A couple weeks back we celebrated my daughter’s 9th birthday. She had only two requests. The first was to celebrate her special day at Jump Highway in Fairfield. The second was to have a strawberry Monster High birthday cake. Putting together the birthday party at Jump Highway proved to be the easy part as they made our celebration really easy and super fun. Even the grandparents jumped for a bit!
The cake, on the other hand was far less cut-and-dry. I’d never made a strawberry cake before so I embarked on my journey of trial and error. It took five passes to get it to just where I wanted it and the results were incredible – moist, light and buttery with a really good strawberry flavor. I filled the strawberry cake with whipping cream and frosted it with buttercream.
2 ¼ cups sifted flour (I sift, then measure my flour)
1 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup unsalted butter (1 ½ stick)
4 tablespoons milk
1 ½ pound strawberries, destemmed
6 egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ vanilla bean, cut lengthwise and seeds scraped out
3 drops of pink food coloring (Duff Goldman makes some really nice colors that don’t have any flavor)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
First make the strawberry puree: Slice the strawberries and toss together with two tablespoons sugar and let rest until the strawberries are at room temperature and they begin to release their juices. Then, using a blender or food processor, blend the strawberries until smooth and no lumps of strawberry remain. Whisk together the strawberry puree, milk, eggs whites, food coloring, vanilla extract and vanilla bean seed. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix in butter until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add liquid mixture to dry mixture. Mix on low speed for one minute, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and then mix on medium speed for two minutes.
Pour batter into pan (s) prepared with baking spray or unsalted butter and flour. Bake for around 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cooking times will vary based on depth and size of baking pan.
Let cakes cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Once fully cooled, fill and frost as desired.
Packed with vitamins, fiber and anti-oxidants, just a hand full of strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange. But they aren’t just good for you. Did you know that strawberries aren’t just a summer fruit? In warmer climates and in protected places like greenhouses, you can enjoy fresh strawberries all year. I couldn’t believe it either. I read somewhere that if you keep adding soil to the top of the center of your strawberry plant, it will keep reproducing. So I gave it at try. It worked! As I type, I have tiny little green berries on my strawberry plant.
All of this jumping has gotten me to thinking – why is jumping so darn good for you? I mean, besides the obvious things like weight loss, strength, endurance, mood improvement and lymphatic drainage (did you know your lymph system requires regular movement and gravity to properly move toxins out of your system?), what makes jumping the top rated exercise? I like to use a simple image when I think of the body while jumping. Take a mostly full plastic water bottle with the lid tightly on. Imagine that your body is that bottle of water. Now take that bottle and shake it up really fast. See all the bubbles that formed just by shaking it up a little bit? Why not get out and shake yourself up a little bit. Brian and the crew at Jump Highway can help you get started jumping today! Visit www.jumphighway.com for more information or to book your next party.