I know I’ve been for a while… since Easter!! But, so many things are going down that I just couldn’t find the time. Plus, I took a little vacation inbetween. So let’s not dwell on the time that I was away, but dwell on what I’ve made since I’ve been back!
I’ve said before that a lot German cakes (and even food) are based on the seasons. We are currently in asparagus season which means that delicious white asparagus with Hollandaise is to be seen on every menu across town. Next, we have strawberry season, which means I’m up to bat! One of the most popular cakes is the strawberry cake. It’s typically made from a sponge cake filled with a vanilla cream (or pudding, if you must) and topped with fresh strawberries. Simple, right?! Yes, which is why I love it so much. Nothing can top this strawberry cake if you take a little bit of care choosing your ingredients, you cannot fail for a delicious tasting cake.
When I make this cake at work it is always the first to be sold out. People just get so excited because it only comes around once a year! And when it does… some will stop at nothing to eat as much during this season as possible… I ain’t mad.
I typically make this cake over two days. It’s a bit easier to do it this way to let the vanilla cream set, but it’s definitely up to you if you’d like to take on this cake in one day.
- For the sponge:
- 250 g sugar
- 450 g eggs, room temperature
- 110 g flour
- 67 g corn starch
- 5 g baking powder
- 33 ml oil
- For the vanilla cream:
- 1000 ml milk
- 111 g sugar
- ½ vanilla bean
- 114 ml milk
- 85 g corn starch
- 120 g egg yolks (6 yolks)
- For the strawberry topping:
- 1250 g fresh strawberries
- 2 packets of red gelatin (or jello), preperably strawberry flavored
- Start by preparing the baking pan, spring form, or your desired baking form by lining it with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius or 350 Fahrenheit.
- In your mixing machine, beat the eggs and sugar on high until they become much lighter in color, doubled (if not tripled) in volume. This could take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes depending on the temperature of the eggs.
- While the eggs are beating sift together the flour, corn starch, and baking powder.
- Remove the whipped eggs from the mixing machine and fold in the dry ingredients. Finally, fold in the oil.
- Pour into the prepared baking form, smooth the surface evenly, and place immediately in the oven to bake for about 25 minutes. To test the sponge, light press the surface of the cake with your hand and if it springs back, it's done!
- Let the cake cool completely.
- Once cooled cut the sponge through the middle, lenthwise, giving you two layers.
- Place the bottom layer in the form and set the top layer aside.
- To cook the vanilla cream (or pudding) start by measuring the 1000 ml milk, sugar, and ½ vanilla bean in a pot. Bring to a boil over the stove.
- In a separate medium-sized bowl, mix the 114 ml milk, corn starch, and egg yolks together until all lumps are removed.
- Once the milk has begun boiling spoon about ⅓ of the hot mixture into the egg mixture, while stirring. This will help temper the egg yolks so they do not scrample. Transfer everything back into the pot and bring once again to a boil while stirring contantly.
- Remove from heat and remove the vanilla bean.
- Pour onto the bottom layer of sponge cake. Top with the second layer and let set in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- To prepare the strawberries, wash and cut the green off the strawberry and then cut into fourths or smaller depending on the size of the strawberries.
- Layer the strawberries on top of the cake being careful to fill any holes and arould the edges. You should not see any of the cake peeking through.
- Cook the gelatin according to the packaged directions. For example, I was to cook the two packets with 500 ml of water and 4 tablespoons of sugar on the stove until boiling.
- With a silicon brush (or even a spoon) carefully and slowely brush the gelatin onto the strawberries going back to fill any holes that may have seeped through. It is very important to make sure to use enough gelatin to hold the strawberries together. Otherwise, when you go to cut the cake, the strawberries will fall apart. On the other hand, you also want to make sure you will be serving strawberry cake and not jello cake... although either way it would taste great!
- Place the cake back in the refrigerator for about a half hour.
- Cut and serve!