Sunday, June 29, 2008

Birthday Traditions

Birthday Traditions.....................

In my family we have a birthday tradition. When it is your birthday you get to pick out your favorite dinner ( homemade of course with the exception of pizza), the flavors of your cake, and the theme for your cake. My son Johnny ( 15 yrs old) picked Chinese food, chocolate cake with chocolate filling shaped like a guitar. My daughter Caitlyn( 14 yrs old) picked lasagna, chocolate cake with chocolate filling shaped like a gift. My nephew Mark wanted sausage manicotti with chocolate cake and chocolate filling, shaped like an over easy egg and waffles. With Tristan's birthday coming up I asked him," What kind of cake you want for your birthday?" He replied," Strawberry shortcake shaped like a hamburger or army tank." I tried to explain to him that you can't shape strawberry shortcakes like a hamburger or tank. He did not understand. I even replied back," Grandma could do it." So, this weeks cake was a Old fashioned berry cake from the Martha Stewart baking hand book. I only used strawberries. In hopes of getting Tristan to change his mind about the flavor of the cake he wants. And for those of you that think strawberry filling with white or yellow cake will do for his birthday cake, you are wrong. He wants the strawberries over flowing with whip cream, too. This weeks cake inspired by my son in hopes of changing his mind about his birthday cake. I made the cake last night. It was not a hard cake to make. It was very light and not too sweet. I did have some strawberries left over so, I dipped them in chocolate served them with a slice of cake.

For your Old Fashioned Berry Cake you will need:

unsalted butter, for pans 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup all purpose flour 1 vanilla bean ( optional)
1/4 cup cornstarch 3 pints small strawberries, hulled
6 large whole eggs, plus 4 large egg yolks 1 cup granulated sugar
room temperature 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 quart (4 cups) heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans: set aside. Into a large bowl, sift together flour and cornstarch; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the whole eggs, egg yolks, granulated sugar, salt, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat on high speed until thick and pale(it should hold a ribbon like trail on the surface when the whisk is raised), about 5 minutes; scrape down the sides of the bow as needed.

Add flour mixture to egg mixture. With mixer on low speed, beat until just combined. Add oil in a steady stream, mixing until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer. Using the whisk, fold mixture several times.

Divide batter between pans and smooth with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the cakes are springy to the touch and a cake tester inserted in he center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

Immediately invert cakes onto a wire rack. Then re-invert the cakes, and let them cool completely, top side up.

In theo bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine cream, confetioners' sugar, and remaining teaspoon vanilla extract. Scrape in vanilla bean, if used. Starting on low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high, ship until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.

Using a serrated knife, trim the tops of the cakes to make level. Slice each cake in half horizontally in two layers. Place on of the bottom layers on a serving plate. Spread a quarter of the whipped cram over the layer; arrange a quarter of the mixed berries on top. Repeat with remaining cake layers, cream, and berries; garnish top with mint leaves, if using. Serve immediately; slice with serrated knife.

I liked this cake because it was not a really sweet cake. As for the rest of the family they all loved it. Good luck to you if you try it out.

1 comment:

Cassandra said...

Yummy, everything looks delicious!