nothing says summer like a handful of fresh picked strawberries. warm from the sun, they are juicy and sweet. picking them is like having a treasure hunt in my own garden. to find them, you must peek under the leaves of the plants and hope that the slugs and chipmunks have missed a few. strawberry season is a short affair. we enjoyed it while it lasted but i can see that we will need to add some more ever bearing plants to prolong the season.
a few notes about the cake. if you think that you will have a strongly flavored cake, think again. baking with fresh berries is tricky because of the effects on the batter that the ph balance of the berries can have. besides, the box mix cakes you may be familiar with utilize lots of artificial color and flavor to get their results. using strawberries adds a bit of flavor and a more pronounced floral note to the swirl. mainly, the color of the swirl is what you get. if you want a darker swirl, you can add a few drops of pink color, i left mine the natural shade from the berries.
strawberry swirl bundt cake
1 10 cup bundt cake serving about 12
1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen(but thawed)
8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups cake flour
4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
preheat the oven to 350. grease and flour a 10 cup tube or bundt pan and set it aside. place the strawberries into a blender or food processor and process until a smooth puree is achieved. measure out 1/2 cup of the puree and set it aside for now. place the butter into a mixing bowl with the sugar, lemon zest, vanilla and salt. cream this mixture until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. add the eggs slowly, scraping the bowl after each addition. cream again till light, about 1 minute. sift the flour and baking powder over the batter in the bowl and fold it a few times. add the buttermilk and fold gently until completely mixed. remove 1 1/2 cups of the batter and place it in a separate bowl, stir in the strawberry puree and mix until the color is evenly distributed. dollop some of each of the batters into the prepared pan so that the colors alternate. continue doing this until all of the batter is in the pan. using a thin knife or a skewer, swirl the batter by inserting it and dragging it around the batter to mix the colors. the less you swirl, the more marbleized the pattern will look; excessive swirling creates a fine pattern that is hard to see. bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 55 minutes. allow the cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes and then carefully turn it out onto a serving plate to finish cooling.