Thursday, January 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Sarah! - White cake layered with pastry cream and a strawberry filling


Another birthday!! These few months ahead are going to be really busy for us! We have 9 family birthdays from January to April! CRAZY! Up until last week, we had only made birthday cakes for family members. Last month, our good friend Sarah asked if we would make a birthday cake for her birthday party in January. We of course said yes and began creating this cake!

We truly had too much fun and we're very happy how it turned out! This cake looks so impressive but it so easy to decorate. You don't need any pipping skills and we think many of you will like that idea. It only took us 30 minutes to assemble the cake from start to finish.

Here is the recipe:

White Cake
We used Bridget's white cake recipe from The Way the Cookie Crumbles. We LOVE her blog! It's her adaption of the Cooks Illustrated's White Cake. You can find the recipe here. We 1.5x the recipe because we made a 9in cake (Bridget's recipe is for an 8in) and because we didn't want the layers to be too thin!

Pastry Cream Filling
Recipe below.
Plus 1 pint of  fresh strawberries sliced and mixed with 1 Tbs of sugar.

Strawberry Filling
Recipe Below

3 cups of heavy whipping cream
1\3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat whipping cream in a stand mixer until soft peaks form. Fold in the sugar and vanilla. Continue beating until peaks are stiff.

Pirouette Rolled Wafers
1 tin of the French Vanilla flavor, trimmed into different heights.
1 tin of the Chocolate Fudge flavor, trimmed into different heights.

Chocolate covered Strawberries
6 oz of semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 ounces of white chocolate, chopped
15-16 large strawberries
Put the chocolates in seperate microwave safe bowls.
One at a time, melt the chocolate in the microwave in intervals of 30 seconds, stirring each time. Heat and stir until smooth.

Line a baking pan with parchement paper. Hold the strawberries by the stems and dip each one into the semisweet chocolate. Lift and twist the strawberries to let the excess chocolate drip off. Then place onto the parchement paper.

Dip a fork into the white chocolate and drizzle the chocolate over the dipped strawberries.

Let the chocolate set.

**We made the cake, fillings and dipped strawberries the night before. We find this so helpful and in the morning, we just have to make the whipped cream and assemble the cake!

**After the cake cools, we wrap the cakes in plastic wrap and this keeps them really moist!
Lets Begin! Here are step-by-step pictures to show you how to assemble the cake!

Take both layers of cake and cut each layer in half so you get 4 layers.

Place one layer of cake, cut side up, on a cake board and pipe a ring of whipped cream around the edges of the cake. This keeps the filling from oozing out!

Place half the strawberry filling in the middle and smooth it out to the edges.

Place the second layer of cake, cut side down, on top and pipe another ring of whipped cream around the edges.

Place the pastry cream in the middle and smooth it out to the edges.

Place the fresh strawberries on top of the pastry cream.

Place the 3rd layer of cake, cut side up, on top and pipe another ring of whipped cream around the edges.

Place the other half of strawberry filling in the center and smooth out.

Place the last layer of cake, cut side down, on top.

Cover the entire cake with the whipped cream.

You don't have to be perfect because all of this will get covered up!

Place the rolled wafers, alternating the flavors, around the sides of the enitre cake. When done, tie some ribbon around the cake to help hold the wafers in place! Place the dipped strawberries on top of the cake. The wafers will keep them from sliding of the top. (Not pictured)

Here is the recipe for the pastry cream. Our FAVORITE recipe! Sooo very good!

2 cups of half and half
1\2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks (you'll need the whites for the cake!)
3 Tbs Cornstarch
4 Tbs of unsalted butter, cold and cubed.
1 tsp vanilla paste (You could also use one vanilla stick or tsp a vanilla extract)

1\2 cup of whipped cream ( We do this to make the cream lighter and it seriously makes a BIG difference)

Heat the half and half, vanilla paste, 6 Tbs sugar and salt in a medium pot over medium heat until it starts to simmer.

In the meantime, whisk the egg yolks, in a medium bowl, with the remaining sugar and cornstarch for about a minute.

When the half and half mixture reaches a full simmer, pour have of if into the egg mixture bowl and whisking constantly.

Return the mixture to the pot and whisk the cream over medium heat. Let the cream thicken for about 1-2 minutes. Once the cream has thickened, turn of the heat and mix in the butter until melted.

Strain the cream through a sieve over a medium bowl. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and press the wrap directly over the cream so that a skin will not form. Refridgerate until cold and set.

Once the cream is cold fold in the whipped cream. Use right away of refridgerate until ready to use.

Here is the recipe for the strawberry filling.

3 cups of slice strawberries
1\4 cup granulated sugar
1\2 cup of water
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs cornstarch

Mix everything, besides 1 cup of strawberries, in a medium pot over medium heat. Let the mixture simmer for 15-20 minutes until the strawberries have melted a little and the mixture has thickened.

Turn off heat and mix in the last cup of sliced strawberries.

Transfer to a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refridgerate until cool.

Here a view of the cake from the top! Doesn't it look so pretty!



Charmian @Christie's Corner said...

What a brilliant way to decorate a layer cake! Love this idea, especially since I lack piping skills but love to bake.

Poncho Wearer said...

Beautiful! At first glance, the cake looks difficult, but you make it look so easy!

Lisa and Maria said...

Christie- Thank you! We love making cakes for people, but what we love more is making a cake that doesn't take all day!

Poncho Wearer- We totally agree! Everyone will think you need pastry skills to make this but little do they know! tihii ;)

Sook said...

Oh Sarah is so lucky! I want this for my birthday! What a great treat!

Anonymous said...

So I'm "Sarah" the bday girl...and let me just say, not only does this cake look tastes delicious!!! This is something you MUST try especially if you love strawberries like me! It was such a treat to have Lisa and Maria make me this cake and if definitely so worth it! Thanks girls!!

Anonymous said...

This cake is so beautiful. I'll save the recipe. Thanks :)

Lisa and Maria said...

Sook- Let us know if you're in Chicago for your birthday! hihi

Sarah!- Thanks for the comment! We had so much fun making your cake. We're glad you truly enjoyed it and you're so welcome!

France- Thanks for the compliment! Let us know if yuo end up trying this recipe!

Kate said...

This is absolutely beautiful - definitely has the WOW factor! Thanks for sharing the step-by-step!

Bridget said...

I'm so glad you guys like the white cake recipe! You really can't go wrong with white cake, strawberries, whipped cream, and pastry cream, can you? I need to try it that way! Your cake is absolutely beautiful.

Lisa and Maria said...

Kate- Thanks for your comment! We try to do step-by step photo post for recipes that need it! Makes it much easier for recipes that involve many steps!

Bridget- Thanks so much for stopping by and for your white cake recipe! Your blog is one of our favorites! Keep up the great work! =)

Bhumi G. said...

Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe, I found this through and decided to make it for Valentines. The cake is incredible, looks amazing and tastes fabulous. It was my first time making pastry cream. I want to thank you for your step by step instruction and pictures. They were very helpful.

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

Absolutely Gorgeous!!!


Tia said...

you guys are so talented! beautiful cake and so doable too.

Tia @ buttercreambarbie

Freight audit said...

Wow, it looks very sweet.. I like it. The flavor was very amazing.. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

can we add the pastry cream in all the layers?

Anonymous said...

What in heck's name is "half and half" used in the making of the pastry cream??

Anonymous said...

Excuse me but what do you mean when you say you 1.5x the recipe? It's like, you make the recipe + half the recipe?

Thank you in advance.