featured-images-54So I’m always looking for new cake recipes or trying to think of new deliciousness to make and so I get pretty excited about birthdays and other events for which I have the opportunity to bake. Luckily for me, my co-worker recently had a birthday, so I got to bring the cake for our office birthday lunch! (yay.) I started looking through my cookbooks and wasn’t seeing a complete cake that I wanted to make. Pretty shocking since I generally want to make cakes. All the time. So I decided to piece together a cake using different recipes and ended up with that bit of gorgeousness shown up top. The cake is a Victorian Sponge out of Eric Lanlard’s book “Cake Boy” and the filling (créme mousseline) and topping (stabilized whipped cream) are from James Peterson’s book “Cooking.”

Now let’s take a minute to discuss the créme mousseline filling. It’s pretty much my new favorite cake filling and basically rocked my world. Basically, it’s pastry cream with butter whipped in. Yeah, I know. Amazing.

By the way, I know this recipe looks long and intimidating, but really it’s not all that bad. Give it a full read through before deciding it’s too much work.

 ingredients-cake-strawberry-vanilla-

Cake Pantry:

1 1/2 C Self-rising Flour
3 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 lb + 4 tbsp (1.5 sticks) butter, room temp.
3/4 C superfine sugar

 

mousseline ingredients

Crème Mousseline Pantry:

2 1/2 C pastry cream*
1 1/2 C unsalted butter, cold

* If you need a pastry cream recipe, here are the ingredients. It will make more than needed, but oh well.
4 C milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 2 tsp vanilla)
1 C sugar
2 eggs
5 egg yolks
6 tbsp cornstarch

 

whipped cream ingredients

Stabilized Whipped Cream Pantry:

2 C heavy cream (really cold)
2-4 tsp sugar
2 tbsp water
2 tsp plain gelatin
1 tsp vanilla

Not pictured: strawberries!

 

“Cake Boy” VICTORIAN SPONGE CAKE

 

sifting cake

 

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prep the cake pans by greasing them up and lining the bottoms with parchment paper.

Sift the flour and the baking powder together into a bowl and set aside for later.

 

creamed 2

 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed a little and add in the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add in the vanilla. Once that is all nice and incorporated.

 

 

sticky batter

 

 

Add the dry stuff into the wet batter and fold it gently in to the wet to make the final batter.

 

batter in pans

 

 

Pour into the prepped cake pans, smooth off the tops and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are nice and springy. Once you’ve removed the pans from the oven, let sit for a few minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to completely cool.

 

 

CREME MOUSSELINE

mousseline

So as mentioned above, the filling  is basically pastry cream with butter and whatever flavoring you’d like. I kept mine vanilla, but according to James Peterson, the mousseline take on flavor marvelously well. The ratio of pastry cream to butter is 5  : 3, or 2.5 C pastry cream to 1.5 C butter. The below recipe for pastry cream makes more than needed for the mousseline recipe, but no one ever complained about having too much pastry cream…

pastry cream milk 2

 

 

To make the pastry cream: bring the milk, vanilla and vanilla bean to a simmer.

 

 

tempered egg

 

 

Meanwhile, whisk together cornstarch, sugar, eggs, egg yolks until smooth. Temper the egg mixture by whisking 1/2 of the simmering milk into eggs (make sure you add the hot liquid slowly and whisk while pouring the hot stuff in).

pastry cream

 

 

 

Then pour eggs back into the remaining milk and cook over medium heat until thickens. Keep stirring!

 

 

seiving pastry cream

 

Remove from thickened deliciousness from the heat, take out vanilla bean and scrape any remaining seeds back into the pot.  Strain the pastry cream into a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and cool in fridge.

 

 

pastry cream with butter

To finish off the mousseline:

Put 2.5 cups of chilled pastry cream into a bowl and slice up the cold butter. Throw the butter in with the cream and beat together with a stand or hand mixer for about 10 minutes. You should end up with a silky smooth pile of amazingness. So good… According to James Peterson, the mousseline also hold flavor really well, so you can add in different flavorings at this point to go with whatever you’re making. I stuck with the vanilla.

 

STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM

bloom

 

Combine 6 tbsp cream and water in a heat safe bowl or really small double boiler and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to let the gelatin soften and “bloom.”

gelatin

 

 

Then put the bowl over a simmering pot of water and gently heat until the gelatin dissolves into the liquid.

whipped cream

Meanwhile, beat the remaining cream, sugar and vanilla to “medium” peaks in a stand mixer or with a hand held mixer.  Whisk in the gelatin mix and beat until stiff peaks form.

