Saturday, June 30, 2012

Canadian Flag Cake

Gather ’round, mes petits choux! Tomorrow is Canada Day, and do I have a cake for you! Run - don’t walk! - to the grocery store to buy two packages of strawberry or raspberry Jell-O, eh? And about two pounds of fresh strawberries, eh? And a white cake mix, eh? And a small tub of Cool Whip, eh? And some Dr. Oetker (or the generic equivalent of) red glaze mix, eh? 
Start the celebration! Why not substitute sparklers for the flags?

I don’t normally bake with mixes, but tomorrow, Canada celebrates its 145th birthday, and this almost-as-old blogger has no intention of fussing in the kitchen. Because the US will whoop-de-do on the 236th anniversary of its independence from Britain on July 4, I’ll have a very special Fourth of July Pie for you in a couple of days - also very, very simple. I once lived in Australia - a spectacular country close to my heart - and promise to post one of my favorite Aussie recipes shortly before Australia Day, next January 26thSo many recipes! So little time! But today, the Canucks will bask in the spotlight, eh?
Canadian Flag Cake:
One 18 oz. (515 g) pkg white cake mix
Two 3 oz. (85 g) pkgs strawberry or raspberry Jell-O jelly powder (or generic equivalent)
2 c. boiling water
3 c. ice cubes
2-to-2-½ lb. fresh, ripe, hulled strawberries, divided
8 oz. (250 mL) Cool Whip (or generic equivalent), thawed in refrigerator for several hours
3-½ oz. (10 g) pkg powdered Dr. Oetker red glaze mix (or small amount of pre-mixed glaze)
Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. for glass or metal cake pan or (or 325 deg. F. for dark-colored or coated pan). Lightly grease and dust with flour a 13x9-in. pan. Prepare cake mix as package directs (using 3 egg whites, ¼ c. vegetable oil, and 1 c. water). Pour into prepared pan, baking 23-to-28 min. Cool in pan on wire rack. When cake has completely cooled, place cake in its pan on baking sheet with sides. 
Dissolve Jell-O in 2 c. boiling water. Add ice cubes, stirring 3-to-5 min. until slightly thickened. Remove remaining ice cubes with slotted spoon. Stir in 2 c. rinsed, dried, and crushed strawberries (crush with a blender set to “low” or “pulse”). Pour jelly mixture over cake in cake pan until jelly almost reaches top of cake pan, allowing second pan to catch any overflow. Try not to over-fill. Refrigerate 30 min. until jelly is well set. 
Lightly smooth thawed Cool Whip over entire cake, striving to even out  strawberry lumps and bumps. Cover with foil and return to refrigerator at least 2 hr. Cover and return any remaining Cool Whip to refrigerator. While cake and toppings are chilling, Google and print an image search of the Canadian flag. Set aside.
Rinse, blot dry, and slice remaining strawberries. Cover, chill, and set aside. When Cool Whip over cake has thoroughly chilled, patch any areas of “jelly bleed” with a second, light covering of Cool Whip. Cover and return to fridge, eh? When second layer of Cool Whip has set, line both “short” sides of cake with two columns of sliced strawberries laid side-by-side. 
Now the fun part: If the maple leaf image on the flag you’ve printed is approximately the correct size, center on cake equidistant from the sides, top, and bottom, marking outline with toothpick holes and filling in with sliced berries to resemble the maple leaf on the Canadian flag (Realizing too late that I’d started my maple leaf too low on the cake, I added small cloth flags to create the optical illusion of “raising” the maple leaf’s position on the cake. When the strawberries I laid down looked more like Mickey Mouse than the majestic maple leaf, Ron complied with my request that he fix my faux pas. Never be bashful about asking for help, Dollinks!).
With the berries artistically arrayed, follow red glaze package instructions, carefully dabbing on glaze for sheen, show, and color. Remove cake from baking sheet, serving directly from cake pan. Yields 18 slices of about 2x3-inches. I’ve made this cake for many years. Everyone, everytime, wants the recipe. So now they have it! 

Prepare pan: Knock flour into all corners, removing excess
Assemble all ingredients

This adds pizzazz!

Prepare cake mix as directed

Prepare jelly with boiling water, as directed

Stir in and remove ice cubes when slightly thickened

Add crushed strawberries
Frost with Cool Whip

Try to keep topping as smooth as possible
Slice strawberries. A lot of strawberries.
Check out the Canadian flag, eh?
I'm gonna try with a little help from my friends
(Ron's artistry and Dr. Oetker's red glaze mix)

Who, Moi, patriotic???

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