Friday, July 6, 2012

STRAWBERRY COFFEECAKE - GÂTEAU AUX FRAISES

Strawberry Cake 5 6 bis
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
- Winston Churchill
Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.
- Dale Carnegie
Failure, a terrifying and taboo seven letter word which makes most mortals shiver, gives us cold sweat and is surrounded by fear and shame. People dare mention it for it is a psychological weapon of mass destruction that has the power to annihilate every ounce of self-confidence that we possess, shatter our dreams in millions of pieces and break us down in a blitz. Like a dirty secret, it is whispered behing closed doors, in a hush-hush way as it is quasi-blasphemous to pronounce it aloud. It is the ugly monster hiding under our beds, the ghastly shadow lurking behind closed doors and the scary skeleton in the closet... 

In our extremely modern and highly competitive world where everything is based on the winner-crusher-stab-in-the-back mentality, failure is something that cannot exist and is denied, hence it is shunned and looked upon negatively. For those who believe in the sacro-saint conquerer system that is imposed to us by our shallow society and which is based on continuous achievement, performance and gain, downfall is pitiful and absolutely not an option. One is not granted the right to be defeated otherwise he/she is categorized as a sad loser and seen as a dirty misfit.

A disgraceful attitude which is discouraging and not helpful nor motivating as individuals who face ruin are stigmatized in such a manner that they rarely have the power to get up on their feet again. They are constantly deminished and reminded of their humiliating descent into the tenebrous abysses of decay. When your face is continually rubbed in the dirt, others tread on you and you are considered a deadbeat because you have tripped while walking on the path to victory, then how will you ever be able to start anew and arise from the ashes? Instead, a little motivation and encouragement would be welcome.
Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.
- Zig Ziglar

Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.
- C.S. Lewis

Failure is nature's plan to prepare you for great responsibilities.
- Napoleon Hill

An inventor fails 999 times, and if he succeeds once, he's in. He treats his failures simply as practice shots.
- Charles F. Kettering

If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative.
- Woody Allen
After all, we are just humans, not machines and we can't systematically reach our goals at the first attempt or be inveriably perfect. How boring would that be! Life is full of ambushes, so trials and errors are a part of the game, and staggering is normal. Sometimes, in order to attain success and spice up our lives, detours are inevitable. Defeat is not when you stumble, it is when you accept to crawl on the ground on all fours and you refuse to move on or when you are paralyzed by cowardice and self-loathing. No pain, no gain! Suffering - in small proportions - is needed to make progress.

Embracing and transcending failure is vital if you don't want to stay stuck in that purgatotry for alleged deadbeats. Victimizing or blaming yourself has no purpose as it will bring you nowhere. If you understand that you can only overcome screw-ups by analyzing why things went wrong and know that your brain or apprehensions are your biggest barriers to triumph, then you'll be able to find a solution to your problems and will definitely not follow the same road again.

The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.
- Julia Child
Once in a while, even the avidest of bakers or cooks will experience a kitchen disaster. There are times when all hell breaks loose and dishes don't work out as planned. Nothing more unnerving, irritating and distressing than a floppy recipe or being misslead by our assurance and let down by our concentration. A terrible curse for the poor person who has been slaving behind the stove and doesn't see his/her efforts rewarded.

Each of us has bad days and there's nothing exceptional about that, but unfortunately, hiccups generally seem to occur only at the wrong moment. Remember that Easter bread which refused to rise and was as hard as a bullet, that famous Christmas roast of yours that was as tough as a leather boot because you were blabbering madly and forgot it in the oven or that infallible birthday cake which errupted similarly to a volcano and spurted batter all down the sides of the pan? Oh, you could have teared out your hair with anger, wailed like a desperate banshee and ran away so much facing your guests was painful and embarrassing. Moments of pure desperation and solitude...

Anyway, it is not the end of the world. Our culinary misadventures are rarely unbearable and "catastrophies" are here to indicate where we went wrong and help us ameliorate ourselves. This is what creates experience and knowledge. Occasionally they even give unawaited results.

Take the example of the famous Tatin sisters who created the first "Tarte Tatin" by inadvertence. Had Stéphanie Tatin not left the apples cooking in butter and sugar for too long, she would have probably never been alerted to her mistake by the smell of burning and covered them with pastry in an attempt to rescue the situation. Passing her mistake off as a special, her pie made it into history.

