Strawberry Cake

Smitten Kitchen has done it again! This strawberry cake just looked too good to pass up. Especially since I had two pounds of strawberries left over in the freezer from last month. YUM!

  • 6 TB unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pie plate
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 3/4 cup APF and 3/4 cup barley flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1+ pound strawberries, hulled and halved

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 10-inch pie pan or 9-inch deep-dish pie pan (what I used).

Whisk flour or flours, 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. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving with lightly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Mangos!

The last few days of our trip were spent in a house that had a mango tree growing inside of it. We literally woke up to the sound of ripening mangos falling onto the roof above our heads throughout the night! Here is where we had dinner:

And this was my favorite pastime:

Chana Masala

As much as I loved our two week trip to see the sun in the Caribbean, it has been so nice to be back home where I can make whatever I want in my own kitchen. I’ve eaten my fair share of rice, beans, and pig in the last few weeks and I’ve been itching to make some simple vegetarian dishes with fresh vegetables. A few months ago, I noticed a chana masala recipe on the Smitten Kitchen food blog and decided to give it a go this afternoon. I’ve never been disappointed with anything on her website and I’m happy to report that this dish was another winner. My friend Lakshmi gifted me with the awesome 660 Curries cookbook last year for my birthday but I’ve been too intimidated to do anything more than read it. (Sorry L!) However, after trying this one tonight, I think I’m ready. Stay tuned…

I had most of the ingredients in my pantry at the start though I had to buy some fresh ginger and a chili pepper. My quest to find amchoor powder (dried mango powder) was unsuccessful after trying two stores in the Mission. I’ll keep searching and will try this again once I find it.

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 fresh, hot green chili pepper, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 tablespoon amchoor powder (I omitted this since I couldn’t find it)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped small or 1 15-ounce can of whole tomatoes with their juices, chopped small
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of half a lemon

Heat oil in a large skillet. Toss onion, garlic, ginger, and pepper in a food processor and mince. Add to skillet and heat until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low and add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, cumin seeds, amchoor (if using it), paprika and garam masala. Cook onion mixture with spices for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes and any accumulated juices, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan. Add the water and chickpeas. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then stir in salt and lemon juice. Eat or reheat when you are about to eat. I made mine two hours before eating it and was pleasantly surprised at how the flavors continued to intensify over time. Can’t wait for leftovers tomorrow!