Saturday, July 4, 2009


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.


  1. And the calorie count from that cake is....
    I think I gained weight just reading about it!
    Happy July 4th everyone!

  2. Yum!! Thanks, Ro.

    We just got lobsters and corn!

    And--wait for it--the sun is out. I can NOT believe it.

    Happy 4th, all!

  3. In pastries, you should make use of knives to shape or smooth the parts for presentation.