Happy Birthday in cake form! (Plus, all natural colours and flavours, and gelatin-free!)
A special birthday requires a special cake, n’est pas? The DH’s birthday is this week, and I made him a special cake, because he’s hitting a milestone birthday. I shadn’t say how old (or young!) he is now, as I shall hit the same birthday in a few months myself, and I’d like to preserve a little mystery in our blogging relationship, dear reader!
But as I said, a special birthday requires a special cake! And the DH does love strawberry cake. (Unless it’s pink, as I learned several years ago.) So, one super-yummy fancy-pants strawberry cake coming up!
I used strawberries three ways in this cake: dried and turned into a powder to make the vanilla custard filling extra flavourful; in jam, to keep the cake layers moist; and on top, for decoration and taste!
ANATOMY OF A CAKE
The Layers: vanilla cake, all golden and moist, and oh so yummy!
The Filling: Homemade strawberry vanilla custard. Eggless, it’s thick enough to spread, flavoured (and naturally coloured!) with my home-dehydrated strawberries (I dehydrated sliced strawberries, then froze the dried slices and blended them into a powder).
Cake-Maker-To-The-Stars-Hack: simple syrup mixed with strawberry jam, spread on the cake layers, make the cake extra moist, and prevents it from getting all dry!
The Icing: whipped cream, baby! Some bakers use gelatin in their stabilized whipped cream, but I just add a bit more icing sugar instead. It won’t stay as long in the fridge, but really, is a delicious strawberry cake going to sit for weeks in the fridge, anyway? Um, not in my house! (Or more correctly, not near me!)
The Strawberry Flourish: strawberries, topped with apple jelly (as opposed to gelatin, because I be veg, yo’).
This cake is a little more finicky than most recipes I post on this blog, but a) it’s worth it and b) once you understand the parts of the cake, it’s really not that difficult. Basically, you make two cakes, split each of those in half and spread jam and then custard on those halves, and put them back together into two cakes. Then you stack those two cakes, using whipped cream icing, spread icing on the top and sides, and pipe some decoration. Voila, an all-natural fancy-pants cake!
Glistening, jelly-topped berries. Yum-o!
TRIPLE-STRAWBERRY CUSTARD & CREAM CAKE
Make the CAKE
- any vanilla cake recipe (I used this one, except that I substituted 3 whole eggs for the 6 egg whites because I don’t care about a perfectly white cake, added 1/2 tsp. baking soda for extra fluff-power, and left out the almond extract)
Bake cakes. Let cool.
Make the FILLING
- one batch of vanilla custard (I used this one)
- 1 1/2 tbsp. dehydrated powdered strawberries
- 1 c. strawberry jam
- 4 tbsp. simple syrup
Make custard. When making custard, stir in powdered strawberries, so that they rehydrate as the custard cooks. Let cool.
Mix strawberry jam with warm simple syrup. Let cool.
Make the ICING
- 2 c. whipping cream
- 1 c. icing sugar
- 1 tbsp. meringue powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Using a chilled bowl and beater, whip cold whipping cream with icing sugar, meringue powder, and vanilla extract, until stiff peaks form. Keep chilled.
Make the TOPPING
- 1 pint strawberries (hulled, washed, and dried)
- 1/3 c. apple jelly
Assemble the CAKE
Slice cooled cakes into half horizontally. Spread each half with the jam-syrup mixture. Spread half the custard on each of two of the 4 cake layers. Reassemble into two cakes. (You’ve essentially just made two custard sandwiches using the cake layers, using the jam as you would butter bread!) Place one cake (i.e. custard sandwich) on a plate. Spread whipping cream on top. Stack second cake on top. Spread whipping cream on top and sides. Once covered, put remaining whipping cream into a piping bag and pipe a border on the top and bottom of the cake. Place strawberries, pointing tips up, on the top of the cake. Heat apple jelly until melted but not hot, and brush onto strawberries as a glaze. Chill cake in fridge until serving. Voila! You’ve just make a Triple-Strawberry Custard & Cream Cake!
A slice of cake heaven!
This cake will disappear before you know it. I had my family over to celebrate the DH’s birthday, and we ate half the cake. Twenty-four hours later, the other half of the cake had vanished. (I may or may not have had a hand in the vanishing.) Long story short, make the cake, eat the cake, and…eat some more cake. You and your tummy will thank me!
Next Post: Something healthy maybe, to balance out this cake. What about a recipe for Purely Pear Sauce?
Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday!