Strawberry Cake

 

I want something that I can make in pieces, and then assemble when company comes.

SO: Vanilla cupcakes, custard, strawberry compote, and whipping cream.

To serve: Slice the vanilla cupcake in half, add a dollop of custard and a dollop of strawberry compote. Replace the top of the cupcake. Top with whipping cream. Serve with meringue crumble.

NOTE: These ingredients can also be arranged in a trifle. Find a tall container. Layer first cake, then compote, then custard, then cream. Alternate attractively. Serve.

Custard Recipe (makes 3 cups):

4 large egg yolks
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
pinch salt
2 c milk
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Whisk egg yolks until smooth in large bowl. Combine sugar, corn starch, and salt in medium saucepan and heat on medium heat. Stir constantly, adding milk gradually in a slow, steady stream. Cook until mixture thickens and begins to bubble, about 5 min.
  2. Whisking constantly, slowly pour 1/3 of the milk mixture into the egg yolks (this is called tempering, which keeps the yolks from curdling). Pour remaining milk mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to full boil and is thick enough to hold its shape when lifted with a spoon, 2 to 4 min. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.
  3. Strain mixture through fine sieve into heatproof bowl. Cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap, pressing directly onto surface to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours, up to 2 days.

Vanilla Cake Recipe:

Ingredients:

1.5 c all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp room temperature butter
1 1/8 c sugar
2 eggs
2/3 c buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Mix butter and sugar on high in kitchenaid until fluffy.

2. Add eggs. Blend on high until fluffy.

3. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt. Blend on low until fluffy.

4. Add buttermilk and vanilla extract. Blend on low until fluffy.

5. Add flour. Blend on low until cohesive dough forms.

6. Bake 350 degrees for 25 min.

7. Remove from pan, let cool.

Strawberry Compote:

1/2 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
2 quarts strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced (a few whole berries reserved for garnish)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 c sugar

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, cranberry juice, 2 cups strawberries, cornstarch, and salt.
  2. Using a potato masher, gently mash strawberries.
  3. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until very thick, about 1 minute.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  5. Stir in remaining strawberries.
  6. Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours (or up to 1 day).

Whipping Cream:

2 c heavy cream
1/4 c confectioner’s sugar, sifted

  1. Whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form.
  2. Add sugar, whisk until combined.
  3. If not being used immediately, cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 hours in airtight container.

Meringues:

2 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
dash salt
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 200F.
  2. In large bowl, combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt.
  3. Beat until soft peaks form, THEN gradually add the sugar, continuing to beat until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Add vanilla extract at the end.
  4. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil, shiny side up. Drop the meringue by large teaspoonfuls.
  5. Bake 1.5 hours. THEN turn off the heat and leave the meringues in the oven until they are completely cool, 3 hours or more (best done overnight..).
  6. Store in airtight container to keep crisp.

 

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Southern Apple Cake

Fresh Apple Cake with Pecans and Brown Sugar Glaze

For the Cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups finely chopped apples
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
For the Glaze:
1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons evaporated milk, or half and half, or milk

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 13-by-9-inch pan, or two 8- or 9-inch cake pans, round or square. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, soda, and salt, and stir with a fork to mix everything together well.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk, a wooden spoon, or an electric mixer at low speed until pale yellow and foamy. Add the oil and the vanilla, and beat them together well. Stir in the sugar-flour mixture and use a wooden spoon to mix the batter, stopping as soon as the flour disappears. Add the apples and nuts, stir to mix them into the batter until fairly uniform, and scrape the batter into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake at 350 for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown, springs back when touched lightly near the center, and is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  4. Place the cake on a wire cooling rack or a folded kitchen towel. Make the glaze while the cake is hot. Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture comes to a gentle boil and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Spoon the glaze all over the hot-from-the-oven cake. Let the glazed cake cool completely, and serve in squares right from the pan.

Makes one 9 x 13-inch cake

From Southern Cakes: Sweet and Irresistible Recipes for Everyday Celebrations. Chronicle Books 2007. Copyright Nancie McDermott. All rights reserved.

French Apple Cake

French Apple Cake
One 9-inch (23 cm) cake
Adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan

Dorie doesn’t specify any type of apple but instead advises that you should use a mix of them. I don’t know what kind mine were since I’d picked them myself (they’re pictured at the top). The rum is really vital for the taste, and the cake would be not as interesting without it. If you’re avoiding alcohol, you could double to triple up on the vanilla to compensate.

