Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cake for Aaron

(Excuse the terrible picture, the lighting was bad and the chocolate glaze wasn't cool enough so it ran everywhere. I also sprinkled the cake with some powdered sugar and will never make that mistake again.)My co-worker let me brag about my cake baking skills and said that he would buy a cake from me every week so that I could practice my recipes and decorating because he thinks I'm good at it and would like to see me with my own cake shop someday. (Why, thank you!) I don't have the time to bake a cake once a week at this point in my life so I figured I would make one he requested to start out with. I used the same strawberry cake recipe as the 4 year anniversary cake. Added a strawberry glaze between the layers and frosted with strawberry buttercream. I drizzled a chocolate glaze over top and topped with chocolate covered strawberries. He obviously fell in love with my Chocolate Covered Strawberry cake but I wanted to make it better! This cake recipe is taken directly from this foodie bride's website.

Fresh Strawberry Cake
24 oz strawberries, stems removed. = 3/4 cup strawberry puree
1-2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup milk
4 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp.

Combine strawberries and 2 tsp sugar in blender to make puree. Reserve 3/4 cup. Refrigerate remaining puree.

In small bowl, combine puree, milk, egg, vanilla and mix with fork until well blended. In bowl of stand mixer, add sifted flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. Continue beating at slow speed and add butter. Mix until combined and resembling moist crumbs. (Very important to use the butter softened, it affects the texture).

Add liquids and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute or until full and evenly combined. Stop mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl and hand beat for 30 more seconds.

Divide into 2, 8" rounds, greased and floured and with cut parchment. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees, rotating after 20 minutes. Cool in pans on wire rack 20 minutes then invert and continue to cool to room temp before moving racks into fridge to chill.

Strawberry Buttercream
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup mashed/pureed strawberries

Strawberry Glaze
16 oz fresh strawberries, stems removed
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp cornstarch

Whisk together water and cornstarch in small bowl. Combine remaining ingredients in a pot and bring to boil. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water/cornstarch mixture, bring to high heat and whisk 3-5 minutes or until thickens. Cool. Refrigerate leftover.

Chocolate Glaze
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate baking bars
1/3 cup butter, softened, cubed

Simmer over double boiler until melted.

I dipped the strawberries in this and set on waxed paper over a chilled wire cooling rack so the chocolate would set faster. Then refrigerated them while I frosted the cake.

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