Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Strawberry Cream Cake

I typically only post recipes that I like but I'm going to make an exception this time because there was part of this recipe that I really liked and a part that I didn't like, at all. I've been craving a fruity dessert, maybe a fruit tart or something. Then I thought about the Asian cakes that my Mom used to buy for me when I was little. One of my favorite was a strawberry cream cake. Whipped cream filling and icing with lots of fresh strawberries. I've also had pineapple and other fruit ones but there's just something about strawberries and cream

I came across a recipe on Cook's Illustrated online called (wait for it) Strawberry Cream Cake! Huh, whatta y'know? After reading through it, I knew I had to try it. This was the result.

I think the cake is very pretty and simplistic. But what you can't tell from the picture was that the cake sucked. I mean, I didn't like it at all, hated it so much that I ended up discarding the cake and just eating the strawberry and cream.

I was very disappointed with the cake's texture, heavy, dense, and bland. Now I know adding whipped egg white to a cake batter produces a lighter, almost spongy like texture. It was spongy, but firm and not quite the light fluffy cake I was expecting. Maybe I overmixed the batter or didn't do something quite right in the folding. But beyond the texture, which I didn't think complemented the strawberry and cream at all, the cake was just blah on flavor.

The cream, on the other hand, was a winner! I don't recall having whipped cream with cream cheese combine but it was delicious. The cream cheese was subtle that creates a distinctive taste, heavier than stiffed whipped cream. It complimented the strawberries (which were quite good for this time of the year). I'm not sure how many people have tried it this way but I highly recommend it if you like strawberries and whipped cream.

Whipped Cream-Cream Cheese:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 cups heavy cream

In a standing mixer bowl with the whisk attachment, combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk everything at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. How long will depend on your mixer. It took mine about 3 minutes with a couple of scrapings. Reduce the speed to low and add heavy cream in a slow and steady stream. After adding all the cream and when the mixture is almost fully combined, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until mixture holds stiff peaks, scraping bowl as needed. This took about 4 minutes for my mixer. You should have about 4 1/2 cups of the final cream mixture.
The cream mixer is pretty thick and holds well to spreading. I'm actually thinking about trying the cream as a frosting on cupcakes and maybe adding some sliced fruit on top. It might be good with the cake recipe from the vanilla-vanilla cupcakes since that cake is pretty light and fluffy. Or if I'm being really lazy, have it with some Sara Lee frozen pound cake (love that pound cake!). Mmm, think I'll go scoop some leftover strawberries and cream for an afternoon snack now!


Ingrid said...

Um, my #1 obsession - whipped cream. I can never get enough of it.

I cannot wait to try the whipped cream/cream cheese blend. It's not going to help the 'operation hot body' stretch that I am on, but you can be that Sunday (my free day - sounds awful, huh?), I'll be whipping this up with something, maybe not the cake, but something!

Barefoot Plumies said...

I hope you like it! I love whipped cream and this combo was so good! I ran out of strawberries but that didn't stop me from finishing up the cream blend.

Saturday is my free day! I try to eat "healthier" during the week and if I've been good, I can eat whatever I want on Saturdays!

Anonymous said...

I've tried this recipe twice and it has been a hit both times. Just don't overbake the cake.

Barefoot Plumies said...

Thanks for the link to the recipe. I think a not-overly sweet yellow cake would go very well with the strawberry and cream. I'll have to give that recipe a try the next I pick up some strawberries.