Strawberry Cream Cake
Dorie calls this a Berry Surprise Cake. I call it a Strawberry Cream Cake with Raspberry Coulis. The cake is a semi-fragile sponge cake with sweetened cream cheese filling, fresh strawberries, decorated with real whipped cream and served in a puddle of raspberry coulis. It was as beautiful as it was delicious!
Tuesdays With Dorie's - BIG NEWS!
I am now an official Tuesdays With Dorie Volunteer! Yeah, it's not a paid gig, but I'm enjoying writing up and posting the OSI (Our Secret Ingredients) meme for the week. Another gal, Tanya from Chocolatechic is gonna help. I'll take one month, she'll take the next and so on and so forth. This is what the job entails: We send out the OSI meme questions about a month ahead of time. The host/hostess for that week's recipe fills out his/her meme answers and sends them back to us. We take all that info, put it together in a real perty way, add photos that go along with their favorites, and post it to the Tuesdays With Dorie's site.
Check out the TWD site here to see what I've been doing with it! Then, it goes live so everyone can get an up-close-and-personal peek into the lives of all the bloggers. Everyone will eventually be in the spotlight for their 15 minutes of fame. However, if you're lucky number 386, you may have to wait around, oh, 7 (seven) years to choose your recipe and get your meme answers to me!
Berry Surprise Cake
Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen chose Berry Surprise Cake for her recipe of the week. You can find the recipe on pages 273-275 of Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking: From My Home To Yours. If you're one of the only people on the planet that doesn't yet have Dorie's book, you can skip on over to Mary Ann's blog for the recipe.
I really enjoyed this recipe, everyone else did too! The recipe calls for fresh raspberries. I didn't use fresh raspberries. There wasn't there any at the supermarket, and even if there were, the price would have been ridiculous since this is NOT raspberry season here in Rhode Island! Strawberries on the other hand, were reasonably priced, so I bought a box of them instead. I was able to buy frozen raspberries and pureed them with sugar for a raspberry coulis.
The cake itself is like a sponge cake. Very delicate with whipped egg whites and cream. Everything has to be folded in just so without deflating the egg whites. My cake didn't come out as high as I would have liked. Not sure what happened there. So, I had to improvise a bit and layer the fresh strawberries inside the cake rather than hollowing out a pocket for the hidden berries. It worked just fine.I made the cream cheese filling and used brandy in the recipe, and that was ultra-yummy too! Then, I layered it all together, and decorated the whole thing with fresh whipped cream. I had some perfect strawberries left over, so I cut them in half and decoated the cake with them.
I made the raspberry coulis by thawing out the frozen berries, adding some sugar to the berries and letting them sit fr a while. Then, I whipped it up with the immersion blender until the sugar dissolved and the puree was silky smooth. I refrigerated the cake for a about 4 hours before slicing just to make sure it held together without sliding. It cut real nice, looked very pretty inside and out, especially with the raspberry sauce!
This week's Tuesday's with Dorie selection was brought to you by ME! That's right, it was my turn to choose and what a difficult task. When I joined TWD last March, I really never thought I would see the day that I would be able to choose the recipe, because there were so many members ahead of me.
Well, the day came! I was trying to decide if I should choose something decadent that I have never attempted before, like Chocolate Souffle or Pots de Creme or if I should go with a fabulous looking tart. I wanted to try one of the Bread Puddings, the Raspberry Blanc-Manger, or the most interesting looking dessert in the book in my opinion, Coconut-Roasted Pinapple Dacquoise.
But the one recipe that I kept coming back to was the Berry Surprise Cake. There wasn't a picture, which is a little bit interesting. Besides, I enjoy baking cake the most and this particular cake sounded light and airy, with a fabulous contrast coming from the berries, kind of like berries and cream.
My apologies about the berries- I know they are out of season and super expensive right now, but I figured this was my one chance to command about 400 other bakers and so, I chose the Berry Surprise Cake on pages 273-275 of Dorie Greenspan's Baking: from my home to yours. (If you still do not own this book, get a copy of it!)
