California Dolphin: statewide California news

Home Plates: Strawberry Spectacular cake — at last

There’s a reason half my household asks for apple pie when it’s time to make birthday cake.
Well, maybe more than one reason. We have neither pie nor cake often here, and a fine apple pie certainly feels celebratory. And for one of my guys, it has become like father, like son. So pie it is, twice a year.
But I think this pie tradition began when it became clear I was never going to reproduce my spouse’s childhood birthday cake. Quite frankly, the bits and pieces he remembered made little sense to me. Why would I tear up a perfectly good angel food cake? And how do you turn whipped cream and torn cake tossed in a bowl into something resembling a birthday cake?
For more food and drink coverage follow us on Flipboard.
Over the years, a few of you have shared recipes you thought sounded right, but still the apple pies with candles stuck haphazardly in the top crust continued. The cakes didn’t quite turn out as he expected.
Then Michelle Bosch of Belmont emailed with her family’s favorite cake recipe. “I think I know exactly the strawberry cake your husband remembers!” Bosch said confidently. And I think she is right.
Bosch thinks her mother clipped the recipe from Good Housekeeping in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Her mom still has the original cut-out recipe. “Whenever we make it, people ask for the recipe,” Bosch says.
The easy-as-pie recipe is light and refreshing. You work with chilled but not set strawberry Jell-O, beating until frothy before adding strawberry yogurt, sweetened strawberries and whipped cream, along with torn pieces of angel food cake. Bosch’s family spoons the mixture out of an attractive bowl. I think my mother-in-law let the cake chill in the bowl, then unmolded it and decorated it with more whipped cream and strawberries.
Second helpings
Readers are still weighing in on the knack of baking lemon desserts. Jean Manahan also attempted to make the recent lemon chess pie with Meyer lemons, which are less acidic than your standard lemon. “The first time, the filling seemed a bit grainy and did not set quite enough,” Manahan says. “I made it again, beat the filling mixture twice as long until it was light and super-smooth, and it set perfectly. This is a great pie!”
If you want lemon mixtures to thicken, increase the acid by adding lemon zest and/or cream of tartar, advises Carol Query. She helpfully shared her go-to lemon bar recipe . “They always set up and have a distinctly lemon flavor,” Query says. She says you can find more on the science behind the lemoniest lemon bars in a Cooks Illustrated article from Jan. 31.
Request line
Related Articles





Home Plates: Perfect roasted asparagus recipe









Home Plates: Asparagus heaven









Home Plates: Shaved Asparagus Salad recipe









Home Plates: A perfect birthday cake — with pineapple









Recipe: Pineapple Chantilly Cake



Jean Cross has lost a recipe for a doughnut with lemon rind in the batter, and lemon juice and rind in the frosting. She can’t remember whether the doughnut was fried in hot oil or baked, but she knows it was “so delicious and not greasy. My husband kept asking me to make more!” Unfortunately, the recipe was lost in a kitchen remodel.
Send recipes, tips and requests to Kim Boatman at HomePlates@bayareanewsgroup.com. Find recent Home Plates recipes online at www.mercurynews.com/tag/home-plates/ .
For more food and drink coverage follow us on Flipboard.

Top News

Ain't No God; don't even think about theism

UnFox News: not a propaganda arm of the Republican party