Saturday, April 13, 2013

Birthday Cake! (strawberry shortcake meets banana cream pie)


For my sister's 22nd birthday we had the most amazing cake! She requested something with both banana and strawberry and so this is what we came up with: four layers of sponge cake with an alternate filling of custard/banana and strawberries and whipped cream, this was so fresh yet satisfying and oh so high we weren't sure if it could stand on it's own!

While it may look complex it really isn't, it's simply assembly work and specific elements. We used a Japanese sponge cake recipe and a homemade custard and the rest is super easy (bananas, strawberries and freshly whipped creme Chantilly which is just a fancy word for whipped cream!)

Japanese Sponge Cake (makes 2 cakes, cut each in half to yield 4 layers)
Credited to lafujimama 

Makes one 7 or 8-inch layered cake
For Noriko’s sponge cake:

4 large eggs, white and yolks separated

4.2 ounces (120 grams, 9.5 tablespoons) granulated sugar, sifted once

3 tablespoons milk, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

4.2 ounces (120 grams, 14 tablespoons) cake flour, sifted 3 times

1.2 ounces (22 grams, 2.3 tablespoons) butter, melted

To make Noriko’s Sponge Cake:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (170 to 180 degrees Celsius).  Line a 7 (18cm) or 8-inch circular cake pan with parchment paper, or grease the cake pan with butter, then lightly coat the pan with flour.

2. Add the sugar to the egg whites, and beat the egg whites until they are stiff and glossy.

3. Add the egg yolks to the egg white mixture, and gently whisk until the yolks are incorporated.

4. Add the milk, vanilla extract, and flour (in that order) to the batter and gently fold them into the batter with a spatula.  Fold in the melted butter until it is well combined.

5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan, and get rid of any air bubbles in the batter by dropping the pan on a counter once or twice.  Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes.  The cake is done when it is golden brown and springs back when pressed lightly.  Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack. Run a blade around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake, and remove.


For the custard ...

Luscious Pastry Cream


2 1/2 cups milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup sifted corn starch
3 1/2 tbsp butter, chopped in cubes and at room temperature

Directions:

In a heavy bottom saucepan bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat.

Meanwhile in another heavy bottom saucepan whisk your egg yolks, sugar and corn starch together until you get a creamy yellow mixture.

When the milk simmers at the point just before boiling remove from heat, get your whisk ready and pour a bit into your egg mixture whisking to temper it..... now it's safe to add it all and whisk.

Set the pot back onto the heat (medium-medium low) and whisk until it thickens.

Have a bowl and a strainer ready (the strainer just for a smoother finish but mine had no lumps or anything) Once it thickens strain it into the bowl (scraping the strainer to get it all through)

Wait 5 mins then begin stirring in your butter cubes, little at a time until it's all incorporated, luscious, smooth and shiny.

Cover with a cling wrap to avoid a film in the top of your custard and let it cool, then you can set it in the fridge. Or put it in a pastry bag and set it in another container in the fridge to avoid the extra step on your big day.

For the whipped cream

1/2 pint of heavy 35% cream whipped with about 1-2 tbsp powder sugar and a splash of vanilla

Fruit 
Fresh strawberries, sliced, saving the nice pieces for the top and rim of the second layer and using the remaining pieces to fill in the middle of the second layer (where it isn't visible)

2-3 bananas, sliced in thick 3/4 inch slices
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp lemon juice

Dip the banana slices in the orange juice and shake excess liquid off before setting on the cake to preserve them and prevent them from browning.














1 comment:

Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen said...

This is the most gorgeous looking cake! It sounds totally delicious too!