With the mixer running on low speed, add the butter pieces one at a time until the mixture resembles fine, even crumbs. Stop the mixer and add all but about 1/2 cup of the wet ingredients. Beat the batter at medium speed until it is pale and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. With the mixer running on low, slowly pour in the rest of the wet ingredients, then crank the speed back up to medium and beat for 30 seconds more. Scrape down the bowl and beat for 30 more seconds.

Divide the batter equally among the two cake pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean–do not overbake. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans, peel off the parchment and cool completely, right side up.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

White Chip Lemon Streusel Bars

Revisited this recipe. Now I can add some pictures.

They were less lemony as usual and I think that's because I use bottled lemon juice instead of squeezing fresh lemons. I'll make the extra effort from now on.


White Chip Lemon Streusel Bars
Adapted from: Hershey's Kitchens

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY'S Premier White Chips, divided
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups regular rolled or quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup toasted pecan pieces*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon shortening

Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Combine sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and lemon peel in medium bowl; set aside. Measure out 1/4 cup and 1/3 cup white chips; set aside. Add remaining white chips to lemon mixture.

Beat butter and brown sugar until blended in large mixer bowl. Stir together flour, oats, pecans, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture, blending well. Remove 1-2/3 cups oats mixture; set aside. Add egg to remaining mixture, blending until crumbly. Press egg/crumb mixture on bottom of prepared pan. Gently spoon lemon mixture on top, spreading evenly. Add reserved 1/3 cup white chips to reserved crumb mixture. Sprinkle over lemon layer, pressing crumbs lightly.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan on wire rack. Place remaining 1/4 cup white chips and shortening in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Drizzle over bars. Allow drizzle to set; cut into bars. Makes about 24 bars.

*To toast pecans: Heat oven to 350°F. Spread pecans in thin layer in shallow baking pan. Bake 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown; cool.

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