I also like this recipe because you can make it with ingredients easily on hand. Being American, I was tempted to add a dusting of ground cinnamon to the apples, but then it wouldn’t be authentically French. Hence I decided a dollop of crème fraîche alongside to be rather nice.
3/4 cup (110g) flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
4 large apples, a mix of varieties
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
3 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (115g) butter, salted or unsalted, melted and cooled to room temperature
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven.
2. Heavily butter an 8- or 9-inch (20-23cm) springform pan and place it on a baking sheet.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. Peel and core the apples, then dice them into 1-inch (3cm) pieces.
5. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy then whisk in the sugar, then rum and vanilla. Whisk in half of the flour mixture, then gently stir in half of the melted butter
6. Stir in the remaining flour mixture, then the rest of the butter.
7. Fold in the apple cubes until they’re well-coated with the batter and scrape them into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top a little with a spatula.
8. Bake the cake for 50 minute to 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen the cake from the pan and carefully remove the sides of the cake pan, making sure no apples are stuck to it.
Serving: Serve wedges of the cake just by itself, or with crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream.

Storage: The cake will keep for up to three days covered. Since the top is very moist, it’s best to store it under a cake dome or overturned bowl.

Chocolate Fruit Cake (UK)

Nigella Lawson Recipe

INGREDIENTS
Makes: about 10 slices

350 grams prunes
250 grams raisins
125 grams currants
50 grams piece candied orange peel
175 grams soft unsalted butter
175 grams dark brown muscovado sugar
175 millilitres runny honey
125 millilitres tia maria or other coffee liqueur
2 – 3 oranges (juice and zest)
1 teaspoon mixed spice
4 tablespoons cocoa
3 large eggs (beaten)
150 grams plain flour
75 grams ground almonds
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

METHOD
Preheat the oven to gas mark 2/150°C/300°F. Line the sides and bottom of a 20cm / 8-inch round, 9cm / 3½ inch deep, loose-bottomed cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment. Before proceeding any further, read the following which explains how to do it if you need the encouragement. The paper should come up higher than the sides of the tin; think of a lining that’s twice as deep as the tin. Cut out two circles of paper, and two very long rectangles that will fit along the sides of the tin coming up from it like a top hat. Before you put the rectangular cut-out paper in, fold one long side in of both pieces, as if turning up a hem of about 2cm / 1 inch, and then take some scissors and snip into this hem, at intervals of about 2cm / 1 inch – as if you were making a rough frill. Grease the tin, lay one circle on the bottom and get one of your long pieces, then fit with the frilly edge along the bottom, which you press down to sit flat on the circle to hold it in place. Press the paper well into the sides, and repeat with the second piece. Now place the second circle of paper on the bottom of the tin, but on top of the two pressed-down frilly edges, which will also help to hold the pieces around the edge in place. Finally, wrap the tin with brown parcel paper, again making it higher than the sides, and tie it in place with kitchen twine.
Put the fruit, butter, sugar, runny honey, Tia Maria, orange juice and zests, spice and cocoa into a large wide saucepan and bring to the boil gently, stirring as the butter melts. Simmer for 10 minutes, and then take off the heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
After the 30 minutes are up, it will have cooled a little (though you could leave it for longer if you wanted). Add the beaten eggs, flour, ground almonds, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula, however you like, to combine.
Pour the fruit cake mixture into the prepared cake tin. Place in the oven and bake for 1¾–2 hours, by which time the top of the cake should be firm but will have a shiny and sticky look. If you insert a cake tester into the centre of the cake it will still be a little gooey in the middle.
Put the cake on a cooling rack. It will hold its heat and take a while to cool, but once it has, unmould it from the tin and, if you don’t want to eat it immediately (and like any fruit cake it has a very long life), wrap it in baking parchment and then in foil and place in a tin.

Apple Cake

YIELD: A 9×13 sheet cake

CAKE
2 1/3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Apple Pie Spice or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger and ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
4 cups peeled, cored, chopped apple, about 1 1/3 pounds whole apples
1 cup diced toasted walnuts or pecans

FROSTING
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla-butternut flavor

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 9″ x 13″ pan.
  2. To make the cake: Mix all of the ingredients except the apples and nuts in a large bowl.
  3. Beat until well combined; the mixture will be very stiff, and may even be crumbly.
  4. Add the apples and nuts, and mix until the apples release some of their juice and the stiff mixture becomes a thick batter, somewhere between cookie dough and brownie batter in consistency.
  5. Spread the batter in the prepared pan, smoothing it with your wet fingers.
  6. Bake the cake for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few wet crumbs clinging to it.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a rack to cool completely; don’t remove the cake from the pan.
  8. To make the frosting: Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and salt and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts.
  9. Add the milk, bring to a boil, and pour into a mixing bowl to cool for 10 minutes.
  10. After 10 minutes, stir in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat well; if the mixture appears too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar. Spread on the cake while frosting is still warm.
    Yield: about 2 dozen servings.