I'm not saying that all blunders lead to favorable outcomes, but I believe that we always can draw positive lessons from crises. For example, last week, I baked a simple "Strawberry Coffeecake" and the outcome was quite deceiving visually speaking. Instead of staying on top of the cake, the strawberries decided to sink to the bottom. So, as I wanted to know why this happened, I analyzed the situation and came to the conclusion that I was the one to blame because I decided to put my preparation in tin that was not big enough.* Audacity can be treacherous and play tricks on you. Damn!

Nonetheless, apart from being not too pretty, my creation was exquisite and I've had a lot of success with it. This buckle-like treat is moist on the inside and crisp on the outside, exhaliratingly fragrant, extremely fruity, not overly sweet and really easy to put together. A summery delight that will rejoice kids and adults alike, and will send you to strawberry heaven!

* Ok, maybe it wasn't entirely my fault. My oven door is broken and I have to keep it shut with a chair, so a temperature leak might also be in cause here...

Strawberry Coffeecake
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:
6 Tbs (90g) Unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for the cake pan
1 1/2 Cups (191g) All-purpose flour 
1 1/2 Tsp Baking powder
1/2 Tsp Fine sea salt 
1 Cup +2 Tbs (210g + 30g) Castor/granulated sugar 
1 Large egg
1/2 Cup (120ml) Milk 
1 Tsp Pure vanilla extract
1 Tsp Orange zest puree 
1 Pound (450g) Strawberries, hulled and halved

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180° C (350°F).
2. Butter a 25cm (10-inch) cake pan or pie plate, or a 23cm (9-inch) deep-dish pie plate. 
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium-sized bowl.
4. Cream the butter and 1 cup of sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed for about 2 minuttes or until pale in color, light and fluffy. Then, reduce the speed to medium-low and mix in the egg, milk, vanilla and orange zest puree. 
5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.

Strawberry Cake 3 3 bis
6. Transfer the batter to the buttered cake pan or pie plate.
7. Arrange the strawberries on the top of the batter, cut sides down, as closely together as possible (you may have to jam them in a little).
8. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the berries. 
9. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 170° C (325° F) and continue baking the cake for about 50 minutes or until it is golden brown and firm to the touch and a tester inserted into iits center comes out clean.  
10. Let it cool in the pan or pie plate, on a wire rack.
11. Cut into wedges and serve.

Remarks:
The cake can be stored, well-wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to 2 days.
The orange zest puree is optional - I highly recommend you to use it though.

Serving suggestions:
Serve for dessert or teatime, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a strawberry coulis and accompany by tea, sparkling wine (Champagne, Clairette de Die, Prosecco, etc...) or Belgian blond ale.

Gâteau Aux Fraises
Recette adaptée de Martha Stewart.

Pour 4-6 personnes.

Ingrédients:
90g de Beurre non-salé, à température ambiante (+ un peu pour le moule)
191g de Farine
1 1/2 CC de Poudre à lever
1/2 CC de Sel de mer fin
210g de Sucre cristallisé (+ 2 CS/15g pour soupoudrer le dessus du cake)
1 Gros oeuf
120ml de Lait
1 CC d'Extrait de vanille pure
1 CC de Zeste d'orange en purée
450g de fraises, équeutées et coupées en deux

Méthode: 
1. Préchauffer le four à 180 ° C.
2. Beurrer un moule à gâteau rond de 25 cm de diamètre ou un moule à pie de 23cm de diamètre.
3. Dans un grand bol, tamiser ensemble la farine, la poudre à pâte et le sel.
4. Dans le bol de votre batteur électrique, battre le beurre et le sucre à vitesse moyenne pendant environ 2 minutes ou jusqu'à que le mélange soit de couleur pâle et "mousseux". Puis ajouter le zeste, l'œuf, le lait, la vanille et les zestes. Mélanger.
5. A faible vitesse, incorporer graduellement les ingrédients secs (farine/poure à lever/sel).

6. Etendre la pâte dans le moule à gâteau ou à pie.
7. Disposer les fraises
aussi étroitement que possible sur le dessus de la pâte (côté coupé vers le bas).
8. Saupoudrer avec les 2 CS de sucre restantes.
9. Cuire le gâteau à 180°C pendant 10 minutes, puis réduire la température du four à 170 ° C et continuer à le cuire pendant environ 50 minutes, jusqu'à ce qu'il soit doré, ferme au toucher et qu'un cure-dent inséré en son centre en ressorte propre.
10. Laisser le cake refroidir dans le moule, sur une grille.
11. Couper en tranches et servir.

Remarques:
Le gâteau peut être conservé à température ambiante pendant 2 jours (bien l'emballer dans du film plastique).
La purée de zeste d'orange est facultative. Tout de même, je vous recommande fortement de l'utiliser car elle ajoute une note merveilleuse à ce gâteau.