I made a full recipe in my 8-inch springform pan and was careful to follow Dories instructions. She gives great instructions, with very accurate times. I let my egg/sugar mixture get just warm, beat it into beautiful, pale fluff, folded everything very gently and put my batter in the oven. It was beautiful and when I checked through the window, it had great height. When I checked a few minutes later, it had fallen a little bit. It wasn't horrible, but I wanted the cake to be perfect-so I whipped up another half batch and made it in my new 4-inch mini springform pans. Same thing. except this time I watched. I sat by the oven and saw the beautiful height and then saw them fall. Yikes! I actually asked Dorie about it and she was kind enough to respond to me in an email. She said, "Genoise cakes can sometimes sink a bit in the center - not attractive,but not really a problem with this cake, since you'll be hollowing it out and covering the top. Usually, the culprit with this cake is the folding, but it sounds as though you were gentle with the ingredients. It could be that your eggs were too hot, but I doubt that, too. The cake always rises high in the oven early on in its bake and then sinks some as it continues to bake and, as I said, it can sometimes form a dip in the center." Hey, if it isn't a problem with Dorie, it isn't a problem with me.
I was relieved to find out a little sinkage was perfectly normal and decided since I had a large 8-inch and 2 small 4-inch cakes, that I would cut 2 4-inch rounds out of the large cake and use them to cover my small cakes. I sliced the 8-inch cake in half and then cut out some cute little tops. Cheating? maybe, but it worked!
My hollowed out mini cake, which was soaked in the yummy syrup
Thin layer of filling
A few raspberries
Covered with filling
Topped with my cut-out round from the larger cake and Ta-da! no one will ever know, except you all, because I told you. I thought the finished cake was delicious. I let it sit in the fridge overnight and the flavors were really great the next day. This would be the perfect cake to serve at party. Yum- great pick, if I do say so myself! I hope everyone else liked it- To see if they did, go check out the TWD Blogroll!
Berry Surprise Cake from Baking: from my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan
Makes 8 servings
Serving: Cut the cake at the table using a serrated knife. It can be served just as it is or you can drizzle a little Raspberry Coulis (page 467) over each slice.
Storing: While you can bake the cake up to 1 day ahead and keep it wrapped at room temperature (a day-old cake is a bit easier to cut than a fresh cake), or freeze it well wrapped for up to 2 months, once the cake is assembled, it is best to serve it the same day.
Playing Around: The filling is so good you might want to use it without the cake. If so, add sugar to it, or not, and splash the fruit with a little liqueur (eaux-de-vie, liqueurs such as Chambord or brandies like kirsch are freally good with soft fruits) if you'd like. Spoon the fruit into pretty bowls or glasses-everything looks good in champagne flutes- and top with the cream filling.
"One of the great pleasures of my New York City childhood was clutching a handful of coins, walking to the luncheonette about ten blocks from home and buying a charlotte russe. Charlotte russe, a sweet rarely seen these days, and certainly not at corner luncheonettes, was originally made of ladyfingers and custard, whipped cream, and perhaps some fruit. The charlotte russe of my youth was a mixture of sponge cake, fruit or jam, and gobs of whipped cream, topped by an unnaturally red cherry. But its real appeal was its packaging-the dessert came in a cardboard cylinder with a pointy rick-rack border. First you ate the swirls of whipped cream that extended at least a mile above the cardboard rim, then-and this was the best part-you pushed the round of cardboard on the bottom, and, in a feat of brilliant engineering, the cake rose up so you could eat every last bit of it. You could even lick the base, as I did, and so did everyone else I knew.
This cake doesn't have any moving parts, but the fact that it's made by hollowing out a place in the center of the baked cake for some cream and berries is reminiscent of the spirit of charlotte russe.
The container for this surprise is a sturdy genoise, a whole-egg sponge cake that will hold up when you cut out its center and excavate a cozy nest for the filling. The filling, a mixture of cream cheese and heavy cream, is very simple to make, but because of the tang of the cream cheese, it tastes complex and is awfully good with red berries. Most of the time I use raspberries as the surprise, but strawberries or a combination of berries is also fine. Naturally the cake is finished with whipped cream."
