Saturday, September 17, 2011

My new favorite cake- Strawberry-Lime Cream Cake

I am almost drooling down my shirt just thinking about this cake. I made it a couple of weeks ago when we had my brother and his wife over for our monthly family dinner. When I was looking at my favorite food blog for my usual dessert inspiration and came across this cake I was a tad skeptical. I love cake, I love strawberries and I love strawberry cake. However, I wouldn't say I'm a hugely wild fan of limes. BUT...let me just say that there is something about the combination of the strawberries and the lime that totally WORKS! It's a match made in heaven.

The cake is dense and moist and the lime cream and strawberry filling is light and flavorful and just plain delicious. I am so enthralled with this cake that I am going to make it for myself on my birthday. Strawberry season or not I'm having this cake come November! This is actually officially my new favorite white cake recipe too. I think I'll burn all the rest and this will take it's place. It would be incredible with any kind of filling or frosting.

Confession time! When I was making my cake layers I didn't adequately grease my pans and so when I tried to get both layers out which are then to be cut into 2 more layers my cake kinda, sorta, completely fell apart. It was a mess. Determined to put it together I pressed on but it was in no way blog worthy to look at. So I have pinched Mels picture from her blog so you can drool over that.

Strawberry-Lime Cream Cake
original source- White cake adapted from Betty Crocker, other components adapted from Mels friend, Reyna M.

*Note: this recipe looks like it has a lot of steps, and it does, but each can be made in advance and the cake assembled later. Plus, none of the steps are very difficult. The end result is worth it, trust me!

*Serves 12

White Cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg whites

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add buttermilk, butter and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl as needed. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Add the egg whites and beat for 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Pour the batter into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. (I lined the bottom of mine with a parchment circle and greased the top of the parchment circle.) Bake the cakes for 28-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs. Don’t overbake or the cakes will be dry. Cool the cakes on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a butter knife and remove the cakes from the pans to cool completely.

Strawberry Syrup/Puree:

1 pint fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Lime Cream:
*Note: you can substitute 1 to 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberry jam for the strawberry puree
4 limes, for 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream

Zest and juice the limes into a medium bowl. You should have about 1/2 cup lime juice. Add the sweetened condensed milk and mix well. Add the whipping cream and beat until medium-stiff peaks form. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Whipped Cream Frosting:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 envelope (about 2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
4 tablespoons water

In a small bowl, place the water and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let the mixture stand for 3-4 minutes until the gelatin has thickened. Microwave for 20-30 seconds until the gelatin dissolves and the mixture is warm. Remove from the microwave and let the mixture cool to room temperature (don’t let it set up!). In a large bowl, whip the cream, sugar and vanilla until slightly thickened. While beating slowly, gradually add the cooled gelatin to the whipped cream mixture. Whip at high speed until stiff peaks form.

To assemble the cake, slice each cooled cake round in half horizontally to form 4 cake circles. Place one cake layer on a cake plate and spread an even layer of strawberry syrup over the top. Spread a thick layer of lime cream over the jam, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge as the top cake layers will press the cream out toward the edges. Repeat the same layering process with the next two layers. Top with the final cake layer and frost the entire cake with the whipped cream frosting. Garnish with fresh limes and strawberries, if desired. Chill for 1-2 hours before serving to let the cake set up.

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