Monday, May 31, 2010

Strawberry Cake (with Real Strawberry Puree)

The strawberry cake was a success! YAY! Abby took the cake back to college for the birthday boy, but left some cupcakes here for us to enjoy (and photograph). The cake is bright pink, made from scratch-with with real strawberries! The cake packs a good strawberry taste. Taste! Not the boxed cake mix perfumed aroma that is supposed to stand in for taste. Yummy!

I think the frosting needs work. We used a basic cream cheese frosting...and I think it is a bit too much for the cake. A plain buttercream would be better, but I think a whipped cream frosting or a milk chocolate frosting would be best...or maybe we should have tried the posted frosting, too. DUH!

I am hoping Abby will send a picture of her cake. She's going to decorate it with chocolate covered strawberries with a white chocolate drizzle. It should look spectacular. This boy had better now propose. He'd be the third. In a year. Until then though, here's a picture of the cupcake she left for me!

I found the recipe here... but had to change it a bit. I have included the strawberry frosting recipe from the site...perhaps we should have made that, too.

Strawberry Cake

2¼ cups cake flour (9 ounces)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1½ sticks), softened but still cool
6 large egg whites (¾ cup), at room temperature
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups strawberry purée (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick baker's cooking spray. Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended, set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low speed. Add in butter and continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining. Add all but ½ cup of milk-egg white mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed for 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup of strawberry purée and beat for 30-45 seconds. Then, add remaining ½ cup of milk mixture, and beat 15 seconds more. Add another 1/2 cup of purée, and beat for 15 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed, and beat 20 seconds longer. Do not over-mix. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. (If oven is small, place pans on separate racks in staggered fashion to allow for air circulation OR bake them individually.) Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes.

Let cakes rest in pans for 5 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Re-invert onto additional wire racks. Let cool completely, about 1- 1½ hours.

For Strawberry Puree
2 cups fresh strawberries,sliced and stems removed
1/4 sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

Place the cut strawberries in a blender. Add sugar and lemon juice. Purée the mixture until smooth. You will need 1 1/2 cups puree for the cake and 1/4-1/2 cups puree for the frosting.

Strawberry Frosting (did not test--but probably would have been better than the cream cheese frosting we did use)

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1/2 cup shortening (can sub more butter for a less fluffy frosting)
3-4 cups powdered sugar (to taste)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 - 1/2 cup strawberry purée

Beat butter and shortening for 3 minutes. Slow down beater or mixer, and add powdered sugar one cup at a time. Once the mixture is well-integrated, add in the purée until desired consistency is reached.

Thanks for visiting!

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