RO: Whatever else you're eating or doing these two recipes will turn your Fourth into a party.
It comes from the divine Martha and is deceptively easy. Your friends - especially the ones who bring Costco cakes to bbq's and picnics, not that there's anything wrong with that ;-) - will think you are a domestic goddess.
Strawberry Cream Cake
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
1 pound strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-ounce envelope)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan, and line with parchment paper. Butter and flour paper and sides. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
2. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture in 3 parts and milk in 2, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined. Spread batter in prepared pan.
3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes; invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. Using a serrated knife, split cake in half horizontally; place bottom half, cut side up, on a serving plate.
4. Make topping: In a large bowl, combine strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar; set aside. Place 2 tablespoons cold water in a small saucepan, and sprinkle with gelatin; let soften 5 minutes. Place saucepan over very low heat, and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat; let cool.
5. Using an electric mixer, beat cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a large bowl until very soft peaks form. Continue to beat, and gradually add gelatin mixture; beat until soft peaks form. 6. Arrange half of strawberries over bottom cake layer; top with half of whipped cream, leaving a 1-inch border. Cover with top half of cake, cut side down. Top cake with remaining whipped cream, leaving a 1-inch border. Refrigerate cake and remaining strawberries separately, at least 1 hour (or up to 1 day). Just before serving, spoon strawberries over cake.
7. My addition to Martha's recipe..sprinkle a handful of blueberries on top for a red, white and blue treat.
But man cannot live by cake alone (more's the pity.) This is from my pal Dan's wife, Linda..
White wine sangria
2 (750ml) bottles of dry white wine
6 ox Triple sec or Cointreau
6 oz fresh orange juice
3 oz fresh lemon or lime juice
3 oz brandy, optional
about 1/2 c sugar (superfine is best)
16 oz cold club soda or citrus flavored mineral water
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
Pour first 4 ingredients into a punch bowl. Sweeten to taste with sugar, stirring well to dissolve. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Just before serving stir in club soda or mineral water. Add a block of ice and fruit slices. Enjoy.