Tuesday, June 19, 2012

TWD: French Strawberry Cake

Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan
Contributing Baker: Flo Braker


                                                                               French Strawberry Cake



I can't remember the last time I baked an eight-inch cake. I wasn't even sure if I had a cake pan that size. Scouring through the black abyss of a cupboard I was lucky to find an eight-inch springform pan which worked perfectly for this type of cake.

Upon releasing the cake from the pan it looked oh so small and it was only 1 1/4 inches high. There was no way I was going to get three layers out of it. Cutting it in half would have to suffice. I baked the cake a day ahead and wrapped it in plastic wrap though the instructions say it would be fine left out un-wrapped overnight; I felt the need to wrap it. That is why the top looks mottled - for the plastic wrap when removed took some of the top layer off. No worries though, as it was soon going to be covered with fluffy whipped cream.

As the wrapped cake sat on the counter I could smell the sweetness of it; it smelled so good. Both the strawberries and the whipped cream had added sugar. I was surprised that the finished cake was not overly sweet. I altered the recipe slightly: I added only 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar to the berries rather than the 1/4 cup the recipe called for. The whipped cream recipe called for 2 tablespoons sour cream which I did not have so I substituted plain Greek yogurt. I also sprinkled the berries (after being placed on the cake) with Cointreau. If I were to make this again, I would make a simple syrup with the Cointreau and brush the cake layers with it for it was ever-so-slightly dry; which I think sponge cakes are in general.

I forget how much I like whipped cream (with no sugar added) as a frosting; it tastes fresh and light, and has that oh so pillowy soft look to it.

This was just OK. It was easy and turned out beautiful. I really wanted to like this cake, to say it was to die for. How can something so beautiful and smell so good not taste amazing. My sister took the leftovers to work and I had to ask (two days later) what they thought of it. Normally she texts me soon after with their praises and requests for the recipe. She said they did not say anything, that maybe I need to make something chocolate - my specialty.

Once again a BWJ recipe has not won me over. So far the recipes in this book are making me think that I have lost my culinary touch. I am known in my circle of friends as the dessert lady. Whenever there is a get-together I'm the one that gets chosen to bring dessert. I'm a sucker for punishment so I'll give this book a few more tries to impress me.

Success meter (1-3): 2 (I rated this a two because it was so easy and so beautiful. Maybe with a tweak or two it can be amazing.)
















Freeze your bowl and beaters before whipping
your cream for better volume.












Looking for the recipe? Visit this month's host's sites:

Sophia of Sophia’s Sweets 


Also make sure to check out all the other Tuesdays with Dorie baker's variations of this cake by clicking here.

31 comments:

  1. This recipe hasn't win me over either but yours looks fantastic even if you didn't love it!!!!!

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  2. Sorry this wasn't a hit for you. Your pictures are lovely, though.

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  3. Your cake looks great and your photos are gorgeous!
    The cake did smell pretty good huh?!

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  4. I opt for more strawberries. I know what you mean

    Ulrike @Küchenlatein

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  5. You did a superb job with the cream and the choco covered strawberries! I like your serving plate. I was a second away from adding cointreau also!

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  6. I'm glad it's not just me! I don't feel like I've had much success with the recipes in this book yet. I feel like the lone naysayer sometimes. Your chocolate covered strawberries are a nice touch!!

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  7. I love your photos, they are so pretty and the cake looks amazing. Unfortunately, like you, I was not crazy about the cake. I even tried it the day after thinking it might soften up, but no dice. I did love the whipped cream frosting, though.

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  8. Sorry you didn't love it. Your pictures are beautiful. Maybe the next recipe will excite you!

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  9. I didn't think it was to die for either..

    Great pictures.. Your cake looks so spongy.. Mine was dense and sad..

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  10. Cathleen,

    Those chocolate strawberries look divine! Nice job on the cake. Beautiful photos.

    ~ Carmen
    http://bakingismyzen.wordpress.com/

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  11. well, I can see from your pic's why you're known as the "Dessert Lady" among your circle of friends. beautiful!

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  12. It's not you, the recipes we've done so far have not been impressive. At least this one didn't take much work.

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  13. Your photos are gorgeous and your cake is absolutely beautiful! Sorry this wasn’t a win for you!

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  14. All of your photos are just so pretty and the finished cake does look delicious - too bad it fell short of your expectations but it certainly looks wonderful!

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  15. Love your post, especially the chocolate-covered strawberries. Our favorite. Great photography as well. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. Beautiful photos and presentation! I didn't mind the cake, I just wish it had risen more.

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  17. I agree that this cake isn't super show-stopping in the taste department, but it sure does make a nice presentation. Love your gorgeous chocolate covered strawberries!

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  18. How could they not like it when it has chocolate covered strawberries on top?! Your cake is beautiful! Sorry, there were no praises for the taste. We enjoyed this one even though mine didn't rise properly.

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  19. When I first tasted the cake itself, I didn't care for it. But I made cupcakes and really soaked the each cupcake with the juices. Let them sit overnight and had one the next day. I loved it. I think these types of cakes are really made to ladle on the juices and not become to soggy.

    Beautiful pics!

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  20. Beautiful cake! Beautiful berries! Beautiful photos! Chocolate dipped strawberries - my absolute favorite!!

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  21. Gorgeous chocolate covered strawberries. I wonder if our taste has changed over the years so that these recipes from 10+ years ago are not impressive. Just a thought.

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  22. Your photos are gorgeous!! I wasn't crazy about this recipe either but I must admit it was better on day 2 after the strawberries soaked into the cake. Here's hoping that we like the next BWJ recipe better.

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  23. Wow - what an impressive prep photo session! Looks marvelous - as do your dipped berrie! Kudos!

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  24. Great photos! Love chocolate dipped strawberries!! I also put less sugar in my berries.

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  25. love your addition of chocolate covered strawberries! this cake was nice but not outta this world great, I agree - but how tasty! :)

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  26. Wow I like the idea of using chocolate-dipped strawberries for the decoration! Your cake looks lovely :-)

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  27. I just love your pictures. The chocolate-dipped strawberries are a great idea!

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  28. cointreau?!! That's sounds like a super great addition! Nice!

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  29. Mmmm, chocolate covered strawberries plus the added Cointreau is a winner in my books!

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