Monday, June 24, 2013

Strawberry Dream Cake

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Our family was recently invited to some friends' house for dinner.
It was the first time since we moved that someone other than my parents was brave enough to do so.
I mean, having a family of 7 over is no joke!
Not many people are willing to do it.
This particular family has 7 kids of their own, so I think they knew what they were doing. :)

I offered to bring something and was of course thrilled when our hostess said I could bring dessert.

Hurray!  Time to try out a new recipe!!
(Grant thinks I'm such an adrenaline junkie for doing that.....trying out new recipes on other people. But I know I'm not the only one.....y'all do it too, right????)
Well, I actually tried out two new recipes - the other one will be coming soon.  And it involves lots of chocolate.  So stay tuned!

If you like strawberries at ALL, this is a must-make before strawberry season ends.  Well, okay, strawberry season is over here in Arkansas, but we're still getting some beautiful berries from California, so they'll do just fine.

I really can't recommend this cake highly enough.

Perfectly strawberry without any food coloring or artificial colors or flavors. My kind of cake.

It's got frozen berries pressed of their juice, which is added to the cake, while the pulp is added to the frosting.  There are sliced fresh berries sandwiched in the middle and garnishing the top - and the delightfully from-scratch cake is covered with a cream cheese frosting reminiscent of strawberry ice cream.

Yeah, I know.

Who wouldn't want a piece of this?

Strawberry Dream Cake
adapted slightly from Galley Gourmet
Originally from Cook's Country, July 2011

*Note: If you don't have cake flour, you can use 2 cups of flour and 1/4 cup cornstarch.  Sift together several times.

10 ounces (2 cups) frozen whole strawberries
3/4 cup whole milk
7 large egg whites, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour*
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt (if you use unsalted butter, increase salt to 1 tsp.)
12 Tbsp. (6 oz) salted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened

10 Tbsp. (5 oz) salted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
12 ounces cream cheese, cold and cut into pieces
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pulp from frozen berries in cake
8 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced thin

For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and lightly spray with non-stick baking spray. (Or just butter and flour the pans really well).
Put frozen berries in a microwave-safe bowl and heat until the strawberries are soft and have released their juice, about 5 minutes.  Place the berries in a fine mesh strainer set over a small saucepan.  Firmly press fruit dry (juice should measure 3/4 cup); reserving strawberry solids.  Bring juice to a boil over medium-high heat; cook stirring occasionally until syrupy and reduced to 1/4 cup, 6-8 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in milk.

Whisk strawberry milk, egg whites, and vanilla in a bowl. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed until blended.  Add butter, one piece at a time and mix until only pea-size pieces remain.  Add half of the milk mixture, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.  Reduce speed to medium-low, add remaining milk mixture and beat just until incorporated, about 30 seconds.  Give the batter a final stir by hand.

Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake until the cakes are lightly golden, about 20-25 minutes. Cool cakes in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove the cakes from the pans, discarding parchment, and cool completely, about 2 hours.  (Cooled cakes can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days)

For the frosting:
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter and sugar on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds.  Increase speed to medium-high and beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add cream cheese one piece at a time and beat until incorporated.  Add reserved strawberry solids, vanilla extract, and salt and mix until combined.  I had to remove a few stringy pieces of strawberry pulp.
Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use for up to 2 days.

Pat the strawberry slices dry with a paper towel.
Place one cooled cake on a serving plate.  Spread 3/4 cup frosting over the top of the cake.  Press 1 cup of the strawberries in an even layer over the frosting and cover with another 3/4 cup frosting.  Place the second cake on top and spread remaining frosting over the top and sides of cake.  Garnish the cake with the remaining strawberry slices.  Cake can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

Linked to Finding Joy in My Kitchen

1 comment:

  1. Oh Rebekah, you always make the best looking cakes. This just shouts summer. Yummy.


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