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Thursday, February 25,2010

Fresh Strawberry Cake with Chocolate Drizzle

By Danette Randall
Maybe it has something to do with longing for summer (OK, I’ll take spring at this point), but I always find myself rocking the strawberry recipes in February. I guess due to Valentine’s Day, strawberries are in abundance at most grocery stores.

Although they are not in season, I always manage to find red, plump and juicy ones just waiting to be devoured. I realize that just sounded like a lipstick advertisement, but no … just a gleaming introduction for this week’s dessert: Fresh Strawberry Cake with Chocolate Drizzle. Of course the “fresh” refers to fresh, not frozen, strawberries. Not fresh, as in the last cake I made for you was stale. Got it? I’m sure most of you were thinking Will Smith finally came out with a dessert line. Think about that, it’s funny! I guess if I had to tell you it’s funny, it sure enough isn’t.

Back to the task at hand. Cake, yummy. This treat is such a burst of flavor, light and fresh, yet somehow hearty enough to be served after a nice February comfort meal. It is simple, elegant, and if you choose, you can garnish the heck out of it. Chocolate-dipped strawberries on the side, perhaps. This cake is so good you don’t even need the drizzle. I just like the extra pop of flavor and color it add — and it’s chocolate.

Enough said. Strawberry/chocolate combo just goes together, kind of like the Dessert Diva and curling. I am making my cakes and hoping they turn out, as I can’t take my eyes off the curling event. Maybe it is because it might be the only Olympic sport to which I can say, “Hey, I could do that.” Just like I’m sure most people say when they see one of my recipes.

Well, you can do this one, and I hope you do. Sweep, sweep; bake, bake.

Now, follow the directions, put some love into it and invite me over when it’s done!

Before you start:
Make sure to pick bright red strawberries. If you prefer no chocolate, whipped cream is great with this cake.

Fresh Strawberry Cake with Chocolate Drizzle

2 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1-1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup strawberries (diced)
1 tbls. white sugar
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tbls. unsalted butter powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, lightly grease a 9-by-5 loaf pan. In small bowl, toss strawberries with 1 tbls. sugar. Set aside. In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar and baking soda.

In large bowl, beat eggs and almond extract; slowly beat in oil. Toss in strawberries and sugar, mix by hand. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients, carefully using beaters; mix until well combined. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Take out and cool.

When ready to serve, melt butter and chocolate chips in the double boiler (or microwave, if desired) until smooth. Slice cake and place on dish, drizzle with chocolate and garnish with powdered sugar and extra sliced strawberries. Enjoy!

Note: you can also invert cake onto serving platter, drizzle chocolate all over, let set and then cut and serve.

You can watch the Dessert Diva every Monday at 8:35 a.m. on Channel 2. To contact Danette at the station, visit 2thedeuce.com, and click on Daybreak on the Deuce. To chat and/or send comments and suggestions, write to jdromega@aol.com.

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