Thursday, October 21, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake!

The past 4 weeks I have been taking a baking class with some friends (Including Miss Carol). Last night was our last class and the theme was cakes! This class alone was pretty much the reason I signed up in the first place. I LOVE cake and wanted to learn the tricks to a great buttercream and some basic scratch cake recipes. My lovely partner Meghan and I decided to make a Strawberry Cream Cake. There were a lot of steps involved, but it was surprisingly easy! It was by far the best item we made out of all the classes we went to! The most fabulous part was the Whipped Cream frosting with Mascarpone Cheese! The Mascarpone completely changed what would have been just a boring whipped cream and made it amazing! I would put that frosting on anything!

Strawberry Cream Cake

If using a cake pan, you will need one with straight sides that are at least 2 inches high; or use a springform pan.

1 ¼ cups cake flour (5 ounces)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup sugar (7 ounces)
5 large eggs (2 whole and 3 separated), room temperature Pinch salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Strawberry Filling

2 Lbs Strawberries - Washed, Dried, and Stemmed
4-6 Tablespoons Sugar
2 Tablespoons Kirsch (Cherry Brandy)

Whipped Cream
8 ounces Mascarpone Cheese , room temperature
½ cup sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 cups heavy cream

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325°. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and all but 3 tablespoons sugar in mixing bowl. Whisk in 2 whole eggs and 3 yolks (reserving whites), butter, water, and vanilla; whisk until smooth.

In bowl of standing mixer, with the whisk, beat remaining 3 egg whites at medium speed until frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. With machine running, add remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until soft peaks form, 60 to 90 seconds. Stir one-third of whites into batter to lighten; add remaining whites and gently fold in until no white streaks remain. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert onto greased wire rack; peel off parchment. Invert cake again; cool completely, about 2 hours.

Halve 24 of best-looking berries and reserve. Quarter remaining berries; toss with 4 to 6 tablespoons sugar (depending on sweetness) in medium bowl and let sit 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Strain juices from berries and reserve (you should have about 1/2 cup). In food processor, give macerated berries five 1-second pulses (about 1 1/2 cups).

In small saucepan over medium-high heat, simmer reserved juices and Kirsch until syrupy and reduced to about 3 table-spoons, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour reduced syrup over macerated berries, add pinch of salt, and toss to combine. Set aside until cake is cooled.

When cake has cooled, place cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt in bowl of standing mixer. Whisk at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Reduce speed to low and add heavy cream in steady stream; when almost fully combined, increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture holds stiff peaks, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes more, scraping bowl as needed (you should have about 4 1/2 cups).

ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: Using large serrated knife, slice cake into three even layers. Place bottom layer on cardboard round or cake plate and arrange ring of 20 strawberry halves, cut sides down and stem ends facing out, around perimeter of cake layer. Pour one half of pureed berry mixture (about 3/4 cup) in center, then spread to cover any exposed cake. Gently spread about one-third of whipped cream (about 1 1/2 cups) over berry layer, leaving 1/2-inch border from edge. Place middle cake layer on top and press down gently (whipped cream layer should become flush with cake edge). Repeat with 20 additional strawberry halves, remaining berry mixture, and half of remaining whipped cream; gently press last cake layer on top. Spread remaining whipped cream over top; decorate with remaining cut strawberries. Serve, or chill for up to 4 hours.

(Miss Carol's Cake is the Chocolate One, SO Yummy!)


  1. You are my baking inspiration!!! I so need get my act together and bake more...haha. :) the strawberry one looks sooooooooooooo delicious!!! Yummy!

  2. Wow that looks so fancy!! Way to go, this cooking class sounds pretty cool.

  3. Your cakes look delicious! That's so cool you guys took this class!