Saturday, July 13, 2013

Strawberry Pound Cake

Nothing seems to scream Summertime more than fresh berries straight from the fields. It is always great to get large bounties of fruit when they ripen, but, you might find yourself looking for something different to do in an effort to enjoy all the deliciousness.  This past week, I was going to a covered dish dinner and decided to make one of my famous pound cakes with fresh strawberries. While I knew that the result would be good, I had no idea exactly how delicious it would be once complete. Imagine strawberry shortcake inside of a pound cake; that is how I would describe this cake. 
One gentleman at the dinner actually said, "This is the kind of cake that would make a bulldog break his chain!" I will take that as a compliment.
1 Cup Vegetable Shortening
3 Cups Sugar
1 Stick Softened Butter
5 Eggs
2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Whole Milk
2 Cups Fresh Strawberries, Diced

Preheat Oven Temperature: 325 degrees
1. Spray your bundt pan with non-cooking spray with flour. I prefer to use the floured spray rather than the shortening and flour technique because of the intricate detail of my bundt pan. I tend to have better luck with a clean release. However, it is key to be liberal with your coating, no matter which technique you choose. The last thing you want is a delicious cake held captive in a sticky pan!
2. Cream the butter, shortening and sugar in a stand mixer. Allow the mixture to become fluffy. This step is very important for setting up the texture of the cake.
3. Add the 5 eggs, one at a time, incorporating well after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl periodically.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
5. Beginning with one-third of the dry ingredients, alternate dry ingredients and milk, allowing each step to become incorporated before alternating. You will do two alternating cycles, ending with the flour. Carefully stir in the chopped strawberries.
6. Pour into the prepared bundt pan. I place the pan onto a cookie sheet before placing in the oven just to catch any possible overflow. I would much rather clean a cookie sheet rather than the entire oven bottom!
7. The cooking time will depend on the size of your pan and your oven. After 1 hour 15 minutes, check the cake. When it is brown on top, firm, and a toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done.
8. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan.
9. Invert the cake onto your serving dish. If you coated the pan well, the cake will release with no problem and you will be left with a steaming, beautiful cake.

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