Idées de présentation:
Servir à l'heure du dessert ou pour le goûter avec de la glace à la vanille ou un coulis de fraise et accompagner ce gâteau d'un thé, d'un verre de vin mousseux (Champagne, Clairette de Die, Prosecco, etc ..) ou d'une bière belge.

Strawberry Cake 9 5 bis

102 comments:

  1. The cake looks perfect to me! It's beautiful, wonderful photographs, Rosa!

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  2. Such a beauty! I really like this kind of cake, using fresh and in season ingredient.

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  3. Cake looks delicious! And of course the photos are amazing as always ;)

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  4. At this very moment, I'm having coffee in front of my computer WITHOUT that cake !! :(
    I need it!!

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  5. The cake looks spectacular, Rosa. Love these amazing clicks too.

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  6. What do they say? That we cannot appreciate the beauty and warmth of summer without having experienced winters harshness? Success means very little if we haven't known failure and happiness means less if we haven't known sadness and loss. To dare and be innovative (as Woody said) is the most magical, exciting, invigorating thing we can do and woe to those who don't dare; their life must be very boring indeed. And now I need to try this wonderful cake. Thank you, Rosa, for all of your thought-provoking and inspiring posts. x

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  7. I'm surprised to hear it didn't turn out as you expected - it looks perfectly delicious!

    Oh boy. Your words about failure really hit home with me. Thanks for reminding me that it's all a learning process.

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  8. Deeply touched by your write-up, I needed the most at this moment, thanks for the same. Lovely recipe with added amazing clicks.

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  9. Never thought about combining coffee and strawberries. The cook looks indeed perfect to me! Amazing shots!

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  10. Cake looks perfect!!! So tempting with the strawberry and sugar:)

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  11. Stunning and delicious!!
    I forgot about the history behind Tart Tatin...thanks for the reminder.
    :-)

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  12. Rosa! This is a stunning cake! I love the photos so much!
    Cheers:)

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  13. Love how you served it with extra strawberries on top. It looks scrumptious!

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  14. May all failures look as stunning as yours! ;-)

    seriously, this cake is a thing of beauty, and you wrote a masterpiece of a post to go along with it!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  15. Amazing shots and an even better cake!

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  16. What a perfect cake!
    Et que dire des divines photos!

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  17. Rosa love the cake, love the pictures and love the plate, blue is my favorite china!!

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  18. Les belles photos:) And so happy to not see another shortcake:)This one's unique.I can just tell it tastes"aux fraises"~

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  19. Quel beau gâteau, qui met superbement la fraise en valeur ! et Quelles jolies photos qui mettent superbement ton gâteau et la fraise en valeur.
    Des bises
    Cathnciftera 71

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  20. What a great recipe. Perfect baker's July recipe. As always your photos are marvelous!

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  21. Très appétissant... et des photos toujours aussi sublimes! Tu as un talent fou...
    Bises et bon we
    Dominique

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  22. Looks so scrumptious and perfect dessert with summer berries. Really beautiful!

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  23. Très belles photos, un gâteau extra super bien accompagné...un air de bonheur et de vacances flâne sur ton blog. Bisous

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  24. Oh my!! I would love a piece of this right about now!!

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  25. I just want to say a huge thank you for taking the time to post such a nice post, and I've been deeply touched by your words. We learn best from our mistakes though I'm surprised to read your cake "didn't turn out" as you expected. For me it looks really good and it's not easy to have a cake with such a beautiful,crispy texture on the outside. The combination of the ingredients you've chosen sounds absolutely heavenly! Have a nice weekend Rosa et gros bisous,
    Cheers
    Mamat

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  26. i do believe this is the first time i've seen strawberries used in a coffee cake--it's beautiful, rosa!

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  27. The cake looks delicious..
    The photos, as always breathtaking good.. I specially like the picture of strawberries in basket. What beautiful effect

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  28. I don't believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process.
    Oprah Winfrey

    I bet it tastes as wonderful as your fabulous photos make it look!

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  29. Rosa,
    your words are so appropriate for me right now as I embark in a new career. I am so scared of failing as I don't really know what I am doing. I need to keep going, even if I fail I can say I tried and maybe I will be successful!

    Your cake looks delicious!

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  30. Quelle gourmandise, j'aime ça moi quand ça dégouline:))

    Bon vendredi:)

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  31. Oh you have struck a cord with me today :) After the couple of weeks I have just had these are words to most definitely take heed of & they make me feel that I am actually on the right track & just need to keep on going! So thank you for brightening my morning with these wonderful words.

