08 May 2012

strawberry & cream birthday cake

the cake was an order for family friends’ daughter’s 21st birthday. they asked for something light and spring-like, fruity, so i made the most obvious choice: strawberries and cream. in poland we call all layer cakes the same word, “tort”, although it usually means some celebration cake, like for birthday or festivals or anniversaries. such word is rather lacking to me in english, and although usually just saying “layer cake” is enough to describe it, it just doesn’t do the justice. 






simple yet elegant strawberry & cream birthday cake recipe

sponge cake
(for 1 round 22cm / 9” cake, to be cut in 2 layers)
4 eggs, separated
1 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
salt

whip the egg whites with salt until foamy, then continue adding sugar in 3-4 portions and beat until stiff
beat egg yolks with mixer (in small bowl would do) until pale and fluffy
mix the two on low speed
add flour sieved with baking powder and mix delicately with rubber spatula until there are no more flour lumps
bake for 35-40 min in 180°C (i don’t preheat my oven when i bake sponge cakes, it helps the top to be more flat as the sides seem to raise more easily)

whipped cream
500 whipping cream
4 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tsp gelatin
vanilla essence

soak the gelatin in 2 tbsp milk
whip the chilled cream (cooling the bowl in fridge for some minutes helps), when it is thick and fluffy add sugar and continue beating until it gets stiff – take care not to overbeat
melt the gelatin in water bath and cool down until it’s lukewarm, add slowly to the whipped cream mixing on
high speed to prevent lumps from creating as it’s cold and the gelatin will settle
add a splash of vanilla essence and mix until incorporated

soaking mixture
200 ml lukewarm water
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 tbsp sugar

mix everything until the sugar dissolves, leave to cool down

assemble
strawberries
wafer tubes, suitable length for the height of the cake
ribbon

put aside a handful of prettiest strawberries, chop the rest in rather small pieces
cut the cooled cake in 3 even layers
soak each layer with mixture, be careful not to soak too much, but it must be rather moist so don’t be afraid!, then spread some whipped cream and toss some strawberries
for the top: spread the remaining cream and try to make it smooth
for the sides: make a thick crumb coat, don’t worry if it’s messy because it only has to be covered with wafer tubes
to finish: pipe little rosettes and alternate them with remaining strawberries, tie the ribbon around the cake


9 comments:

  1. i am soo making this for a friend who requested strawberries and cream for his bday cake!

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    1. i really hope you will be satisfied with the result : )

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  2. hi there i made this taste delicious. however the wafer tubes turned soggy almost immediately. is there any way to prevent that?

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    1. hmm i never had this problem and i made this kind of decoration many times, so i guess it must depend on the thickness & quality of the wafer tubes.
      i think it could help to skip doing the crumb coat for the sides with whipped cream and switch for simple buttercream instead, spreading a thin thin layer, only that the tubes stick. it would make the flavour of the cake a bit richer and more buttery but i believe that it would not be a big difference since the amount of buttercream used would be minimal :)

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  3. Wow! This is a truly gorgeous cake! I think I will make it tonight for my brother-in-law's birthday... It's not very "manly" but I am sure he will love it (strawberries and cream... What's not to love?!)
    How far ahead do you think I should make this so it stays so impressive? I have a feeling it would probably be best to assemble it JUST before delivery! :)

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  4. My cake shrunk in the middle any ideas why?

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    1. Maybe try leaving the cake in the oven to cool down? It might not rise properly if you overmix the batter, too, so try to keep the mixing very delicate and to minimum, only to make sure there are no lumps etc. Also, if might be a good idea to leave the cake baking for 2-3 minutes after you check and a toothpick comes out clean, it can be a bit more dry as you make the soaking syrup anyway. Hope that helps! :)

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