Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Pink is for Patty



When I was little, my Mom color-coded my brothers, sister, and me. It wasn't for everything, mostly those things that we all used and needed to keep straight like bathroom cups, camping towels, etc. I think my sister and I were most closely associated with our colors, which also showed up in our bedroom decor, our clothing, and even gifts from our grandparents. I don't know when or how our colors were chosen, but since my color was blue, I do wonder about it.

My sister Patty was pink. So when I was choosing a recipe for her birthday cake last weekend, the promise of pink icing was too much to resist. Against my better judgement, I chose the "Illinois Jam Cake" from my go-to cake cookbook, The Wooden Spoon Dessert Book. Though I love fresh strawberries and good strawberry jam, I've never been one to choose strawberry flavored anything. In fact, I expect that if I'd come across this recipe in any other cookbook, I would have flipped right by it. But as I've said before, I've come to trust this book... and the idea of presenting Patty with a pink cake was irresistible.

The cake itself has a whole cup of strawberry jam in it, but it is merely a background for the spices. The cream cheese icing has a more modest 3 tablespoons of jam, but the tanginess of lemon juice and cream cheese bring out the strawberry flavor nicely. The cake was very good - I'd describe it as "strawberry and spice" - a very moist spice cake complented by a tangy strawberry icing. Oh yeah... and it's pink.


Happy belated birthday Patty!!!

11 comments:

Santos said...

hi cathy! i don't normally associate stawberries with spice, but i really like the idea. what kind of spices are in the cake? i s'pose it's very "sugar and spice, and everything nice".

happy birthday, patty!

rowena said...

What a cute idea! And the memories behind it... oh! My mother never did color-coordinate us (heck, we'd just wear every color of the rainbow).

But wait, since your color is blue will this mean an upcoming post on blueberry cake? Hmmmmm...

Zarah Maria said...

Fantastic looking cake Cathy!

Stephanie said...

Like you, I'd have skipped right by this one, but now that I've seen it and read about it?

Well, I might not eat it myself (but then again, when do I ever eat the things I bake?), but I'm sure I know a few people who would like it!

I've not heard of that book; I'll have to give it a look.

Cathy said...

Hi Santos! I never would have dreamed this up, but it turned out to be something I liked a lot. The cake had a teaspoon of cinnamon and a quarter teaspoon each of nutmeg and allspice.

Hi Rowena - thanks! I ought to make a blueberry cake since I have that blueberry bush...hmmm, and my birthday conincides with my blueberry harvest... Rowena, I think you may be on to something!

Thanks Zarah! I was lucky to find some halfway decent looking strawberries this time of year. Usually everything is boxed and besides being not so pretty, they're gigantic!

Hi Stephanie! I think the book is out of print, but they have copies at Jessica's Biscuit (see the link in my post). I think the only recipes I've tried in the book have been cakes, but I've tried 4 or 5 of them now and have liked them all.

Niki said...

And I reckon you should ice that blueberry cake in the brightest, most garish blue frosting you can make. Go food colouring!
Strawberry and spice sounds really interesting - I'd never thought of that combo. Good for the cooler months, I'd think.

Cathy said...

Hi Niki! Yes, yes, yes - what a photo op! Now, do you suppose I could get anyone to eat it?

Nupur said...

Cathy, that looks delicious! I love the idea of strawberry together with cheese and a hint of spice. A home-made birthday cake is such a cute touch...with all those memories behind it.

Cathy said...

Hi Nupur! Thanks so much! In my mind a homemade birthday cake is almost a requirement... though I admit I've bought one or two in my time after a cake-baking disaster!

Nic said...

This cake looks so delicious, Cathy. Sugar, spice and strawberries - yum!

Cathy said...

Hi Nic - thanks! The recipe I used was apparently based on a recipe that used blackberry jam - wonder how that is?