Our latest entry in the Tuesdays With Dorie exploration of Baking With Julia is French Strawberry Cake. Basically, it's a super-upgraded version of strawberry shortcake, made with a genoise split into three layers, sandwiched with mashed, macerated berries and whipped cream.
I intended to make this cake last weekend, but my free periods ended up disappearing. I then figured I'd do a catch-up later, but when I saw that we would have three recipes to prepare in July, I decided to just get it done. As it turned out, it all came together pretty quickly, although I started it in the evening and finished it the next morning.
I guess I lucked out, but my genoise turned out really well. Next time, I need to remember the cooking-school trick of whisking in the flour, which helps to avoid those nasty pockets of unincorporated flour. I made the cake last night, and prepped the berries. Instead of an all-strawberry cake, I used raspberries for a portion of the strawberries that were called for.
I'd split the cake into three layers last night, so the assembly went together quickly this morning. I drained the berries in a sieve to get rid of the extra juice, then got going.
The amount of whipped cream seemed a little spare, so I was not overaggressive with what I used between layers.
In a few minutes, the cake was filled and ready to frost.
I am not necessarily a huge fan of whipped cream as a frosting, but I liked the way this one turned out. It seems like this could be a really versatile base, too: I'm thinking a peach-raspberry filling would be good, or pear-raspberry. This recipe will be revisited.
One confession: While I picked up a pint of local-farm-fresh strawberries for this cake (intended for decoration), I ended up eating most of them because they tasted so dang good. What a reminder of how dreadful mass-produced strawberries have become. That said, the mass-produced berries are what I used on top of the cake, and as the filling. No regrets there, either. I loved each and every fresh, sweet, juicy local berry I consumed.
If you'd like the recipe, please visit this week's hosts at Sophia's Sweets and Think, Love, Sleep, Dine. (Both of their cakes look amazing!)