Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Baby Girl Cake

For me, the most stressful thing about being a pastry chef isn't actually my job. It's doing cakes for friends. You'd think that I'd me more freaked out about making things perfect for paying customers, but you'd be wrong.

Of course I love it, because I love my friends and I am so happy to have a way to show that love. But I think sometimes I subconsciously feel like my friends will rate how much they think I love them by how nice my cakes are. Or perhaps it's just my ego wanting to show off. Hmmm....

In the course of one month, I have had two baby shower cakes and a wedding cake to do for friends. I have finished one and have two to go.

The first one was for a friend who is having a baby girl. I have noticed that most women don't eat much cake (what's up with that, ladies?), so I opted for baby cupcakes and one small 6 inch cake for a centerpiece. Normally speaking, my talent lies in making delicious cakes rather than extravagantly beautiful ones, so I was a little hesitant to go at it with fondant. I am very glad I did. It turned out oh so cute, and also was commented on by someone who's often hard to please as being, "The best cake I ever tasted." That made me feel good!

I actually even surprised myself at how good the cake tasted, even with the fondant. Being that the shower was for a baby girl, I opted for a strawberry cake in order to stick with a pink theme. Moms take note- this caked used for a birthday could seriously make a little girl flip her lid. The recipe didn't have a recommended icing, so I used a basic cream cheese icing, and all I have to say is mmmmm.

I can't believe I didn't take any photos of the finished cake table. I forgot about it all when the shower started, and if I keep doing that I'm never going to build up a decent portfolio. What I do have for you today is the recipe for that surprisingly delicious strawberry cake.

Normally I am a purist, and would not support putting something as unnatural as Jell-O brand gelatin in anything that I am making. However, a good strawberry cake is hard to find, and the Jell-O adds a lot in color and strawberry flavor- especially during the times of year when vibrant, sweet fresh strawberries might be lacking. It's fairly simple to make a 1/2 cup of strawberry puree. Just trim roughly 8 ounces of strawberry and stick them in a blender til there's no chunks left.

Strawberry Cake

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup strawberry puree made from fresh strawberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and dry strawberry gelatin until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the batter alternately with the milk. Blend in vanilla and strawberry puree. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a small knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in their pans over a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, before tapping out to cool completely.


The Saunders said...

These are absolutely beautiful! Right up there with the stunning cake you made for my baby shower, which i think was the best cake I have ever tasted too! You are totally hired for Elinor's 1st birthday. If you can make it that is :)

Sophie said...

We would like to feature this recipe on our blog. Please email sophiekiblogger@gmail.com if interested. Thanks :)