Tuesday, June 19, 2012

French strawberry cake (TWD: BwJ)

Genoise and I haven't always gotten along (read this story if you're interested in a cocoa genoise complete comedy of errors), so I was a little nervous about this week's TWD: BwJ recipe: French strawberry cake.

But then we went strawberry picking on the spur of the moment (I love summer!), and it seemed that I'd have to make it for sure. I macerated the strawberries ahead of time, and assuming I'd make a half-recipe because I always do, I used half the amounts.

The next day, I read the instructions for the cake: oops! The recipe makes an 8" round....which I don't own. I have a 9" or a 6". The 6" was too big for a half-batch, so, being too lazy to try to scale the recipe correctly, I made a full recipe, filled the 6", a ramekin, and had a little batter left over.

I knew many people had struggled with the cake, so I was uber-careful. I let the eggs sit in warm water for a long time, carefully measured out all ingredients ahead of time (including sifting the flour prior to measuring because I noticed that it said "1 cup sifted flour" and not "1 cup flour, sifted"), and read each step about 17 times. When my eggs and sugar hadn't doubled in volume after 5 minutes of whipping, I remembered something I'd read on the P&Q about the egg temperature...sure enough, when I stuck my finger in the bowl, the eggs were cool. I set the mixing bowl in a bowl of hot water, and after about five minutes, the eggs felt warm; they whipped up beautifully after that.

When it came time to fold in the flour, I decided not to use my usual method, which usually yields sketchy results: I usually dump in the flour and use a rubber spatula to fold. Instead, I carefully sifted bits of flour over the top and then used a big balloon whisk. This seemed to work. The batter didn't deflate nearly as much as it usually does. The ramekin baked in 24 minutes, and the 6" cake baked in 27 minutes.

While they baked, I made the whipped cream (a full batch because it sounded too good not to): cream, sugar, sour cream, and vanilla...yes, please!

The cake was tall enough to cut in three layers, but I was just making it for our family dessert and it was late and I was tired, so I went the lazy route: two layers and no fancy decorating. It didn't matter; we all loved this cake. I usually make the kids eat dinner before dessert (on the rare occasions when we have dessert), but once in a while, when I make something extra special, I serve it with the meal. The little guy gobbled his cake up before touching anything else, and then said, "There seems to be a problem; my cake is all gone. I think I need another serving."

For the recipe, check out our hosts' blogs: Sophia of Sophia’s Sweets and Allison of Sleep Love Think Dine, and to see what everyone else thought, check the links.


  1. That looks delicious, Abby! My favorite angel food cake recipe is where I learned that trick about folding with a balloon whisk--glad to know that it works well here. I hope to make this one on the weekend, once I get more strawberries.

  2. wow that looks so amazing!! i love strawberries at this time of year! thanks for sharing!

  3. I, too, read all the tips about this cake -- after I made mine. Gald yours worked out. You deserved it after the cocoa genoise debacle.

  4. When a cake looks that good it IS a problem when its gone:) I haven't tried folding with a whisk but need to try it!

  5. Nice job! It sounds like you were one of the few to master the genoise.

  6. The macerated berries on top looks so pretty!

  7. Looks really tasty and beautiful from here...I need to get back on the TWD wagon as this was one I wanted to make. Question...I use my 6" pan as a half for an 8" layer...you think that is too much as I noticed you took a little out...how did you know to do that?