Posted by: Dawn on: May 6, 2012
It’s spring, which means that strawberries are starting to look awesome and, even better, be on sale. Which made it a perfect week to put together this cake, who’s name loosely translates into “Strawberry Thing.” A more apt description would be “strawberry shortcake… on steroids.”
There’s no flavorless sponge cake or scone here. The top and bottom cake layers are a light almond cake that’s been soaked with a mixture of simple syrup, kirsch and Chambord. In the middle is a layer of strawberries that’s filled out with pistachio pastry cream. On top, a thin layer of almond-pistachio paste, sort of a cross between fondant and marzipan.
So, yes, it was pretty darn delicious. Even more so because I took the opportunity to use up some of the Shuksan strawberries we picked last year in the middle. Since they were thawed from frozen, I bought fresh strawberries to put around the outside of the layer and on top of the cake (for cosmetic reasons). However, while the thawed berries may have looked a little sad, they still tasted absolutely delicious. (And since they were in the middle of the cake, you couldn’t really see that they looked sad. All you could taste was awesome strawberry flavor.)
My only regret is that this item didn’t turn out quite as lovely as the picture, for which there’s one very good reason: my cake pan was too small. The almond cake was to be baked in an 8.5-9″ cake pan, and then cut down to fit into an 8″ mold. Then, the strawberries, cream, etc were to be stacked up inside the mold, giving the finished product perfectly vertical sides. Unfortunately, my cake pan is apparently a bit closer to 8″, as when I put the bottom layer of cake into the mold it was way too small. If I’d had a 7″ mold hanging around, I would have used that, but I didn’t so I just freestyled the assembly. It did indeed turn out pretty darn good, and it was indeed still incredibly delicious; it just wasn’t quite as impressive and awesome looking as I was hoping for.
Which is why there’s always next time. Which will be happening immediately after the next time we go out and pick amazing local strawberries, because I can’t think of a better thing to do with them.