Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Strawberry Sponge Cake Recipe and how to pick the best strawberries




Delicious Strawberry Sponge cake recipe


Summer is cheap strawberry season! Time to indulge in some strawberry pies, strawberry cakes, strawberry muffins, strawberry mousse strawberry lemonade, and just plain, fresh, vibrant strawberries. Here are a few tips on how to pick the best strawberries:

Colour: Generally, the deeper the red, the sweeter the and riper the berry . 

Size: Smaller and medium strawberries are always, always better. Not only are they more natural (have you seen the fist-sized beasts they call berries?), but they will almost always be sweeter.

Smell: If possible, give the strawberries a sniff. Sweeter strawberries have a stronger strawberry smell. 

Firmness: Firmer strawberries can sometimes be more sour, the softer ones are not only more natural, but they tend to be sweeter as well. The large, crunchy strawberries are never as sweet and tend to lack a real strawberry taste.

Fresh, hand-picked local strawberries taste the best.


If possible, spend a few hours berry picking on the weekends out in the suburbs. You can go to a place as close as Richmond or as far as Langley to get some real sweet and normal sized strawberries. The ones you pick will not only be sweeter but you’ll know for sure they are all good because you hand-picked them. 

Freshly picked strawberries from a Richmond berry farm

However, if you’re just using them for baking, the store-bought ones will do. Here’s a great recipe for a strawberry cake. I got the base sponge cake recipe from Lemon Drop, and made a few of my own alterations. 

Golden sponge cake sliced in half

Strawberry Cake Recipe (aka Victoria Sponge Cake)


Makes: 1 2-layer 8-inch cake
Oven: 350
Rating: 4/5 


Ingredients


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened 
  • 4 large eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of milk (I used 2 per cent milk)

Directions


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Beat together sugar and salt until well mixed. Slowly add beaten eggs to mixture, then add in milk. 
  3. Mix together flour and baking powder, then add to liquid mixture. Mix all together until smooth. Do not overbeat. 
  4. Line one eight-inch cake pan and butter sides and bottom. Pour batter into pan evenly, smooth top. 
  5. Bake for 20-30 minutes, cake is ready when top is golden and centre springs back to a gentle touch. 
  6. This cake is to be made and eaten in the same day. Depending on how much you wish to cover your cake with cream, choose a small to medium sized cartons of whipping cream to whip up. 

Fluffy yellow sponge cake

Strawberry Filling Recipe


Ingredients


  • 2-3 cups of fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 small to medium-sized carton of whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Chocolate shavings for decoration

Directions 


  1. Whip together sugar and cream until it forms a thick, creamy consistency that is easily spreadable. 
  2. Once cake is cooled, cut in half lengthwise to form two layers. Spread the cream onto one side and layer with strawberries. Place second layer on top and repeat, spreading cream onto top piece and decorating as desired. Sprinkle chocolate shavings around the cake for decoration. 
Optional: add a layer of jam or preserves onto the inner layer before putting on whipped cream.

Tip: to make easy chocolate shavings, microwave a small block of semi-sweet chocolate. Take the slightly warm chocolate and peel with a vegetable peeler. Slow, firm strokes make thicker curls. 


Strawberry Sponge Cake topped with a chocolate-dipped strawberry.
Enjoy!



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