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  32. Right on Rosa! The essence of creativity is the ability to risk it all and try something. If we fail to meet the perfection in our mind's eye then we have learned something, or perphaps our vision was flawed and the reality produced it it's own perfect result. Love the post, your gorgeous images and the cake!

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  33. Failure is a frightening thing for many of us conditioned with the idea that failure = negative event.

    However, failure can be a really good thing because it reminds us of who we are, our limitations and how we can overcome the limitations. :)

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  34. Beautiful cake Rosa...and as always the pictures are breathtaking.
    Have a wonderful weekend :)

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  35. Vraiment appétissant ce beau gâteau Rosa. Tu as vraiment dû te régaler!

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  36. This certainly is no failure to me. If it is, may I please eat all your failures??

    I just love your photography, Rosa.

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  37. bonjour Rosa !!
    on apprend toujours des échecs, ils ne sont jamais inutiles, la réussite n'en sera que plus savoureuse ensuite tant dans la cuisine que dans la vie. Je trouve ce gâteau plutôt réussi et très tentant même, j'aime beaucoup !! Superbes photos comme toujours. Très bon week-end ;) merci pour ton passage Bizzz :)

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  38. A beautiful cake and failure has many times made some wonderful creations.

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  39. Wow Rosa! Your strawberry cake looks beautiful and delicious!! And I love your strawberry shot on the blue plate too. It's perfect balance.

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  40. Your coffee cake looks beautiful to me! I love cooking precisely because I have room to explore and innovate, perhaps I wouldn't repeat all my recipes but it’s always a learning experience.

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  41. what a lovely fruity cake.....
    i laugh at my kitchen failures , i don't get too upset. there's always next time ;-) love that you baked with a broken oven door :D

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  42. I am hungry and I wish I could eat this right now! Looks very delicious! Gorgeous pictures:)

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  43. Rosa, it's beautiful as always and I would not have noticed the strawberries petite collapse had you not said so. Instead, I think you've created a stunningly beautiful strawberry souffle.
    Sam

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  44. Honestly, this cake looks absolutely perfect to me! I love Julia's attitute toward food...very true!

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  45. Well, Rosa, it sure looks good to me! If you hadn't said anything, I would have thought it perfection. I bet it tastes divine!

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  46. If this is a mistake, it's a fabulous one! Love those gorgeous strawberries.

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  47. ça à l'air tellemenet bon
    @+++

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  48. Hey Rosa, I always get enticed by all your Superb recipes and here you get another feather in your hat ! I cant wait to try my hands on it. It is looking so good with all the lovely pictures and write up as well. Have a wonderful week ahead. Enjoy. Thanks & Regards, Sonia !!!

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  49. Fraises, tu me fais saliver !
    (et toujours sous le charme de la musique qui me rappelle furieusement un groupe irlandais de mon âme...)

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  50. To me that cake looks more than perfect!! it looks divine. And that shot of strawberries is fantastic :)

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  51. J'avoue être très très tentée...et mêlée aux saveurs orange....très très fin...
    bises Rosa et à bientôt...Je suis de retour et enfin connectée...

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  52. You make everything look so awesome here is another example just lovely!

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  53. Love strawberries! I am going to eat a lot of them again this summer!

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  54. Wonderful pics and a yummy cake; I love strawberries and this cake seems juicy,just the way I like it !
    Cheers;)

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  55. Rosa, this coffe cake with strawberries looks so delicious!

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  56. Une recette merveilleusement gourmande !! Bonne semaine, bises

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  57. I have had any diasters in my kitchen, none as sweet as yours. Great words Rosa!

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  58. Another great selection of quotes. And a really nice looking dessert - beautiful photos. I've had more than my share of kitchen disasters. In fact I had one just yesterday - though long experience with disasters allowed me to cope with it relatively easy (sometimes all that practice is a good thing!). Good post - thank you.

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  59. The cake looks beautiful Rosa. OMG what lovely photographs...I have to learn to learn so much from you. This is superb. Love strawberries....bookmarking this recipe as well:)

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  60. A perfect treat with a soothing espresso. ;)

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  61. Finally strawberry season here, what a delightful dessert to make. The quotes are inspiring. Have a great day!

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  62. The combination of coffee and strawberry sounds perfect! The photos are stunning as always.

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  63. This looks delicious Rosa. I wouldn't mind diving into this right now!

