I know its seems forever since I had blogged. Sorry fellow blogger's, I have not had the time to look at any of your blogs. I will take a look at all your posts soon. I was also very busy preparing for my daughters birthday and keeping her busy over the winter break. For her birthday party, my daughter wanted me to bake the birthday cake. She always wants a strawberry cake with whipped cream frosting. Though I love to bake cakes, I have always had problems when it comes to baking her birthday cake. I usually order the cake from the local super market chain Vons ( they make the best fruit layered whipped cream frosting cakes). Not this time,she told me that she believes in my baking skills and wanted me to bake it with her help.
I think this one is the best cake I have baked so far. I thought it was a big deal when I first read the recipe it was very over whelming even though the recipe was very simple. I confess that I ran into issues with my whipped cream, so I made changes to the frosting as per the advice of my little baker and all ended well. It also helped because she picked the little mermaid theme and decorating was a breeze. I must make a mention that in birthday parties most cakes are chucked into the trash. No kid eats the cake, but this one had minimum wastage and the adults enjoyed it. At the end of the day my daughter and I were very proud of our achievement.If anyone wants to bake any such cakes please give this one a try.
I am documenting the original recipe and marked my additions in red for all those who want the original recipe.
Measuring cups, spoons and scale
Spring form pans 2 (9 inches)
For the Strawberries:
Strawberries - 2 pints, rinsed and hulled ( I used 3 cups)
Granulated Sugar - 1 tbsp
Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice - 1 tbsp ( about 1.2 a lemon)
Vanilla Extract - 1 1/2 tsp
Grated Lemon Zest - 1 tsp
Cake Flour - 2 cups
Baking Powder - 2 tsp
Kosher Salt - 1/2 tsp
Vegetable Oil - 1/2 cup
Water - 1/4 cup
Lightly Packed Lemon Zest - 1 tsp
Vanilla Extract - 2 tsp
Large Eggs - 6, separated
Granulated Sugar - 1 1/2 cups
Mascarpone Cheese - 1/2 cup
Heavy (Whipping) Cream - 1/2 cup( check for fat content over 35%)
For the Frosting:
Vanilla Extract - 1 tbsp
Granulated Sugar - 6 tbsp
Heavy (Whipping) Cream - 3 cups
1 cup mascarpone cheese (my addition)
Sugar toppings that go with little mermaid theme (Michael's)
Wilton's Blue granulated sugar
Preparation:( as per the original recipe)
Combine all ingredients in a medium nonreactive mixing bowl and toss to thoroughly coat strawberries. Let macerate at room temperature at least 20 minutes before using. Strain macerated berries and reserve syrup separately.
Heat oven to 350°F and arrange rack in upper third. Butter and flour two 8-inch( I used 9 inch) cake pans. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a mixing bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, combine vegetable oil, water, lemon zest, vanilla extract, egg yolks, and 1 1/4 cups of the sugar. Whip on medium speed, until mixture is airy and light in color, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl; add dry ingredients and whip until smooth, about 1 minute more.
In a clean bowl, whip egg whites to medium peaks. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute more. Using a rubber spatula, fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the cake batter until evenly incorporated; gently fold in remaining egg whites until just combined.
( I used a spring form cake pan. Lined the base with the parchment paper and the sides I coated with some butter.)
Divide batter between prepared cake pans. Bake until surface of cakes springs back when pressed and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Remove cakes from the oven, and let cool 15 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of each, and turn them out onto wire racks to cool completely. Meanwhile, make the filling and the frosting.
For the filling:
Combine mascarpone cheese and heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whip until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the frosting:
(note: the heavy whipping cream from Costco does not have the required fat content and I ran into issues with the consistency of whipped cream. The fat content over 35% works well and so to stabilize the frosting I added mascarpone cheese)
Place the cleaned bowl of the stand mixer and the whip attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes. ( I had it in the freezer for 1 hour)
Combine vanilla extract, sugar, mascarpone cheese and heavy cream in the chilled bowl and whip at medium speed until medium peaks form, about 2 minutes.
Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least one hour. (The frosting can be prepared upto 12 hours ahead.)
Using a long serrated knife, trim the tops of the cakes as necessary so they are level. Place cake rounds on a clean, dry surface and, using a pastry brush, brush 1/2 of the reserved strawberry syrup on the cut side of the first cake round; repeat on the cut side of the second cake round.
Evenly spread 1/4 of the mascarpone filling over the cut side of the bottom cake layer. Arrange strawberries standing upright, stem end down, over the mascarpone layer and trim as necessary to create an even layer. Cover berries with the remaining filling, being sure to fill in any empty space.
Place second cake layer over mascarpone and strawberries, cut side down, pressing gently to secure it. Using an offset spatula or a long, thin spatula, spread 3/4 cup of the frosting in a thin layer over the top and sides of the cake. Return remaining frosting and cake to the refrigerator until frosting on cake is set, about 15 minutes.
Spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides of the cake. Let sit in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before serving. ( I kept mine for over an hour)
Using the offset spatula make wave like flicks on the icing to get wave like effect.