It was my Dad's birthday a few weeks ago and my parents came over a few days before and we went out for dinner with them. This year is the first year that I haven't seen my Dad at all on his birthday so I wanted to make sure I made him a special cake.
I used the Fresh Strawberry Cake from Confections Of A Foodie Bride
You will need:
> Candy thermometer (for the frosting)
> Cake leveller/serrated knife
> Red food colouring (optional)
> Two 8/9 inch cake tins or three 7 inch cake tins, lined.
> Flat metal spatula, for frosting
> Warm water (to dip spatula in when you are smoothing frosting)
> Icing turntable (optional, but makes life easier!)
For the strawberry purée:
> 24oz fresh strawberries
> 1-2tbsp sugar (depends how sweet your strawberries are)
For the cake:
> 1/4 cup of milk
> 6 large egg whites
> 2tsp vanilla extract
> 2 1/4 cup plain flour
> 4tsp baking powder
> 1tsp salt (I omitted this)
> 12tbsp butter
> If your strawberries are frozen then you need to let them thaw out in a sieve over a bowl so that all the extra juice is strained out.
> Once your strawberries are frozen, or if they're not just place them in food processor or hand blender and purée.
>Oh look at that! I'd be happy with just this purée and a spoon! Anyway onwards with the recipe! You will need 3/4 cup of purée for the cake and then I used the rest to sandwich the cakes together.
> Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line your cake tins. The original recipe calls for two 8 or 9 inch cake tins, but I made mine in three 7 inch sandwich tins and it turned out perfectly.
> In a small bowl, place 3/4 cup strawberry purée, milk, egg whites and vanilla extract and combine with a spoon. Leave to one side.
> In another small bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt (if using) together and leave to one side.
> In the bowl of your stand mixer, or a large bowl, place the sugar and butter.
> Beat until almost combined and it looks like breadcrumbs.
> Add in the flour mixture.
> Continue mixing until you have what resembles fine breadcrumbs.
> Add in the strawberry mixture.
> Mix until well combined, smooth and silky. This will take a few minutes at medium speed on your stand mixer. At this stage if you are not happy with the pink shade of your cake, add a few drops of red food colouring, I was happy with mine so went ahead and baked it.
> Split the cake mix between your cake tins evenly. I always use a spatula for this and count the dollops into each tin to ensure I have the same amount.
> Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 20 minutes before turning out and leaving to cool completely on plates. I would put them on a wire cooling rack, but from past experience this leaves a gridded pattern on your cakes.
> When the cakes are completely cool, level off the top with either a knife or a cake leveller. Place one cake on either a cake board, or the plate you are serving it on, bottom down.
> Place half the strawberry purée mixture you have left on top of the cake, smooth it over and then stick the next cake bottom down.
> Place the remainder of the strawberry purée on top of the cake and smooth it out.
> Place the final cake bottom up to ensure you have a perfectly level cake to frost.
> I used Sweetapolita's Swiss Meringue Buttercream. She has a great how to guide here: Swiss Meringue Buttercream Demystified so I will leave her to give you step by step instructions as to how to make it :)
> Once you've made your SMB, using a metal spatula cover the cake with the buttercream.
> Dip the spatula into the warm water and then use the spatula to smooth over the buttercream. An icing turntable is great here, as you can turn with one hand and smooth with the other. Smooth until you are happy with the finished look. I piped a smooth bead around the bottom to cover up and bits I missed and to give a finished edge.
> This was the first time I have used SMB and I was really impressed with it, now I've made it once I can't wait to make it again! I followed all of the instructions from Sweetapolita and mine didn't curdle at all so I'm happy with that!
> I used some strawberries to garnish the cake, but this is entirely optional. You can leave it plain or add your own decorations. So here's my finished cake, it went down a storm, strawberries and vanilla go so well together!