Sunday, March 8, 2009

More Cake, Please


I promised you in the last post that I'd show you two cakes, so here's the second installment. I owed my daughter a "cake with berries" since her birthday last summer. This one fit the bill nicely. Delicious, buttermilk cake, layered with strawberries nestled in billowing clouds of lightly sweetened whipped cream. Honestly, could you resist?

The only problem with this cake was in the cutting. It was not tidy. When I attempted to cut neat slices, they turned into the leaning tower of cake, collapsing on the cake plates in a jumble of cake, strawberries and cream. Good thing it was so tasty - everyone overlooked the presentation and dug in with "mmmmmm"s of enjoyment.

Strawberry and White Chocolate Buttermilk Cake
- adapted from Desserts By The Yard by Sherry Yard

cake:
2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
3 oz white chocolate (Valrhona is recommended, but I used Guittard)
6 oz (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1-3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

Filling;
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup creme fraiche
1 Tbsp sugar
2 pints strawberries, hulled and quartered


1- Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 deg. F. Spray a 12 x 17-inch half sheet pan with pan spray and line with parchment paper. Spray the parchment.

2- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

3- Melt the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at 50 percent power in 30 second bursts, stirring in between. Be careful so that it doesn't burn.

4- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and 1-1/2 cups fo the sugar on high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beaters and continue to beat for 3 more minutes, until light and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Whisk 2 Tbsp of the whipped butter into the melted white chocolate until blended. Scrape this mixture back into the butter and beat on low speed until well blended.

5- Add the egg yolks in 2 additions, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

6- On low speed, add the buttermilk and flour mixture alternately in 4 additions. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

7- In a separate large bowl, beat the egg whites on medium speed with a hand mixer until they form soft peaks. Slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar while you continue to beat on medium speed. Beat until the egg whites form stiff, glossy peaks. Fold half the egg whites into the cake batter, then gently fold in the rest.

8- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Using an offset spatula, spread the batter evenly over the pan. Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes. rotating the pan from front to back halfway through. Remove the pan from the oven. Allow to cool in the pan. Lightly spray the back of a half sheet pan with pan spray and cover with parchment. Invert the cake onto the parchment-covered tray, remove the pan, and peel off the parchment. (I didn't have two half-sheet pans, so I turned the cake out onto a cutting board.)

9- When the cake is completely cool, cut crosswise into 3 equal pieces. To get precise cuts, measure the thirds and mark with toothpicks before cutting.

10- Whip the cream, creme fraiche, and sugar together to medium-stiff peaks.

11- To assemble the cake, place the first piece of cake on a serving platter. Spread 2 cups of the whipped cream evenly over the top. Lay half the strawberries in the whipped cream and spread a little of the cream over the strawberries. Lay the second cake layer on top, and repeat with 2 cups more cream and the remaining strawberries. Top with the last layer of cake and spread the remaining whipped cream over the top. You can garnish with a few whole berries, if you choose. Chill until ready to serve. The cake can be assembled up to 4 hours ahead.


26 comments:

Heather said...

that looks so whimsical and beautiful! strawberry cake is one of my favorite cakes of all time. it reminds me of growing up spending days at my gram's house. mmmm.

Elyse said...

Lucky daughter! This strawberries 'n cream type dessert look so fabulous! You know, all day, I've been searching for a buttermilk cake recipe that looked enticing enough to make. And then you posted this! I can't wait to make this fabulous looking cake. Oh man, buttermilk cake is the best!

Jonathan and Gabriel Sovereign said...

I was one of those lucky enough to try this fantabulously yummy cake. Thanks for posting the recipe cause I'm certainly going to have to give this one a try. :D

dessertobsessed said...

what a pretty cake! it reminds me of fourth of july nights!

natalia said...

this is such a beautiful cake !!! I'll make it for Anita as soon as strawberry are ready !

The Blonde Duck said...

That is a gorgeous cake! So spring-like!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Sometimes, looks don't count and taste rules ultimately anyway.

Natashya said...

It is so beautiful! Thanks for the tip about cutting it, maybe I will try making individual stacks.

VeggieGirl said...

Hooray for magnificent cakes!!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

I love this one! We're in the middle of strawberry season here, so it's perfect.

Jennifer said...

Very pretty cake. It looks delicious, and if I were getting to eat it I surely wouldn't mind how it ended up on my plate :)

Peabody said...

Yes, how can you resist! This looks awesome.

Aimée said...

I can imagine this would be tough to cut. It would be cool as little individual portions! Still, it's lovely.

Lucy said...

We are not in strawberry season here yet - but that is a gorgeous cake! Very lucky daughter :)

Lucy said...

We are not in strawberry season here yet - but that is a gorgeous cake! Very lucky daughter :)

Maria said...

Now that is a cake! I don't care how messy it is to cut, sometimes the messy ones are the best!

Coco Bean said...

aww, so beautiful, and I am sure delicious. I instantly want to make a cake like this but Ian is allergic to strawberries. I will have to admire it from afar. Please eat a slice for me!

eatme_delicious said...

Yummm! I have been dying to make this cake. Good to know that it falls apart when cutting so now I will be prepared!

Claire said...

Mmm...I love strawberries! I bet that was a bit hard to cut. Looks great!

Melinda said...

Well, I wouldn't be able to resist it. I would resent sharing it, if you made it for me, though.

Brilynn said...

Before I even read your post, I looked at that cake and thought: It's gorgeous... I bet it was a pain to cut!

Rose&Thorn said...

I can imagine that must have been a nightmare to cut - and a day dream to eat - I love buttermilk sponge, I use it in my cupcakes now and everyone loves them.

Strawberry Shortcake said...

My daughter loves strawberries and cake! I just made a simple yellow cake myself.

Big Boys Oven said...

wow! this is something that I would like to try baking, thanks honey for the recipe!

kickpleat said...

Oh yes, please!! This looks so decadent and beautiful.

Elle said...

Strawberries and cream and cake...a perfect combo. I've found that putting the whipped cream between the layers causes the slide effect. To make it more stable, you can soak some plain gelatin in cold water, then whip that into the whipped cream. Give the cake a good chilling after frosting with the whipped cream and the gelatin will help it firm up enough to slice nicely.