healthful of sugar – strawberry lemon cream cake

by hungryrabbit on June 6, 2014

Strawberry Lemon Cream Cake

 

Is sugar really bad for you? Some argue that even natural sugar such as honey and maple syrup are still not good for your body. Sugar is sugar, they say, it doesn’t matter where it comes from.

So, how does a dessert blogger can avoid sugar? I don’t. I’m mindful about my total daily consumption of it—in all forms. I don’t drink soda, eat commercially sold cereal, and rarely indulge in packaged candies. I am definitely against sugar substitutes, such as stevia. We can decide what we want to put into our own bodies—these are just a few choices that I make to suit my lifestyle.

Sugars, in moderation, are part of a healthful diet.  Whether naturally occurring or added, sugars can make many nutritious foods more appealing by adding taste, aroma, texture and color.  Sugars in moderate amounts have not been directly linked to chronic health problems.

This Strawberry Lemon Cream Cake is not something I would eat on a daily basis, but once in awhile or for special occasions, it’s just right. Now wouldn’t you rather have a slice of this cake than chomp on a bag of Skittles?

 

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Strawberry Lemon Cream Cake

yield: one 9-inch cake

Lemon Curd Filling

adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Ingredients

1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 5-6 lemons)
1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
1-1/2 cups (10-1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 large eggs
6 large egg yolks (reserve egg whites for cake)
8 tablespoons (4 ounces/1 stick) unsalted butter , cut into cubes and frozen

Directions

1. Measure 1 tablespoon lemon juice into small bowl; sprinkle gelatin over top. Heat remaining lemon juice, sugar, and salt in medium non-reactive saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot but not boiling. Whisk eggs and yolks in large non-reactive bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot lemon-sugar mixture into eggs, then return mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with heatproof spatula, until mixture is thick enough to leave trail when spatula is scraped along pan bottom, 4 to 6 minutes.

2. Immediately remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin mixture until dissolved. Stir in frozen butter until incorporated. Pour filling through fine-mesh strainer into non-reactive bowl (you should have 3 cups). Cover surface directly with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm enough to spread, at least 4 hours.

Strawberry Cake

Ingredients

1 cup whole milk, room temperature
6 large egg whites, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2-3 drops red food coloring (optional)
2-1/4 cups (9 ounces) cake flour
1-3/4 cups (12-1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons freeze-dried strawberry powder
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks)unsalted butter , cut into 12 pieces, softened

Directions

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350℉. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans w coking spray and line with parchment paper. Grease and flour pans with butter, set aside. In 2-cup liquid measure whisk together milk, egg whites, and vanilla.

2. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, strawberry powder, baking powder, and salt at low speed. With mixer running, add butter one piece at a time; continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs with no visible butter chunks. Add 1/2 of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed until mixture is pale and fluffy, about 1 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add remaining milk mixture; increase speed to medium and beat until fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Divide batter evenly between cake pans; using small off-set spatula, spread batter to side of pans and smooth tops.

3. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, 22-25 minutes. Loosen cakes from sides of pans with small knife, cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert onto greased wire rack; peel off parchment. Invert cakes again; cool completely on rack, about 1 hour.

Vanilla Cream Frosting

Ingredients

8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups heavy cream

Directions

1. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and salt at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds; scrape down bowl. With machine running at low speed, add heavy cream in slow steady stream. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture holds soft peaks when whisk is lifted, another 2-3 minutes/ Refrigerate frosting for 20 minutes to firm up before using.

Assembly

Strawberry Cake layers
Lemon Curd Filling
Vanilla Cream Frosting
1 quart of fresh strawberries, slice or whole (optional but recommended)

1. Use serrated knife to trim top even top of cakes and cut each cake into 2 even layers. Place bottom layer of 1 cake on cardboard round or cake plate. Using icing spatula, spread 1 cup lemon filling evenly on cake, leaving 1/2-inch border around edge; gently replace top layer. Spread 1 cup filling on top. Repeat with remaining cake and filling, smooth out any filling that has leaked from sides of cake; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes to set.

2. Remove cake from refrigerator, using a icing spatula, spread frosting on top and side of cake. Decorate top with fresh strawberries (if use). Serve immediately or refrigerate cake up to 2 days.

 

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