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Ingredients:

Strawberry Sauce:

4 ounces (120 grams) fresh or frozen unsweetened strawberries

1 - 2 tablespoons (15-25 grams) granulated white sugar, or to taste

Vanilla Genoise:

6 large (300 grams) eggs

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

1 2/3 cups (200 grams) cake flour

2 tablespoons (25 grams) warm melted butter

Soaking Syrup:

1/2 cup (120 ml/grams) filtered water

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

2 tablespoons Limoncello or Grand Marnier (or lemon or orange juice)

Strawberry Cream:

1/2 cup (120 ml) cold strawberry sauce (recipe above)

1 envelope (1/4 ounce) (7 grams) unflavored powdered gelatin

2 cups (480 ml) cold heavy whipping cream (cream with a 35-40% butterfat content)

1/4 cup (30 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, or to taste

2 cups (480 ml) (300 grams) fresh strawberries, cut into bite sized pieces

Garnish:

Fresh Strawberries


Instructions:


Strawberry Sauce: If using frozen strawberries, first place in a bowl and thaw. Then place the strawberries, and their juices, in the bowl of your food processor or blender and process until they are pureed (can also use an immersion blender). Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Taste and add more sugar if needed. Cover and place in the refrigerator until well chilled (can be made up to a week in advance). Makes about 1/2 cup (120 ml).

Vanilla Genoise: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Lightly butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, two - 8 inch (20 cm) round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.

In a heatproof bowl (preferably stainless steel) whisk together the eggs and sugar. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, heat the eggs and sugar until lukewarm to the touch (this will take about 3 - 5 minutes). Remove from heat and transfer the mixture to the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment (can use a hand mixer). Add the vanilla extract and beat on high speed until the egg mixture has cooled, tripled in volume, and looks like softly whipped cream (the batter will fall back into the bowl in a ribbon-like pattern). (This will take about 3-5 minutes.) (See video for demonstration.) Then sift about one-third of the flour mixture over the whipped eggs and gently fold in using a spatula. Fold in half of the remaining flour, and then fold in the rest.

Take about 1 cup (240 ml) of the batter and fold it into the warm melted butter. (This lightens the butter.) Then, with a spatula, gently fold the butter mixture completely into the egg batter. (See video for demonstration.) Evenly divide the batter between the two pans (about 340 grams in each pan), smoothing the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake until the cakes shrink slightly from the edges of the pans and the tops spring back when lightly pressed (about 16 - 20 minutes). (A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.) Cool completely in their pans that have been placed on a wire rack. To remove the cakes from their pans, run a small knife around the edges to release the cake. If not using right away, the cakes, well wrapped, will keep two days in the refrigerator or they can be frozen for a month.

Soaking Syrup: Place the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Let the mixture boil for about one minute or until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir in the alcohol or fruit juice. The sugar syrup can be made, covered, and stored in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.

Strawberry Cream: In a small measuring cup, stir together the gelatin and 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the cold strawberry sauce. Let this mixture sit for 5 - 10 minutes (or until spongy) and then microwave for a few seconds to dissolve the gelatin (can also do this step by placing in a small saucepan and heat until the gelatin has dissolved). Then set aside to cool until tepid.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Add the strawberry sauce mixture and beat until the cream has stiff peaks. Taste and fold in a little more sugar, if needed. Place the Strawberry Cream in a piping bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) plain tip.

To assemble the Strawberry Cake: Place one cake layer (top of the cake facing down) on a 9 inch (23 cm) cake circle and then place on a cake turntable or your serving plate. With a pastry brush, moisten the cake with some of the soaking syrup. Spread a thin layer of Strawberry Cream on the cake. Next, pipe a ring of the Strawberry Cream around the outside edge of the cake. Then pipe a second ring of Strawberry Cream on top of the first. (See video for demonstration.) Take the cut strawberries and fill inside the rings of Cream. Then spread a thin layer of the Strawberry Cream on top of the strawberries. Next, brush the top side of the second layer of genoise with the soaking syrup. Then place the cake layer, top side down, on top of the filling. Gently press the top of the cake to compact. Brush the top of the cake with soaking syrup. Cover the entire cake with Strawberry Cream. Using a flat edge spatula or metal scraper, smooth the frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Cover and refrigerate for several hours (or overnight) so the cream has time to set. Can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for two to three days.

Serves about 12 to 14 people.


Description:

I love going to bakeries. Not only for the pastries, but I also like to see what's trending. On a recent trip, one cake that stood out was this Strawberry Cake, often called a Strawberry Gateau. It looked so elegant. So I just had to make it. This cake starts with two delicious layers of a Vanilla Genoise that are soaked with a sugar syrup. Then it is filled with cream and fresh strawberries. The cake is frosted with a smooth coating of a stabilized whipped cream that contains pretty red flecks of strawberries. This cake is like a sophisticated version of a Strawberry Shortcake.

While this dessert has several components, you can make some parts ahead of time. First, the strawberry sauce, used in the whipped cream, can be made and refrigerated up to a week as can the sugar syrup. The Genoise Cake can also be made in advance and either refrigerated for a few days or it can be frozen for up to one month. Simply defrost the cakes in the refrigerator overnight and then bring to room temperature.

While the technique for making a Genoise batter is similar to that of any sponge cake, it does differ in that the eggs are not separated. It is, however, like other sponge cakes in that it is leavened solely by the air beaten into the egg and sugar mixture. To make a light and airy Genoise we first warm the eggs and sugar over a water bath, which melts the sugar so that the eggs will reach their full volume when beaten. The eggs and sugar are beaten until thick, and you will notice that the batter will become lighter and paler in color as it thickens. The other difference between a regular sponge cake and a Genoise is that we add warm melted butter which makes the Genoise light and tender with fine grain. The melted butter needs to be warm, however, so it does not solidify once it is added to the cake batter, causing streaks, or worse yet, causing the batter to deflate.