Tuesday, April 19, 2011


when i was little, my mom went to great lengths to make me feel comfortable and happy being a child with curly, red hair and freckles. i got every red-haired doll there was from annie to barbie's red headed friend. my bedroom was decorated in strawberry shortcake as a little girl. now i look back with a freckled smile to think of all my mom did for my self-confidence (even though i'm still bitter my older, blonde sister always got the real barbie to match her hair). since those days of striped socks and bonnets on my bed sheets, i've always loved strawberries.

when my husband brought home some fresh picked strawberries friday afternoon, my mind started reeling with what i could make with them. not a kitchen aficionado, i immediately went to google. there, i discovered a whole world of cooking blogs that took my breath away. that moment, my heart went aflutter and i knew i wanted to start baking. not just this past weekend, but forever...i wanted to feel frosting coursing through my veins. thus, i set out to make my first cake completely from scratch.

the recipe i found was for strawberry cupcakes and i wanted to make a three-tiered cake. i had this vision in my head of a beautifully round tall cake, coated in pink-colored heaven. so, a friend of mine suggested to double the original cupcake recipe and that is what i did. being a math teacher and proud nerd, doing quick multiplications and conversions from the cupcake recipe was an added bonus to my newfound world of baking.

things were going wonderfully and i had all three cake pans in the oven while i moved on to the strawberry frosting. i'm salivating just thinking about it right now. i also doubled that recipe because, well, i assumed doubling the cake would mandate doubling the cake topping. the end result was an incredibly heaping amount of strawberry frosting. i thought "oops"...as i licked the spoon from every possible angle before tossing it in the sink.

ding! the cakes are done. i carefully take each out and place them on the stove as i set up my shiny, new wire cooling rack. my husband has watched me bounce around the kitchen for most of this process, surely thinking i'm going to blow something up at any moment. i take the first new cake pan and dump it upside down to find a perfectly formed, round cake. immediately, i turn to him and spout off, "booyah!" i grab the next pan, which is the one old one i had and go for it again. this time, disaster. the cake sticks and comes out in crumbles. i bite my lip and try the third; which is also a new pan and perfect. so, 3 beautiful cakes - 1 crumbled mess = a mostly still satisfied me.

after allowing the cakes to cool while i went out and about, i came home to frost the two layers i did have. it turned out to be beautiful, in a first-time-definitely-homemade kinda way. the icing was divine and the cake was just fine, but nowhere near "mmmmm." it was too dense and that is something i will have to work on and research. all in all, i was so happy to don my apron and to start my baking life...

*disclaimer: all photos are quick shots from my iphone and therefore there may be some blurring and confectioners sugar on the lens.

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