Strawberry Cream Cake
For the cake:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 5 eggs, separated
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 5 Tbs. boiling water
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Grated zest of 2 lemons
For the strawberry cream filling:
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and thinly
sliced, plus more for garnish
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 4 to 6 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 2 cups crème fraîche
- 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
To make the cake, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip together the egg yolks and sugar on high speed until thick; the mixture will still be grainy. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the boiling water. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Increase the speed to high and whip again until thick. Stir in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. Reduce the speed to low and stir in the flour mixture.
In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites on medium-low speed until frothy. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip until thick and smooth; the mixture should not look dry. Fold half of the whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining whites.
Gently spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan and remove the ring. Invert the cake and remove the base of the pan. Carefully peel off the parchment. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let cool completely. Using a serrated knife, cut the cake horizontally into 3 layers.
To make the filling, place the 2 cups strawberries in a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and 2 Tbs. of the granulated sugar. Taste for sweetness; depending on the berries' ripeness, you may need to add an additional 1 to 2 Tbs. more sugar.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the crème fraîche, cream, vanilla and the remaining 2 Tbs. granulated sugar. Whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks form and the cream holds its shape.
Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Arrange one-third of the strawberries and their juices over the cake. Spread one-third of the cream over the berries. Repeat the layering process with the remaining 2 cake layers, berries and cream, ending with a layer of cream.
Before serving, dust the top of the cake with confectioners' sugar and garnish with additional berries. Cut with a serrated knife. Serves 8 to 10.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma TASTE Magazine, "Layers of Delight," by Emily Luchetti (Spring 2002).