Strawberries are pretty tasty this time of the year. I had been purchasing them from farmer’s stands and farmer’s markets as they are always good, unlike other places where it’s hit or miss.
They’re quite expensive though, at $5 -$8 per green basket, but totally worth it as they are sweet and delicious all the way through. I like eating them just as is, after washing. No need for anything else as they are very tasty…and fragrant.
There are no green sour patches on these at all. And since they are so good, I decided to make a cake for my mom’s birthday. I have quart of whipping cream and a dozen home grown eggs in the fridge so I’m all set.
I had been trading loaves of sourdough bread for eggs with my co worker once a week, so the eggs I have are really fresh. Which is important, as the cake is a simple sponge cake recipe where in your ingredients need to be really good and fresh for it to taste great. The frosting is a simple, lightly sweetened vanilla whipped cream, and topped with the best tasting strawberries you can find, this will be a cake you will make over and over.
We had to go to a soccer game at 9 am so I baked the layers and let it cool upside down for 20 minutes while we got ready, turned them right side up to cool completely while we were gone. I then whipped the cake, sliced the strawberries, and put the cake together after lunch, then chilled it for an hour before driving it over to my mom’s. Busy day!
I did not expect a lot of requests for this recipe so I did not photograph anything while whipping up the first, full sized cake. I did not have the time to either as I was rushing to get it done before we had to leave. However, since I did get a few requests, and since there was no left overs after it was demolished at my mom’s, I decided to make another, smaller cake for our home.
I halved the recipe and baked them in two 5-inch round cake pans. They were filled and frosted the same way as the full sized 8/9 inch cake. It was just enough for 6 slices, 2 each for me, my husband, and my son.
So here it is. There are a lot of steps but it is easy and the results are more than worth it. Feel free to break the steps down like I did to fit your schedule. I promise you will be amazed with the end results.
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275 grams eggs
124 grams sugar
146 grams cake flour
45 grams milk
14 grams melted unsalted butter
1 pound fresh strawberries
500 grams cold heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line 2 (8 or 9 inch) round cake pans with parchment paper cut to fit.
2. Combine eggs and sugar in a small metal bowl. You will make a makeshift double boiler using the bowl and a small saucepan.
3. Place bowl over a small pan with simmering water.
4. Cook, stirring, until a thermometer reaches 98F.
5. Transfer the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer.
6. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high for 4 minutes.
7. Lower speed to medium and beat until ribbons form, about 5 more minutes.
8. See the videos above to determine when to stop. You should be seeing clear ribbons in the batter. This is important as this cake has no leavening, aside from the air trapped in the egg mixture.
9. Sift flour into a bowl to aerate it.
10. Place milk in a microwave safe bowl.
11. Place the butter in the bowl too.
12. Heat the mixture for 30 seconds and stir to melt butter.
13. Fold in 1/3 of the flour into the egg mixture until combined. Repeat twice more to use up the flour.
14. Slowly add the milk and butter mixture and stir to combine.
15. Do not overmix as you need the air in the mixture to make your cake light and fluffy. Mix just until combined.
16. Pour into the prepared pans. Drop the pans from about 2 inches from the counter to release any big bubbles.
17. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
18. In the meantime, slice a few of the strawberries into thin slices, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch.
19. Remove the cakes from the oven when done.
20. Invert them onto a cooling rack sprayed with nonstick spray. Let cool for at least 20 minutes.
21. Turn them right side up and cool completely.
22. Unmold and peel off the parchment paper.
23. In the meantime, pour the whipping cream in the bowl of the stand mixer. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form.
24. Wash, rinse, and dry a few strawberries left whole. Cut them in half lengthwise if desired.
25. Place on cake layer on the serving plate.
26. Spread an even layer of whipped cream over.
27. Top with sliced strawberries, trying to follow the shape of the cake. Cut the strawberries if needed.
28. Top with a little more whipped cream, just enough to cover the strawberries.
29. Top with the second cake layer and gently press down.
30. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining whipped cream.
31. Top with whole or sliced strawberries. Chill until set, about an hour or so.
32. You can serve it like this or decorate with melted chocolate.
33. I used melted Hershey’s sugar free chocolate to pipe zigzags on the strawberries I used to top my mom’s cake. You can also pipe it across the top of the cake.
34. Slice it carefully, serve and enjoy!
35. See how beautiful this cake is? Yum!
The picture below is my mom’s 9 inch cake, all lit up, with the chocolate topped strawberries and chocolate greeting on the side. It was totally out of this world delicious.