Vegan Spice Cake

From King Arthur Flour

INGREDIENTS:

1 3/4 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup tomato juice
1 cup grated carrots, raisins, dried cranberries, chopped apples, or nuts

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Measure all the dry ingredients into an 8″ or 9″ round or square cake pan; if you use an 8″ pan, make sure it’s at least 2″ deep.
  3. Blend the ingredients together thoroughly with a fork or whisk and scoop out two holes, or indentations.
  4. Pour the vanilla into the first hole and the vegetable oil into the second.
  5. Take the tomato juice and pour it directly over everything in the pan.
  6. Stir everything together with your fork until they are well blended.
  7. Stir in the fruit/nuts of your choice.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Bake the cake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Remove it from the oven, and serve right from the pan.
  11. Yield: 9 servings.

Swedish Princess Cake II

(THIS is supposed to be the authentic recipe)

Prinsesstårta (adapted from Vår kok bok)
serves 12

For the sponge cake:
4 eggs
1 cup (225g) sugar
1/2 cup (62g) flour
1/2 cup (80g) potato starch flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
breadcrumbs

For the vanilla custard:
1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons potato starch flour or 2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla sugar or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the assembly:
2 cups (480ml) heavy cream, whipped
10 ounces (300g) marzipan
green and yellow food coloring
powdered sugar for dusting
purchased marzipan rose and leaves for garnish or extra marzipan and red food coloring to make your own rose and leaves

Make the cake

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Thoroughly butter a 9″ x 2″ (2 liter) round baking pan. Toss in enough breadcrumbs to cover the bottom and sides of the pan and shake them around to ensure all surfaces are covered (the same as you would typically do with flour when baking a cake, you are just using breadcrumbs instead).

2. Place the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat on high speed until light colored and fluffy.

3. Blend the flour and baking powder together and carefully fold them into the egg and sugar mixture until thoroughly blended. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake in the lower portion of the oven for about 40 minutes or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool slightly in the pan before turning it out onto a rack to cool completely.

Make the vanilla custard

Place the cream, egg yolks, potato flour, and sugar in a small saucepan and whisk together (do not use a steel whisk as it can turn the custard grayish). Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. If cooking the custard with potato starch flour you need to use the custard shortly after you make it. If using corn starch the custard can be prepared a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

Prepare the marzipan

Knead the marzipan with your hands to soften it up and add the green and yellow food coloring sparingly until you have achieved a bright, spring green. Flatten the marzipan into a disk. Place it between two pieces of parchment paper or on a smooth surface dusted with powdered sugar and roll it into a thin, even circle ideally about 1/32″ (just under 2mm) thick but do the best you can to thin it out. Keep in mind the circle has to be large enough to cover the entire cake. You can dust the marzipan and work surface with powdered sugar if need be to prevent sticking.

Assemble the prinsesstårta (It’s helpful to refer to the pictures above)

Once the sponge cake has cooled completely, slice it into three layers keeping the top layer a bit thinner than the others. Start to assemble the prinsesstårta by spreading a thin layer of jam onto the bottom layer of the sponge cake. Add a generous layer of vanilla custard by either piping or spreading it over the jam. Add the next layer of sponge cake and another generous layer of vanilla custard. Whip the 2 cups (480ml) of heavy cream until stiff and pile a generous, fluffy mound onto the last custard layer. Add the final layer of sponge cake and gently form it into a dome shape over the cream being careful not to squish too much cream out of the sides. Spread a thin layer of cream over the top to even out and seal the surface. Gently lay the thin marzipan sheet over the top of the cake and use your hands to help define the shape. Trim the excess marzipan from the bottom of the cake by using a pizza or pastry wheel or a very sharp knife. Dust the top with sifted powdered sugar (you can use a tea strainer) and garnish with a pink marzipan rose with leaves. The cake needs to be refrigerated until serving time and any leftovers need to be refrigerated as well. Ideally the cake should be eaten the day it is made.