Tag Archives: Strawberries

Strawberry Cake

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I love when a recipe says something like, “This is a great way to use up leftover berries.” Here in New York City, land of overpriced everything, I never really have too much of something leftover that costs an arm and a leg to begin with. I use every tiny little bit of that sucker. Even during the summer berries are ridiculously expensive around here (unless you trek to the farmers’ market, I know, I know) so when I make a recipe with berries, it’s on purpose, and I hope it comes out nicely because if not, it was one expensive mistake.

This recipe was no mistake. And I can’t recommend it enough. The cake is not too sweet and the sugar on top gives it a nice crunch. You could even serve it for breakfast, because frankly, what’s the difference between a slice of this and a muffin? As far as I’m concerned, nothing.

On the menu:
Strawberry cake
Makes 1 10″ cake

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, plus more to grease the pie plate
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
1 large egg
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 pound fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled and halved

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 10″ pie plate with unsalted butter.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add milk, egg, and vanilla and blend until smooth. Add flour mixture and stir in by hand until combined.

Pour batter into greased pie plate. Cut-face-down, place strawberries on top of the batter as close together as you can but not on top of each other [NOTE: do NOT press the berries down into the batter; the batter will cook up around your berries and make them all but disappear from view]. Sprinkle the remaining Tbsp of sugar on top of the cake.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Lower the oven to 325 degrees and bake for 60 minutes. Once the cake is cooked (a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean) cool on a wire rack completely before serving.

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Filed under Cooking, Recipes

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye…

One of the most depressing things about living in New York is the closing of your favorite restaurants. This summer brought about the death of two of my most favorite Italian spots: Carmine’s Italian Seafood in the Financial District, and La Focaccia in the West Village. If I had to name my top ten favorite restaurants in New York City, those would have been numbers 1 and 2. And now… well. I’ll spare you the tear-stained details.

In honor of the closing of La Focaccia I bring you a recipe for the dessert I always ordered there: strawberries with zabaglione. The perfect cap to a meal of penne vodka and gnocchi, zabaglione can be served over any fruit or cake, it’s thick and creamy like custard, and is easy as all get up to make.

On the menu:
Strawberries with zabaglione

1 quart strawberries, washed and quartered
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Marsala wine
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a small, metal bowl whisk together the yolks, sugar, wine, and vanilla. Place the metal bowl over a saucepan half full with bowling water; make sure the bowl does NOT touch the water! While constantly whisking, cook yolk mixture over the simmering water for around 10 minutes, until the mixture is light yellow and fluffy*. Serve warm over strawberries.

*Note: taste the mixture before you remove it from the heat. If it’s not to your liking, add a bit more sugar.

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Filed under Cooking, New York Restaurants, Recipes

ROC City Part 2: The Strawberry Waffle

Rochester has a great deal of history, especially in the downtown area. The George Eastman House is here, complete with a museum on the long and storied history of Eastman Kodak. The Mt. Hope Cemetery is the final resting place of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. And one of my favorite areas of the city, Highland Park, was designed in the 1880’s by famed landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted.

May kicks off an entire season of outdoor festivals in Rochester, beginning in early May with The Lilac Festival in Highland Park, which is home to over 400 varieties of lilacs.

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After strolling through the seemingly endless lilac bushes, you might work up an appetite. And by “might” I mean “will.”

And what will you eat?! Where will you go?! The answer, my friends, is The Highland Park Diner.

Established in the 1940s, this diner has changed hands many times (and even did time as an OTB parlor… sick, I know) but still serves up the tastiest waffle topping I have ever inhaled calmly and daintily enjoyed: strawberries and sweet cheese.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post in which I try to discover the magic behind the sweet cheese… it’ll be blog gold, I promise.

*Update: in my haste, I forgot to take a picture of the inside of The Highland Park Diner and it is admittedly one of the coolest things about the place. According to a few pieces I found on the web, diners such as this one were made in a factory and then transported by rail to the site, hence the long and narrow shape that would fit on a train track. Sweet, huh?

Thanks to Roadfood.com for permission to use this photo.

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