Sunday, July 4, 2010
These instructions are coming a bit late but I still wanted to share how I created this classic 4th of July cake. My neighbor and I had planned a 4th of July potluck cook out and I quickly told her I was going to make a FLAG CAKE. Had I ever made a flag cake before? Well, no....but I didn't let that stop me.
I knew I wanted this cake to be light and fresh. So, I decided on sponge cake, whipped cream and fresh berries. The sponge cake is actually Pioneer Woman's recipe for tres leches cake (minus the leches). It's a great recipe, though I did have some problems with it because of the baking time. When I first made this cake (for Cinco de Mayo), I used a smaller baking pan and adjusted the baking time accordingly. This time I used a 9 x13 pan (the size stated in PW's recipe) and baked for the recommend time 35 -45 min. When my timer went off after 35 minutes, I was disappointed to see that the cake had over baked and was half deflated. I had to make an entire new batch and start again. This time I removed the cake after only 22 minutes and it was perfect.
I used whipped cream because I love how that tastes with fresh berries. However, if you make this cake and plan to have it sit out for a bit definitely use some type of frosting that is more stable, such as a buttercream.
Also, try to use the same size strawberries. This will make the "stripes" on the cake look neater and give the cake an overall better appearance. You may also substitute raspberries for the strawberries and just do a double row of berries instead of a single.
Overall, I was very please with how this cake turned out and how it tasted. Everyone at the cookout seemed to really enjoy it too. HAPPY 4th of JULY!!!!
FOR THE CAKE:
1 cup All-purpose Flour
1-½ teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ teaspoons Salt
5 whole Eggs
1 cup Sugar, Divided
1 teaspoon Vanilla
⅓ cups Milk
FOR THE ICING:
1 pint Heavy Whipping Cream
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
Fresh blueberries, rinsed and patted dry
Strawberries, rinsed and patted dry. Cut off the stems and slice in half.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan with parchment paper, then liberally spray with cooking spray until coated.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Separate eggs.
Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.
Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.
Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn cake out onto a large rectangular platter and allow to cool.
To make the whipped cream, chill mixing bowl and whisk attachment for 10 minutes in the freezer.
Add the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla. Beat on high till the cream makes stiff peaks. Reserve 1/3 of the whipped cream for piping.
Spread the remaining 2/3 of whipped cream over the surface of the cooled cake. Smooth the cream over the cake with an offset spatula. Then add the blueberries in neat rows to the upper left corner of the cake to make the "stars". To make the "stripes", line up neat horizontal rows of the strawberries.
Put reserved whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe rows of cream in between strawberry rows and around border of cake. Keep cake refrigerated until ready to serve.
Source: cake inspiration adapted from Ina Graten, cake recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman