Sunday, July 12, 2009

French Strawberry Cake

This week's Baking Beauties assignment was to make a French Strawberry Cake. In all honesty, I completed this cake a couple of weeks ago, to serve for dessert when we had some dinner guests. I was so pleased to be able to use the most delicious, fresh Ontario strawberries in this recipe. It wasn't the most attractive thing I've ever produced, but the flavour more than made up for its appearance.
And now you are going to think that I purposely avoided posting pictures because of the ugliness of my finished cake. It's simply not true. It just so happens that my wonderfully inquisitive son completely destroyed our computer (where all of my pictures had been loaded). This morning, out of desperation and anger from trying to use even start-up our clunker of a computer, we went out and bought a shiny, brand new laptop. Yes! This one is strictly hands off for the little tyke - no matter how much he fusses and whines.

So, until I find some time & patience or (more likely) a magic wand to impart some life back into our old computer, those pictures will not be making an appearance on this blog anytime soon.
So,back to the cake. The base of this cake is a genoise. It's the French standard for cakes, much as our standard over here is a butter cake (which happens to be so much more boring, in my opinion). Of course, it's intersting texture also means it's also more difficult to execute. Thankfully, I have my trusty Kitchen Aid mixer to whip those eggs and sugar into the viscous mass that is required by the recipe. Julia says to mix them until a ribbon stays on the surface for 10 seconds. Mine, in fact, never disappeared. Good job, KA!
Since there is no leavening agent in the batter, all of the air that you incorporate into the mix is all that will keep the finished cake light and airy. You need to be extremely careful while folding in the dry ingredients. While at cooking school, I remember doing this process by hand. I stuck with using the spatula this time. It seemed to have done the job!

Now, my one mistake is that I thought I was smart in using a 7" round pan instead of the suggested 8", so that my finished cake would be taller, and therefore easier to slice into three pieces. Unfortunately, this resulted in a big portion of the batter spilling over the sides of the pan while cooking. I won't be making that mistake again.
The cream was a breeze to mix together and I especially enjoyed the slight tang that the addition of sour cream added to the frosting.
Overall, I enjoyed this recipe. The cake was basic enough to really let the flavour of the strawberries shine through. And, by not cooking the strawberries with sugar, the freshness wasn't lost. I will definitely have a redo of this recipe, if only to use up the last of the strawberries we picked by hand. Is there a better excuse to make cake?

Before I sign off, I'd like to say a huge CONGRATULATIONS to my sister Michele, her husband Jerry and their son Truman. On Saturday they welcomed the beautiful Oliver Henri Topolski as the newest member of their clan. Oliver, you are just gorgeous!


Kim said...

No pics of Oliver either then I suppose? :) I just got a new laptop too!

Tina said...

Well... I managed to get those pics off of the old computer. But, I am not supposed to post any until my sister does.
What kind of laptop did you get?

Kristina said...

I would love to see an ugly Tina cake. I don't believe such a thing could exist.

Yeah for new baby Oliver!