Nothing says spring quite like heading to the farmer's market and letting the sweet scent of ripe, juicy strawberries lead you to the best stall in town. With strawberry season at its peek here in San Diego, this is a weekly event for me, and with this month's Blogger Clue Society's assignment being "spring", strawberries seemed the appropriate choice.
Today we head back to Michigan for another day at my favorite farm with Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm where I'm hoping spring has finally spread her wings. Apparently April blew in with even more cold weather and snow, and Wendy's talk of frozen ponds and snowy fields is somewhat unimaginable here in my San Diego world. A few new puppies seem to have brightened their cold world though, and I'm eagerly awaiting more photos of these cute little guys. (Wendy, we adopted brothers too and simply can't imagine life without them!)
I know, right? It sounded irresistible to me too. Rich and chocolaty, and sweetened with juicy, seasonal strawberries, we altered Wendy's recipe slightly to make it dairy-free for my family. And as a personal note to Wendy, my Father-in-Law sends his heartfelt thanks for completing our meal in such a "grand" fashion. He says he can't wait to see what you bring for him next year!
Now won't you join me as we travel the world for spring recipes from the rest of our Blogger Clue Society? Let's see what spring means to them!
Chocolate Strawberry Pound Cake
Dense, pure chocolate with a sweet, berry kick, this cake is the epitome of spring. Or, it's a sign of warmer days to come when served mid-winter. Either way, it's a decadent treat and makes a lovely finish to any meal or picnic. Oh, it also makes a nice lunch.
Adapted from A Day in the Life on the Farm
1 cup strawberry preserves, divided (we used our homemade Strawberry, Blueberry, Mango Jam)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened (we used Earth Balance dairy-free butter alternative)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs almond milk
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (optional - give a touch of tang like buttermilk or sour cream to the recipe)
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350º and prepare a bundt pan with cooking spray (we used Trader Joe's Coconut Spray). Set aside.
Gently heat 3/4 cup of the strawberry preserves over low heat on the stove, just until melted.
Place the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and whisk a few times to incorporate. Set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, place the softened butter and granulated sugar and mix until incorporated - about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each egg, then stir in the melted preserves and banana, and then the almond milk, cider vinegar and vanilla. Beat again until incorporated.
Add the flour to the mixing bowl and mix on low speed just until incorporated. If batter seems too thick, add a tablespoon or two of additional almond milk and mix gently to incorporate.
Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt Pan and place into the preheated oven and bake 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean (mine was good at just under 50 minutes).
Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
While cake is cooling, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of preserves over low heat on the stove until melted.
Turn cake out onto a cake plate after cooling and brush with the melted preserves. Then allow to cool completely.
To serve, dust cake with powdered sugar (it looks pretty that way!). Cut and place slices on serving plates. Scoop a spoonful of fresh strawberries next to the cake and dust again with powdered sugar.
Wendy served her cake with a divine Strawberry Cream (infused with Amaretto!) or for a dairy-free version you could use our irresistible Coconut Whipped Cream.
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