Strawberries & Cream Cake

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With my parents in town to supervise our critter, I was provided an opportunity to bake a recipe (for a crowd) that I found recently for a strawberry cake made with both jam and strawberries. I envisioned a naked strawberries and cream cake.

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I think this cake has potential and could be very good with a few tweaks. The consistency is more like a quick bread (think zucchini or banana bread) and less like a cake. It’s fairly dense but still moist. I was also a bit skeptical of the quantity of lime juice and zest, which probably helped to accentuate the tartness of the strawberries but ultimately created too much of a lime flavor for what was supposed to be a strawberry cake. I would leave out the limes next time, and I’d add more strawberries, which I think would work better pureed rather than diced.

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I wanted to pair it with a lighter, whipped cream-like frosting for a strawberries and cream flavor, so I toyed with the frosting on this Tiramisu Cake. I liked that recipe because it was so light and less sweet. Instead of mascarpone and amaretto, I used cream cheese and vanilla extract. However, the cream cheese didn’t really work as well as the mascarpone did in the original because it’s dense and tangy. I would use mascarpone instead.

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The color of the cake was nowhere near the color that I thought I would get based on the pictures in the linked recipe. The author must have used food coloring to obtain that pink color, though she also notes that the strawberry emulsion would color it pink. I only had strawberry extract, which is clear.

All in all, I thought this was a satisfactory cake with the potential to be a great cake with some of the aforementioned tweaks.

 

STRAWBERRIES & CREAM CAKE
Based on recipes found here and here.

INGREDIENTS

Strawberry Cake:
1 1/2 cups (18 oz.) high-quality strawberry jam
Zest of 6 small limes
6 tbsp. lime juice
4 tbsp. cornstarch
4 cups (480 g) all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
6 large egg whites + 2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups plain, unsweetened full-fat yogurt (preferably Greek)
4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. strawberry emulsion
2 cups strawberries, diced

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting:
16 oz. cream cheese
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups (16 oz., 480 mL) heavy whipping cream

DIRECTIONS

  1. For the cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 9″ cake pans, then line with parchment paper and lightly grease and flour.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together strawberry jam, lime zest, and lime juice until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk cornstarch, flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In another medium bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, add melted butter, sugar, and whole eggs. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes until well combined.
  6. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the yogurt in five additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat for 20-30 seconds at medium speed following each addition until just incorporated.
  7. Add the vanilla and strawberry extracts as well as the jam/lime mixture. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute to combine.
  8. Fold in the strawberries.
  9. Gently fold in the egg whites in three additions until just combined.
  10. Divide batter between the prepared pans (~945 g per cake). Bake 35-45 minutes, or until cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool completely.
  11. For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt for 1 minute on medium-high speed.
  12. Slowly add the heavy cream with the mixer running, then, once all the cream is added, increase the speed to high and beat to stiff peaks.
  13. Frost cakes as desired.
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