Saturday, March 3, 2012

Strawberry Cake

Let's talk cake! Strawberry Cake.

It was 80* degrees yesterday. Do you know what that means? Windows down, radio up! I wish we could say it was our first taste of spring, but the truth is we haven't had too much of a winter... and my wife was inspired. We had friends over last night, so she decided to bake this cake, and it was a huge hit!

It's a homemade vanilla cake (compliments of Joy The Baker), filled with a strawberry syrup, and a whipped cream frosting.

You may remember Louise's cake from this summer? Well... this is that... on steroids!

One of the things I love about this cake is that it's not overbearingly sweet. It's very light and airy, yet satisfying. This was the first time since December I had eaten anything with sugar in it, and I thought it would make me feel bad, and give me a headache, but it didn't. It actually did the opposite...made me feel great!

I hope you like it!

Vanilla cake (from Joy the Baker)

1 2/3 cups all-purpos flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature (2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean
1 cup milk

Strawberry Syrup

1 cup strawberries plus more for layering and the top of the cake
1 small package Strawberry Jello Pudding Mix
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup sugar

Whipped Cream Frosting
2 cups Heavy Cream
1 1/2 cups sugar

Preheat oven to 350*

To get started, dice strawberries (you may want to half a few for the top of the cake), and mix with water, Jello Pudding Mix, and sugar. Stir to coat, and place in the refrigerator to rest.

Next, start on your cake mix. In a medium bowl, wisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds until well incorporated.

Add half of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until almost incorporated. Add the milk. Blend. Add the rest of the flour mixture and beat until almost incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and finish incorporating the ingredients with a spatula.

Divide into round cake pans, and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes.

Let cool completely!

While that's baking, get started on your whipped cream frosting. Pour 1 1/2 cups sugar into the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with the wisk attachment. Next, pour in your heavy cream, and begin to blend on low to incorporate all of the sugar for about a minute. Then, bring the speed slowly up to medium-high, blending vigorously. In about 3 minutes, it will begin to form whipped cream. Allow it to blend for another minute or so until it is very thick. When it's done, set in the refrigerator to rest.

After your cake has completely cooled, punch holes all around both layers with a straw. Next, lay your first layer on the cake platter, and pour a small amount of the strawberry filling mixture over the cake allowing the cake to soak it in. Next, add a layer of whipped cream frosting, and strawberries. Then, add your next layer, and punch holes again, and add more of the strawberry sauce mixture. Then, coat the top and sides with whipped cream frosting, and top the cake with strawberries.

Keep refrigerated.

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