Tuesday, May 13, 2008

strawberry day @ the farmer's market + flo baker = strawberry genoise

yup, another cake recipe. no, we're not getting fatter. well, maybe a little bit but not bring out the crane fat. not yet anyways, ask us once we've gotten back from our trip to nyc next month. bring on the junior's cheesecake, grimaldi's( or john's?) pizza, jacques torres chocolate and h&h bagels...maybe not in that order,though... anywho, back to the above pictured cake.
the cake you see above was made this past sunday for a combo mother's day slash birthday celebration. seems like there's been a lot to celebrate here lately, not a bad thing especially since celebrations are an excuse to eat cake. for this cake though, i don't really think you need an excuse.
it's very light and shortcake-y even though that is not what it's called but that is what it reminded
me of. it's made up of eggs, heavy cream, and strawberries - sounds like 3 balanced groups to me. i mean come on you got your protein with the eggs, fat with the cream and fiber and folic acid and all the other good stuff strawberries have. fully balanced meal. i say go ahead and feel free to load up your plate with it.
delana was the one responsible for this wonderfully balanced meal. she got up early sunday morning to make it and it was a good thing too because she did run into a few issues. the cake itself is made of up of beaten eggs and sugar and folded in flour. sounds simple enough but it's tricky because the batter can deflate rather easily once you reach the folding in stage, which results in a very thin layer of cake. how do i know? it happened on the first attempt. no big deal tho
ugh. she didn't let it phase her, and just gave it another go and this time the second time was the charm. fortunate because there was no time for a third try. once cooled, she cut the cake in half rather than in thirds as the original recipe called for and sandwiched some whipped cream and mashed strawberries in between each half. no aluminum foil here, the cake was instead wrapped with the rest of the airy, goodness of the whipped cream and garnished with sliced strawberries. cake sandwich wrapped in whipped cream. go ahead and try some....

French Strawberry Cake
Adapted by Flo Baker for Baking with Julia

Perfect Genoise
-makes enough for one 8 in round cake

2 tbs unsalted butter, melted

1 c sifted cake flour
1/2 c sugar
1/8 tsp salt
4 large eggs, at room temp
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

position a rack in the lower third of the over and preheat to 350 degrees.
grease and flour the bottom and sides of an 8 in round cake pan, fitting it with a round of parchment once the excess flour is tapped out.

pour melted butter into 1 qt bowl, reserve.
return sifted cake flour to the sifter or sieve, and add 1 tbs of the sugar and the salt; sift onto a piece of waxed paper and set aside.

put the eggs and remaining sugar into the bowl of a heavy duty mixer (or work with a hand-held mixer). holding the whisk attachment in your hand, beat the mixture to blend the ingredients. with the bowl and whisk attachment in place, whip the mixture on medium speed until it is airy, pale and tripled in volume like softly whipped cream, 4 to 5 minutes ( for us, it took about 12 minutes) you'll know that the eggs are properly whipped when the whisk is lifted and the mixture falls back into the bowl in a ribbon that rests on the surface for about 10 seconds. if the ribbon doesn't hold up for this long, continue to whip for a few more minutes. pour in the vanilla extracts towards the last moments of whipping.
detach the bowl from the mixer. sprinkle about one third of the sifted cake flour over the batter. fold in the flour with a rubber spatula, stopping once it is incorporated. fold in the rest of the flour in 2 more additions.
gently spoon about 1 cup of the batter into the bowl with the melted butter and fold in the butter with the rubber spatula. at this point, the batter is at its most fragile so fold gingerly. fold the mixture into the batter in the mixer bowl.

Pour into prepared pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula working from the center outward and creating a slightly raised ridge around the sides. bake for 25-27 mins, or until top springs back. transfer to a cooling rack and allow to rest for 5-10 mins.

Preparing the berries:

2 pints ripe, fresh strawberries hulled and sliced
1/4 to 1/3 c sugar ( depending on the sweetness of the fruit - we only had to use a 1/4 cup)

toss sliced berries with sugar in a large bowl and leave them uncovered, at room temp for at least 2 hrs.coarsely mash the berries using a fork and toss once more; let them stand for another hr. this can be done a day ahead just be sure to refrigerate once your frustrations have been released and the berries are mashed.

The Cream

1.25 c cold heavy cream
2 tbs sour cream
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, whip all the above ingredients until the mixture forms soft peaks. You've reached proper consistency once the tracks made my the whisk close slowly and almost disappear.( Keep an eye on this because faster than you can say curdled,, you'll end up with curdled cream. Not good.)Cover and refrigerate until it's time to frost the cake. Before using, whisk by hand to bring the mixture together again.

Finishing the cake
(props to you if you're still with me...)

Using a serrated knife, cut the cake horizontally into 3 layers ( we went with 2). Place the bottom layer cut side up onto a cardboard round or the removable bottom of a tart pan ( or whatever surface you choose). Using a slotted spoon, lift about 1/2 of the berries (if you're just doing 2 layers go ahead and add all your berries) from the bowl so that most of the liquid drains off and spread over the cake. Top off with a thin layer of the whipped cream.
Place the next cake layer and spread another layer of berries and whipped cream. Center the top layer over the filling. Proceed to frost the tops and sides of the cake with the remaining whipped cream using a flexible metal icing spatula. Garnish with berries that have been sliced in half from blossom to stem, cut side down. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving


John said...

It looks so good and beautiful.
Thank for sharing

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