Sunday, August 21, 2011

Strawberry Cream Cake

I was once invited to a Norwegian's woman's home because a Norwegian friend of mine was in town.  This woman simply insisted that we come over so we could chat.  Plus, she said that she made this wonderful strawberry cream cake that we just had to try.  So the day arrived and we went for a visit.  It was one of the most delicious cakes I have eaten...keep in mind I don't really care for cakes as they tend to be drier than most other desserts or sweets I like to eat.  While this recipe is not the same, it too focuses more on not being a cake, but strawberry wonderfulness.  This particular recipe come from Scandinavian Baking by Pat Sinclair and as usual it is not quite the same as written, but particularly closer than other recipes.  How can one change something so wonderful?

Often this cake is made at the beginning of the strawberry season, but here the strawberries are still coming and they are still quite sweet.  I did not add extra sugar to bring out the flavors of the berries as they were sweet and juicy enough as they were.  I bet this cake is even better in Norway where the wonderful strawberries grow so sweet due to the amount of sunlight they get as they grow.

Strawberry Cream Cake
From Scandinavian Classic Baking by Pat Sinclair
Makes 10 to 12 servings
¾ cup cake flour
¾ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups chopped strawberries, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 tablespoon sugar
4 oz. cream cheese softened
1 ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

Heat oven to 350F.  Line two 9 inch pans with parchment paper.  Spray parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray.  Sift flour and 1 tablespoon sugar.

Place eggs, ¾ cup sugar, salt, cream of tartar, water and vanilla into a large mixing bowl.  Beat on high with whisk until thick and lemon colored, about 5 minutes.  The eggs should fall in a thick ribbon after 5 minutes which dissolves when it hits the batter.  Fold in the cake flour and mix until blended.  Pour into prepared pans and spread evenly.  Bakes 13 to 16 minutes or until the center springs back when touched lightly with a finger.

Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.  Run a spatula around the edge of the pans to release the cake.  Remove cakes from pan and peel parchment from them.  Let them cool completely on the wire rack.

Make the topping.  Mix strawberries with the sugar in a medium bowl.  This is unnecessary if the strawberries are sweet or you would like a tarter flavor.  Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla in a large bowl on high until the mixture is creamy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and gradually add the whipping cream while beating on low.  Increase speed to high and beat until soft peaks form.  Beat in strawberries for about 30 seconds.

Place one layer of the cake on a cake plate.  Spread with half the topping.  Add the second layer.  Spread with remaining topping.  Garnish with a cut strawberries or additional strawberries.  Chill at least two hours before serving.  Cake must be refrigerated.
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