For the cake:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
4 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbls unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the syrup:
1/3 cup water
3 Tbls sugar
1 Tbls kirsch, Chambord, framboise, or raspberry syrup (I used 2 tsp. raspberry extract)
For the filling:
6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup + 2/3 cup heavy cream
1 Tbls sugar (I added an extra Tbls)
1 1/2 tsps pure vanilla extract (I added an extra 1/2 tsp)
For the topping:
1 cup cold heavy cream
3 Tbls confectioners sugar, sifted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-1 1/2 pints fresh raspberries, for filling and topping
Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 3-inch-high 8-inch springform pan, dust the inside with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottom with parchment paper. Put the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
To make the cake: Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a mixer of another large heatproof bowl and whisk to blend. Put the bowl in a skillet with an inch or two of simmering water and continue to whisk until the sugar dissolves completely and the mixture is just warm to the touch, about 3 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the vanilla.
Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes, until the mixture almost triples in volume and forms a ribbon that holds it shape for about 10 seconds when the beater is lifted.
Switch to a large rubber spatula, sift over half the dry ingredients and fold them in gently- don't overmix, you'll have another chance to gather up any recalcitrant ingredients. Fold in the cooled, melted butter, then sift over the remaining dry ingredients and very gingerly fold them in. The beautifully beaten eggs are fragile and must be treated like the divas they are. Check that you don't have a puddle of melted butter at the bottom of the bowl-a frequent hazard- then scrape the batter into the pan and jiggle the pan gently to even it.
Bake the cake for 30-33 minutes, or until the top is springy to the touch and the sides are starting to pull away from the pan. (A thin knife inserted into the center would come out clean, but it would also deflate the still-fragile cake a little.)
Transfer the cake to a rack and let it sit for 5 minutes, then run a blunt knife between the cake and the pan and remove the sides of the pan. Invert the cake and remove the base of the pan and peel off the paper, then invert again and cool to room temperature right side up. ( When cool, the cake can be wrapped and kept at room temperature overnight- it will cut a little more easily if it rests- or wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months)
To make the syrup: Stir the water and sugar together in a small saucepan, bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Pour the syrup into a heatproof bowl. Stir in the liqueur and let the syrup come to room temperature.
To make the filling: Working with a stand mixer, preferably fit with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until soft, smooth and fluffy. While beating, gradually add 1/2 cup of the cream, the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until the cream is absorbed and the cheese is smooth. Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl. Pour the remaining 2/3 cup cream into the bowl you beat the cream cheese in (there's no need to wash it) and, using the whisk attachment or the hand mixer, whip the cream until it holds firm peaks. Stir about one quarter of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, then fold in the rest. There's no need to wash the bowl-you'll be using it for the topping.
To make the topping: Just before you are ready to assemble the cake, whip the cream until it holds medium peaks. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to whip until the cream holds firm peaks. Cover the cream and refrigerate.
To assemble the cake: Using a serrated knife, slice off the top 1/2 inch of the cake and set this layer aside. If it crumbles- that can happen to the best of us- just save the pieces. With the knife, sketch a circle on top of the cake that is 1/2 inch in from the edges of the cake. Cut down through the outline, stopping between 1/4 and 1/2 inch from the bottom. Using the knife and your fingers, carefully pull out the cake within this circle, leaving a little nest that will house your surprise. Transfer the cake nest to a platter or a cardboard round.
Brush the inside of the cake with some of the syrup, discarding what remains, and spoon a thin layer of the filling over the bottom. Toss in 1/2 pint of the berries-more if you'd like- and cover with the remaining filling. Lift the reserved top layer onto the cake and press it down gently to form the cake. If all you have are scraps, fret not; just arrange them over the top of the cake and press them gently to reconstruct a layer.
Using a long metal icing spatula, frost the top and sides of the cake with the topping. Finish with some raspberries, placing berries carefully around the top of the cake, or piling them up in the center. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour (or for up to 6 hours) before serving.
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