Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book: Strawberries and Cream Cake

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It's been awhile since I made a cake, so I decided to try out the Strawberries and Cream Cake recipe from The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book. The cake only uses five ingredients - sugar, flour, melted butter, vanilla and eggs (separated). How easy!

The first step of any cake is to grease and line your cake pan. A quick trick to make a circle of parchment perfect for your pan is to fold a piece of parchment paper in half twice. Put the fold in the centre of your pan and trim the excess away from the edge. Tada! A perfect parchment circle!

Now, back to the ingredients. First, mix the egg yolks, vanilla and butter in a small bowl and set it aside for later.

 Next, whip the egg whites until foamy.

 Then add sugar while still whipping.

 The egg whites are done when they're stiff.

Once the egg whites are whipped, add the butter mixture and half the flour. Fold it together.

 Then fold in the remaining flour.

The recipe suggests baking all the batter in one pan then cutting it into three layers. Instead, I baked it in three pans (I really don't trust myself to cut three equal and level layers!)

The next part of the cake is the whipped cream. The recipe in the book calls for whipping cream, confectioners sugar and vanilla. I also added a bit of meringue powder to help stabilize it.

The last task before assembling the cake is to slice some strawberries.

To assemble, place one layer of cake on a cake plate and cover with some whipped cream. Top that with strawberries.

Repeat with the next layer of cake. Top with the final cake layer then cover with the remaining whipped cream.

Decorate with six to eight whole strawberries (the recipe calls for eight, but the strawberries I had were huge).

This recipe was very easy to put together and hardly took any time at all. The resulting cake was simple but elegant, tender, moist, satisfying to the sweet tooth without being too sugary, and deliciously summery. What an impressive dessert to bring out at the end of a meal or take along to a friend's house when you're asked to bring a little treat.

I will definitely make this cake again!

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