I am so angry with myself. I did this recipe completely in advance, had all of the images taken and just forgot that it was Tuesday. So, I am posting this late not because I am a slacker, but because I am a flake.
Anyways, I was really excited about this recipe. I love strawberries and have been eating tons of them since they have come into season. Also this landed perfectly so that I could make it for my fathers birthday, strawberries are his favorite. But I have to say I was disappointed.
I think first of all I had some problems with folding the dough into the batter as the bottom layer of my cake was extremely tough. Anyone have any tips to make this better? I made sure I mixed well, but at the same time was cautious not to overmix. I’m stuck. Another thing that I had a bit of a problem with was how much syrup still ran through the cake, making it not look very attractive once it set for more than an hour in the fridge…bleeding strawberry juice.
Really the top two layers were delicious, but it just didn’t get eaten…about a quarter of it ended up being the chickens dinner. Probably won’t be making this again.
On the bright side, I learned how to make a rocking homemade whipped cream.
Here is the link to one of this weeks hosts and her gorgeous version: thinklovesleepdine
French Strawberry Cake
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sifted cake flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 pints fresh strawberries hulled and sliced
1/4-1/3 cup sugar (to taste)
1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream
2 Tablespoons sour cream
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 large strawberries (with hulls)
Preheat oven to 350.
Grease and flour a 8 inch cake pan and fit the bottom of the pan with an 8 inch circle of parchment paper (I just used the baking spray with flour in it-no paper).
Pour the melted butter into a 1 quart bowl and set aside.
Sift the flour, salt and one tablespoon of the sugar together onto wax paper and set aside.
Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and add the remaining sugar. Using the whisk attachment (or handheld mixer) mix on medium (I actually found high to work better for me) until it is “airy, pale, and tripled in volume like softly whipped cream.” If you drop some of the batter back into the bowl it should retain it’s shape and sit on top for about 10 seconds. If yours does not, whip some more. Add vanilla extract during the last moments of whipping.
Sprinkle about 1/3 of the flour mixture onto the batter and very gently fold it in (scoop up some of the batter and fold it over on top of the flour) with a rubber spatula. Fold in the rest of the flour in 2 more additions. DO NOT OVER MIX! The batter will deflate slightly and that’s OK. I was afraid of over mixing and still had a few dry spots and it turned out fine.
Take about one cup of the batter and fold it into the bowl with the melted butter then fold that mixture in with the rest of the batter.
Pour into your prepared 8 inch cake pan and bake for 25 to 27 minutes. The recipe states that before baking you should use a spatula to move batter from the center to the outside to make slightly raised edges. I just give the pan a little spin on my counter top and like a little centrifuge it makes the outside part of the cake slightly higher.
The cake is done when it springs back slightly when touched. Let it cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes only (I am impatient and only waited about 2). Then carefully invert it and remove the cake. Remove the paper (if you used it) turn it right side up (I left it upside down because when it is covered with frosting you can’t tell which side is up anyway).
Prepare the berries by tossing them with sugar and letting them sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours. Then give them a light mashing and let it sit for another hour.
For the cream, whip all the ingredients in a mixer with whisk attachment (don’t leave the room and make butter). You want a soft whip cream not stiff. Tracks made my the whisk should close slowly and almost disappear.
To assemble the cake slice the cake into three layers. A turn table is helpful for this. Take a serrated knife and slice into it a third of the way down. Turn the table and slice a little more until you get all around the cake. Then slice a little deeper until you get through the middle. Repeat with the next layer. (I have not tried it but others reported that the cake was easier to slice when slightly frozen.)
Between each of the layers spread half the strawberries strained from their syrup, and a small layer of whipped cream. Ice the top and the sides of the cake with the whipped cream saving about a half cup for decorating. Spoon the remaining whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe 10 rosettes around the top of the cake leaving about an inch between the rosettes.
Slice each berry in half from tip to stem leaving some of the green on each half. Place each berry half on a rosette. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving.