Happy Birthday Grandma - Take 2!

After having been unable to deliver the carrot cake I made for my grandmother for her birthday a few weeks ago, I made plans to make her a new one when I went to see her in North Bay for the Canada Day long weekend. First in my plans was to come up with a different cake for her. Carrot cake is just fine, but as we'd just had some recently, I wanted something a little more festive. I eventually settled on Strawberry Tunnel Cake as my choice for a summery dessert that was nice enough to serve to my Grandmother.

The first step in making this cake though involved making phone calls.

"Mom, do you own a tunnel or a bundt cake pan?"

"No. I don't bake, why would you ask such a silly question?"

"Okay, I'll call Grandma."

"Grandma, do you own a tunnel or a bundt cake pan?"

"Of course sweetheart! I'll have them all cleaned up and ready for you when you come. You can take them home with you after if you'd like."

Saved by Grandma again!

I had to make a slight variation to this cake recipe. I wasn't cooking in my kitchen where I know where everything is, where I plan recipes based on what I have on hand or can pick up and use again later. I was cooking in my mother's kitchen, and as she said, she doesn't bake. I have whole wheat flour on hand, she does not, so I swapped out the whole wheat for more all-purpose, knowing the cake would be missing a touch of nuttiness from the flour but also knowing that it should still work out fine. The recipe called for margarine (it is sponsored by a margarine maker after all) but I only had butter on hand. And I found out much later that she did own a hand mixer so I could have done a much better job creaming the butter and sugar. Oh well.

I had some concerns about the cake though, as the dough seemed very cobbler like and did not want to spread into the pan. The instructions use the word "pour" but there was no way this batter was going to pour into the pan. It had to be scooped and it had to be spread out. Nor could I get the strawberry mixture to stay in the channel I created for it.

Many dirty dishes later, the cake was in the oven, just in time to sit down to a family bbq dinner outside.

The cake tested as finished just as we were done eating dinner. No one wanted to wait for it to cool though.

I did make one other variation to the recipe before I served it though. The original recipe calls for a glaze of icing sugar and strawberry liquor or lemon juice. I could have done the lemon juice but I had this pot calling out to me, a pot of the juices from the strawberry mixture. So instead I added a bit of icing sugar to those lovely, fragrant juices, and glazed the cake with it instead. It gave the cake a lovely color, and added a touch of moisture to the cobbler like cake.

Finally I was able to deliver a cake to my Grandmother for her birthday!

Served with cold, soft ice cream, the cake was good. The sticky sweetness of the glaze was a needed addition, adding not only its strawberry flavor but also its moisture to what was a dense cake. It was enjoyed by adults and children alike and by the time we had all had a piece, there was only a small piece left to send home with my grandmother to enjoy the next day with her tea.

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