Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hubby's Birthday Cake

So, anyone who knows my husband is well aware that his favorite type of cake is strawberry. Yes, pink, girly strawberry cake. And I love him for it. So…for his birthday, I made it my mission to make a strawberry cake from scratch (how hard can it be?) and to hunt down a good “white wedding frosting” for it (because, again, his favorite type).
After sifting through many, many strawberry cake recipes that involved strawberry jello, strawberry extract, and red food coloring, I finally cake across a recipe on a food blog that caught my eye. No strawberry jello. No extract. No food coloring. Just strawberries. (In case you’re wondering it is from the blog “Confections of a Foodie Bride” here) The comments on the post all sounded good so I decided to give it a shot. The batter was pretty pink color and had a definite strawberry flavor to it. Now, one thing that I did change a little was the strawberries. The strawberry puree in the original was no sugar added organic frozen. Well, we bought the sugar added HyVee brand….because it was the cheapest! *duh*
Anyway, moving on to the frosting, I know how to make basic buttercream (thanks to my cake decorating for beginning Wilton class). However, it’s never “quite right.” So, I commenced again with searching to find a worthwhile recipe. The one I ended up settling on was from the website/blog Dine & Dish. It looked simple (read: EASY) and not THAT much different that what I normally. The only differences were milk instead of water and half butter/half shortening instead of all shortening. They taught us that this was an option in class…but then your frosting is, well, perishable.
The frosting turned out pretty well. I was quite happy with it (and so was the boy). I took a little bit of the frosting and added a bit of powdered sugar and some of the juice drained off the strawberries and made a thinner strawberry frosting for between the layers.

Well, the only real problem I encountered while making the cake was….the middle. I wanted to make the center section just a tad thicker, so when I made my dam with the white frosting, I doubled it up (something they taught us that we could do in class). The problem: my white wasn’t thick enough to support this. I definitely needed to make a thicker frosting and maybe double the width of the dam as well. Perhaps needless to say, the cake did a fair amount of sliding as I attempted to frost the cake.

In the end, I couldn’t get the frosting as smooth as I like (because of the sliding)…so I covered it with sugar sprinkles and threw it in the fridge in hopes that it would get a bit more solid. It didn’t…not really. The top tried to slide off when you cut it!!

The cake was pretty good overall. The strawberry icing in the center was FANTASTIC (too bad I have no idea how much strawberry stuff I put in). The cake didn’t have a very strong strawberry flavor to it. The flavor was there, but it wasn’t very prominent. If you are looking for a strongly flavored strawberry cake, you probably should just use the box mix! However, it was delicious–rich, dense, and moist! I’d make it again in a heartbeat, especially with the frosting.
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