Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake

Monday, April 9, 2012

Strawberry Cake

submitted by Heather

When my sisters were visiting last month, we made this as a birthday cake to celebrate all of our birthdays. I love good excuses to make yummy desserts! I usually choose chocolate cake for my birthday, but this one looked so springy and delicious that we just had to try it.  It was very good.  I liked how it tasted like real strawberries, unlike boxed versions that give an artificial strawberry flavor.  The real star was the frosting, though.  It was very smooth, creamy and strawberry-y. It almost tasted like strawberry ice cream.  If you make this cake, make sure that the cake is cooled and ready to frost when you make the frosting.  We made the frosting and set it aside for a little while before frosting the cake.  While it still tasted wonderful, it didn't spread as beautifully as it would have, had it been used immediately.

Strawberry Cake

For the cake:
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¼ cups sugar
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs plus 1 large egg white
1 cup milk
2½ cups finely chopped fresh strawberries

For the frosting:
1½ cups fresh strawberries (8 oz.), rinsed, hulled and coarsely chopped*
4 large egg whites
1¼ cups sugar
3 sticks (1½ cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature

For garnish:
Additional fresh strawberries

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper rounds and butter the pan and the parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder and salt; whisk to blend.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar and vanilla.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the eggs and egg white one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions alternating with the milk, mixing each addition just until incorporated.  Gently fold in the chopped strawberries with a spatula.

Divide the batter between the cake pans.  Bake until light golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-28 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Allow to cool in the pans a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, place the strawberries in a food processor or blender.  Puree until completely smooth.  Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved.
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.  (The bowl should be cool to the touch.)

Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated.  If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again, about 3-5 minutes more (or longer – don’t worry, it will come together!)  Blend in the strawberry puree until smooth and completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Decorate the cake immediately for best results. Garnish with fresh strawberries

Source: Adapted slightly from Annies-eats.com who got it from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes


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