Strawberries and Cream is one of my favorite cake flavors so I was really excited to make this genoise version called French Strawberry Cake with the Tuesdays with Dorie group. The recipe is from the book Baking With Julia and was contributed by one of my favorite cook book authors, Flo Braker. I've tried some of her recipes from a few of her cook books before -- all really delicious -- so I had a feeling that this one would be really good as well. I was particularly interested with the fact that this cake makes use of a genoise base which I knew would soak up all the yummy juices from the macerated strawberries without making the cake soggy -- only delightfully moist and intensely flavored with strawberries.
I've made a few genoise cakes before so I felt somewhat confident that I would be able to make this without any hitches. What I found challenging really was the measuring of the flour. I know Dorie wrote a section in the book explaining how the flour in the recipes should be measured but I just got confused when I read "sifted cake flour" in the list of ingredients. It made me wonder -- should I sift the flour first onto the cup then level off? Or should I dip and sweep, level off then sift? I did the former and in retrospect I think it was a mistake doing that as I ended up with very little flour which I believe caused the middle to somewhat collapse. It wasn't a complete disaster though, I only got a slight depression in the middle but it did make it impossible for me to slice the cake into 3 layers without making each of them too thin to hold all the liquid from the filling.
This is why I decided to turn this French Strawberry Cake into a French Strawberry Trifle instead :-) I simply cut the cake into 2 layers, placed one layer in the bottom of a clear 8-inch glass bowl then topped it with one-half of the macerated strawberries and a little whipped cream. I then repeated the process but putting a thicker layer of cream on top. I sliced a few large strawberries for garnish. I'm happy that I still ended up with a very delicious cake and I especially like the fact that I didn't have to bring out my piping bags and star tips to decorate the cake!
The only changes I made were the addition of Creme de Fraise to the macerated strawberries and the use of beurre noisette instead of just plain melted butter. I also beat the eggs for much longer than 5 minutes.
If you're interested in trying out this recipe please check out our hosts' blogs Sophia's Sweets and Think, Love, Sleep, Dine. The recipe should be posted along with their own take on this Tuesday's bake.
Likewise, if you wish to join our group head on over to the Tuesdays with Dorie blog!