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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Strawberry Not-So-Shortcake

Every birthday needs to be celebrated with a MASSIVE, **emphasis on the massive** and delectable birthday cake. Its just not a birthday without one. Theres just something about cutting into a thick layer cake smothered with fluffy frosting that makes the day 10 times sweeter. Well, tomorrow is Cole's birthday, and Kelsey, also a major proponent of the massive birthday cake, and I decided to make him one that he would never forget. While in the grocery store we were inspired by the giant fresh strawberries and decided to highlight the luscious summer fruit by making a cake that acts as an ode to them. *Its also Kelsey's favorite, so remember that!* This tribute resulted in my version of a Strawberry Not-So-Shortcake. Its not short because, well, its three layers high and HUGE. Light layers of vanilla cake are filled with a strawberry compote sauce and creamy whipped cream. This cake is the definition of summer. It's light, a killer flavor combination, and is SO BEAUTIFUL. Seriously, its stunning. Also, I didn't have the time/patience to make the cake base from scratch, so I played Cake Doctor on this one, using a boxed cake and turning it into something that definitely qualifies as homemade. Nothing beats cutting into this tall and elegant cake and getting a look at the triple layers and different colors. It's magical. Think strawberries and cream. Well, Cole loved it, duh. I also had an extra layer and made a mini version which was demolished in record time thanks to some very hungree individuals. So, make this now and people will fall in love with not only you, but this cake too. HAPPY BIRTHDAY COLE

Strawberry Not-So-Shortcake

2 boxes vanilla cake mix
6 eggs
2 cups water
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
zest of 1 lemon

Strawberry Compote
2 bags frozen strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tbs light corn syrup

Whipped Cream
4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Fresh sliced strawberries

Recipe: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl with the electric mixer, combine the cake mix, eggs, water, oil, vanilla, and lemon zest and beat until well combined. Mix for about 3 minutes ensuring that there are no clumps! We like smooth cake in this house. Evenly pour the mix into 3 greased round cake pans and bake them in the oven for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. Cool completely before using.

Once the cake is in the oven start on the compote. Thinly slice the frozen strawberries, leaving a few whole for good measure. Put these in a skillet along with the rest of the ingredients and cook on low heat for about an hour and a half. The mixture should thicken and reduce and should turn into a beautiful vibrant color. Cool this in the fridge before assembling.

For the frosting, put the whipping cream and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixture until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and continue whipping on high until stiff peaks form and you get the desired consistency.

Assembly: On a cake board or cake plate or pan, lay down one cake layer. Spoon the cooled compote on top, juice included, spreading it evenly around the top of the layer. Take a big dollop of whipped cream and put it on top of the compote, spreading gently so you do NOT mix them together and keep them in two distinct layers. Gently lay the next cake layer on top, and continue until you finish with a layer of whipped cream on top. Decorate the top with fresh strawberries!

 And now 4 some pIX
 Just me decorating
 Strawberry Compote on layer #3
 Some fresh sliced berries for the top
 Frost it up
 Now make a pretty pattern
 TADA. Yummiest 19 years of your life Cole.
 Such a happy birthday boy
 And this is why he's so would be too if this was your cake.
 LOOK at dem layers

strawberry fields 4ever

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