Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Strawberry Meringue Cake

So this was an interesting recipe...I made this cake to go with our cookout last weekend. I had high hopes for the recipe but it just didn't come out right. The cake part was very good - dense like a pound cake - and the strawberries + whipped cream combination was good. However, the meringue layer just didn't work. I don't know if it wasn't cooked enough or what, but the meringue was spongy and not crisp.

Strawberry Meringue Cake
from Joy of Baking

Cake Batter:
4 large egg yolks
1 cup (100 grams) sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) (114 grams) unsalted butter

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk

Meringue Layer:
4 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping:
1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons (28 grams) granulated white sugar
1 pound (454 grams) fresh strawberries, sliced (Add a little sugar if necessary)
Confectioners Sugar (powdered or icing) for dusting top of cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Grease and flour two - 8 x 1 1/2 inches (20 x 3.75 cm) round cake pans. Set aside.
Cake: Separate the eggs while they are still cold, placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another bowl. Cover the two bowls with plastic wrap and allow the eggs to come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes).

In a mixing bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat in the vanilla extract.

With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans, smoothing the tops with an offset spatula. Set aside while you make the meringue layer.

Meringue: In a clean bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Beat in the vanilla extract.
Divide the meringue between the two cake pans, gently smoothing the tops with an offset spatula. Bake for approximately 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. The meringue layers will have turned a light brown and will be crisp to the touch but soft inside. Place the pans on a wire rack to cool. When completely cooled, remove from pans.

Shortly before serving whip the cream with the sugar until soft peaks form. Slice the strawberries and, if necessary, add a little sugar to sweeten them. Place one of the cake layers, meringue side down, on a serving platter. Spread or pipe half of the whipping cream onto the cake and top with half the strawberries. Gently place the second cake layer, cake side down so the meringue layer is facing up, onto the first layer. Spread or pipe the rest of the whipping cream and then strawberries on top of the meringue. Dust with confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar. If not eating immediately, cover and place in the refrigerator until serving time. The assembled cake will hold in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Serves 8 - 10.

1 comment:

Joelen said...

What a beautiful summer cake - nice job!