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  64. Rosa, that looks like a deliciously moist "failure" to me;)
    I never knew the story about the Tatin sisters. What a great tidbit!
    xo
    E

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  65. Hey there Rosa, I'm having some computer glitches here in Greece and wasn't sure that my earlier comment made it to you...
    Your "failure" looks absolutely delicious and I loved learning about the Tatin sisters. Here's to tasty mistakes!
    xo
    E

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  66. Anything that tastes delicious is not a fail Rosa. I hate to count how many baking disasters have come out of my kitchen.

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  67. Maravilloso cake una mezcla perfecta un encanto de reecta y fotos,abrazos hugs,hugs.

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  68. I have found that we learn more from mistakes than from successes... the photo of the strawberries "oozing" from the top is just wonderful!

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  69. What a great post! I've been experimenting a lot lately. When using weird ingredients consistency sure isn't the word for the usual outcome. I feel like a real jerk giving my kids burnt cookies but at the end of the day its good to have learned something.

    Your pictures are breathtaking as usual, I've made my share of blueberry cakes but strawberry is a real good idea! This looks tender and sweet.

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  70. Je prendrais bien un ptit café avec toi et avec une tranche de ce gâteau.
    Bonne semaine !
    verO

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  71. Hi Rosa,

    I just love visiting your blog because it is always thought provoking, mouthwatering and beautiful. Thanks!

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  72. Your poignant words about failure are lovely and speak directly to my own philosophy on the subject. Sometimes the things we care about, our projects, work, relationships, dissolve for reasons unknown or beyond our control. Rather than see these as a failure I see it as change in an ever-changing world. neither positive nor negative but merely a course in life that I must follow for the moment and if possible modify to the best of my ability. Regardless of the outcome, the sun will still rise and set, and I can try again under new circumstances. You of course put it more eloquently than I.

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  73. mmmm looks good! I love strawberries!

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  74. Très réussi. C'est une véritable tentation !

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  75. Yes we learn so much from failures although it's hard to see that at the time of the failure. Lovely cake Rosa! :)

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  76. Coffee cake is one of my all time favorites ~ what you have done with that strawberry sauce takes it over the top! Beautiful post Rosa :)

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  77. Looks like a perfect cake to bring along for a pot luck!

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  78. What a delightful mis-adventure. Beautiful. I wish my baking failures looked this good.

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  79. Dearest Rosa, This looks absolutely irresistible! Always delightful and original :) and that strawberry sauce on top is making me drool... Have a wonderful week!

    Hugs <3

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  80. Oh my goodness..that strawberry coffee cake looks AMAZING! Your stunning photos really showcase the mouth-watering beauty of those gorgeous strawberries!

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  81. I love reading about the things you write, always profound, always heartfelt. Loving the cake and the crumble texture :-)

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  82. Beautiful! I wish I can always turn all negative thing in to positive. I think life will be much easier :)

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  83. Yes, one has to learn from his mistake. An exercise that's not always easy...At least you could comfort yourself with a good slice of cake ;)

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  84. Hi Rosa, disaster or not, to me I just loved that moist crumbly piece of cake with the luscious strawberry sauce..Something I am craving so badly right now!

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  85. wonderful cake and love all the quotes

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  86. Oh my what an incredible cake! With your photography skills, it's almost too pretty to eat! But I'd dig in anyway! Salute', Roz

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  87. strawberry coffeecake sounds perfect, yours looks beautiful and delicious!

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  88. OMG, the cake looks heavenly! And your pictures are on a class of their own, awesome!!

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  89. What a beautiful coffeecake, I'd love a slice with prosecco!

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  90. As far as I'm concerned, failure is the way to success! And you def proved that with this cake Rosa (not that it's a failure at all!).

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  91. wow.. strawberry coffee cake looks so tempting.. Please pass me a slice.. I am salivating here...

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  92. Such beautiful tone on all the pics!

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  93. your photo is just perfection !

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  94. This cake leaps off my screen...too bad I can't eat it. In season strawberries are so good!

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  95. This coffee cake looks gorgeous - so perfect for summer. The strawberry sauce with it is irresistible!

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  96. Gorgeous photos and drool-worthy recipe, Rosa :)

    People who are busy chasing "perfection" out of life, isn't living life at all.

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  97. What gorgeous strawberries - and love the pic of the Jet d'Eau too! It seems failure has also been taken off the curriculum in schools, where EVERY child has to get a prize rather than learn that to fail at something is a necessary part of life and that it is natural!

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  98. So perfect avec une tasse de thé!

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  99. Gotta love Julia Child! Cooking is one big adventure and I think you cake looks delicious!

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