Monday, October 13, 2014

White Cake with Strawberries and Cream Filling

We had several things to celebrate; 1) the Chick's birthday that happened while I was traveling for work, 2) The Brother in Law's birthday was will happen while he is traveling to play golf, and 3) some dear friends were leaving for the winter to go to Florida.  Dave and I planned a summer theme for Sunday dinner and I went shopping....only to discover the friends were leaving on Saturday morning, not the 15th like we thought.  So, we went out to dinner with our friends and still had the "summer dinner in the snow" plans for the birthdays.

We made these ribs, our families go-to recipe, covered with this homemade sauce, Dave's beans (they are different every time he makes them), a green salad, homemade bread, and this cake for dessert.

The Chick requested a white cake with strawberries for her birthday cake.  This is a smaller version of a cake, so we don't have a whole bunch left over sitting around.  It makes one layer, or two very thin layers.  I like to make two thin layers and then cut each in half to make a 4 layer half cake.  I filled it with fresh strawberries soaked in sugar and Grand Mariner, and frosted with cool-whip...don't judge, the chick can't have whipped cream ( and she will suffer enough with the dairy in the cake).

So, even though it is snowy and cold outside, we built a big fire and had our favorite summer meal.  If you closed your eyes you could almost hear birds in the trees and feel a summer, that is just the fan from behind the wood stove.

White Cake with Strawberries and Cream Filling
adapted from Sally's Baking

for the cake:
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup buttermild
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

for strawberries:
2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered, depending on size
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons Grand Mariner
Whipped cream or other whipped topping

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 9" round pans with baking spray, line bottom with parchment cut to fit, and spray parchment paper, set aside. Or use one pan for one layer.

In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.  Set aside.

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave.  Whisk in the sugar - the mixture will be gritty.   Whisk in the sour cream, buttermilk, and vanilla.  Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no lumps remain.  Batter will be thick.  Try to avoid over mixing.  Set aside.

Using a handheld mixer, beat the egg whites until thick and soft peaks form (see picture), about 2-3 minutes.  Fold whites into batter.  The batter will be smooth, velvety, and slightly thick. Divide between two prepared pans.

Bake for 12-15 minutes (for two pans) or until toothpick comes out of the center clean.  (Adjust time if using only one pan or if making cupcakes)  Cool 5 minutes in pans, then turn out of pans and cool completely.

Meanwhile, cut strawberries, add sugar and Grand Mariner.  Mix well and let sit for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  A syrupy liquid will develop.

To assemble cake.  Cut each layer in half, giving you 4 half-circles.  place one layer on plate, top with whipped topping and strawberries, top with another layer of cake, repeat with whipped topping and strawberries until all 4 layers are used, ending with strawberries on top.  Drizzle strawberry syrup over the top and let it drizzle down the sides.  Serve immediately.

October 13, 2014  Sunrise 8:38am, Sunset 6:35pm  Temp. H 38/L 23°F

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