Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Strawberry Tallcake

My son's 9th birthday was yesterday, and, inspired by the strawberry shortcake from this summer, he jokingly asked me if there was such thing as "Strawberry Tall Cake".  I googled it, and found this recipe.  :)  It looked easy and delicious, and he was very excited about it, so I made this for his birthday.  It was indeed delicious, and felt a little lighter than a birthday cake covered in a butter frosting (although I love those too!)
This is just a simple yellow cake.  You bake 2, 8-inch layers and let them cool completely.  Then split each in half.  Whip some cream, cut some strawberries and let them macerate in sugar for a few minutes, and then slap it all together with some strawberry jam.  The messy-ness and rustic look is part of the charm here.

Strawberry Tallcake
adapted from MyRecipes (Sunset Magazine)

Yellow Cake: 
2 1/4 cups cake flour*
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugar and butter until creamy. Crack eggs into a small dish (do not beat) and add vanilla. Add eggs to the butter mixture 1 at a time, scraping down the inside of the bowl as needed. Beat in flour mixture and milk in alternating batches, starting and ending with the flour and making sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next.

2. Grease and flour 2 round 8-in. cake pans. Line bottoms with circles of wax paper, and grease and flour the wax paper.  Divide batter evenly between pans.

3. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

4. Cool cakes 5 minutes. Invert onto a rack, remove pans, and let cool to room temperature, at least 40 minutes.

Make ahead: Up to 2 days, wrapped in plastic wrap and chilled.
*For a cake flour sub, remove 2 TBS flour from each cup of all-purpose flour.  Replace with 2 TBS cornstarch.

4 cups quartered strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups heavy cream
6 ounces good-quality strawberry jam (9 tbsp.) (use homemade freezer jam!)
Yellow Cake, recipe above

1. Make filling: In a large bowl, combine strawberries, 2 tbsp. sugar, and juice. Let sit 10 minutes.

2. In a medium bowl, beat cream until it holds a stiff peak. (Add a few TBS. of sugar; optional.  I added no sugar to the whipped cream.)

3. Assemble cake: Using a serrated knife, slice both cake layers in half horizontally. Set rounded tops aside to use as middle layers.  Place 1 of remaining layers on stand, cut side up. Spread with about 3 tbsp. jam. Sprinkle with about one-quarter of the sweetened strawberries, along with some juice. Then dollop one-quarter of the cream over strawberries. Repeat with second and third cake layers, using the reserved rounded tops.

4. Place the remaining layer on the top of the cake, cut side down. Mound the remaining whipped cream in the center and spread to about 1 in. from the edge, then sprinkle with remaining strawberries.

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