A bountiful of luscious strawberries - an indication of Spring's arrival!!! I always get the itch to make a Strawberry Cream Cake, so last week was my friend's birthday, and now that strawberries are starting to show their pretty little faces at the market, I decided instantly that they would be perfect for a birthday cake! And the result was amazing, a citrus-infused moist cake, topped with cream and fresh strawberries. The favorite part was the sweet juice from the strawberries that soaked into the cake and gave it that amazing taste. Well, the cake was a hit, there was not a crumb or a smudge of whipped cream left at the end.
Ingredients (serves 8 to 10):
For the Cake:
1 ¼ Cups (175g) All-Purpose Flour
2 ½ tsp (10g) Baking Powder
1/8 tsp Sea Salt
5 Large Eggs, separated
1 ¼ Cups Granulated Sugar
5 Tbsp Boiling Water
1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
Grated zest of 2 Lemons
For the Strawberry Cream Filling:
2 Cups Fresh Strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
1 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
4 to 6 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
2 Cups Crème Fraiche
2/3 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Confectioners’ Sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Line the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan with parchment paper.
To make the cake, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip together the egg yolks and sugar on high speed until thick; the mixture will be grainy. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the boiling water. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Increase the speed to high and whip again until thick. Stir in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. Reduce the speed to low and stir in the flour mixture.
In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites on medium-low speed until frothy. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip until thick and smooth; the mixture should not look dry. Fold half of the whites into the batter, and then fold in the remaining whites.
Gently spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan and remove the ring. Invert the cake and remove the base of the pan. Carefully peel off the parchment. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let cool completely. Using a serrated knife, cut the cake horizontally into 3 layers.
To make the filling, place the 2 cups strawberries in a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and 2 Tbsp of the granulated sugar. Taste for sweetness; depending on the berries’ ripeness, you many need to add additional 1 to 2 Tbsp more sugar.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the crème fraiche, cream, vanilla and the remaining 2 Tbsp granulated sugar. Whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks form and the cream hold its shape.
Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Arrange 1/3 of the strawberries and their juices over the cake. Spread 1/3 of the cream over the berries. Repeat the layering process with the remaining 2 cake layers, berries and cream, ending with a layer cream.
Before serving, dust the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar and garnish with additional berries. Cut the cake with a serrated knife.