It was important for me to use the stabilized whipped cream rather than regular whipped cream because I was assembling the cake the night before it was to be eaten and I had 2 main concerns: (1) the whipped cream would soak into the cake and make it soggy and (2) whipped cream tends to break down and become kind of gross over time. I wanted to make sure that the whipped cream held together and kept an appealing texture. So I used stabilized whipped cream and did my best to keep the cake chilled until shortly before consuming.

 

THE ASSEMBLY

Now that we’ve made all the cake components, it’s time to put them all together.

stack 4First I sliced the dome off of the cake layers to get a flat surface on all of them and then slice each layer in half so you end up with 6 layers. One of my cakes didn’t rise as much as the others, so instead of cutting that one in half, I just sliced more off the top and had 5 layers, which was plenty! Plus then I had more scraps for snacking with left over mousseline. Always a bonus.

Then set the bottom cake layer on the serving surface (I acquired some of those cardboard cake thingies from Michael’s) and slide strips of parchment or waxed paper under the edges of the cake.

stack 2

At this point I decided I should brush the cake layer with lemon juice.  Then I spread a layer of the mousseline and covered that with sliced strawberries. I then spread some more mousseline over the strawberries. I tell myself this was to keep the strawberries from getting soggy.

stack 1

 

 

Add the next layer of cake and repeat the lemon, mousseline and strawberry process. Keep doing this until you place the top layer on the pile.

frosting

 

At this point break out the whipped cream! Coat the top and sides with a nice thick layer of whipped cream. If you need to, you can throw the cake in the fridge for a little bit before going to this step to firm everything up a bit. Also, it’s generally helpful to do a thin “crumb layer” of the exterior frosting and then chill and put on another coat to cover that first layer.

 

final 2

Now that the cake is frosted, feel free to decorate however you choose. I sliced a bunch of strawberries in half and pressed them up along the bottom of the cake. I also did the fancy strawberry slice thingie and stuck it on top.

sliced

 

 

I don’t have any fancy pictures of the inside because I took it to work and am not allowed to bring my nice camera inside. But they let me bring in my Ipad, so here is what the inside looks like after having been attacked by wild co-workers. Mmmmm.

 

 

Strawberry & Vanilla Cream Cake
 
Recipe By:
Ingredients
  • Cake:
  • 1½ C Self-rising Flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp vanilla
  • ¼ lb + 4 tbsp (1.5 sticks) butter, room temp.
  • ¾ C superfine sugar
  • Pastry Cream:
  • 4 C milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 2 tsp vanilla)
  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp cornstarch
  • Crème Mousseline:
  • 2½ C Pastry Cream
  • 1½ C unsalted butter, cold
  • Stabilized Whipped Cream Pantry:
  • 2 C heavy cream (really cold)
  • 2-4 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp plain gelatin
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Assembly:
  • 1 pint Strawberries
Instructions
  1. VICTORIAN SPONGE
  2. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prep the cake pans by greasing them up and lining the bottoms with parchment paper.
  3. Sift the flour and the baking powder together into a bowl and set aside for later.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed a little and add in the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add in the vanilla.
  5. Add the dry stuff into the wet batter and fold it gently in to the wet to make the final batter.
  6. Pour into the prepped cake pans, smooth off the tops and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are nice and springy. Once you've removed the pans from the oven, let sit for a few minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to completely cool.
  7. PASTRY CREAM
  8. To make the pastry cream: bring the milk, vanilla and vanilla bean to a simmer.
  9. Meanwhile, whisk together cornstarch, sugar, eggs, egg yolks until smooth. Temper the egg mixture by whisking ½ of the simmering milk into eggs (make sure you add the hot liquid slowly and whisk while pouring the hot stuff in).
  10. Then pour eggs back into the remaining milk and cook over medium heat until thickens. Keep stirring!
  11. Remove from thickened deliciousness from the heat, take out vanilla bean and scrape any remaining seeds back into the pot. Strain the pastry cream into a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and cool in fridge.
  12. Creme Mousseline:
  13. Put 2.5 cups of chilled pastry cream into a bowl and slice up the cold butter. Throw the butter in with the cream and beat together with a stand or hand mixer for about 10 minutes. You should end up with a silky smooth pile of amazingness. Feel free to add in different flavorings at this point to go with whatever you're making.
  14. STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM
  15. Combine 6 tbsp cream and water in a heat safe bowl or really small double boiler and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to let the gelatin soften and "bloom."
  16. Then put the bowl over a simmering pot of water and gently heat until the gelatin dissolves into the liquid.
  17. Meanwhile, beat the remaining cream, sugar and vanilla to "medium" peaks in a stand mixer or with a hand held mixer. Whisk in the gelatin mix and beat until stiff peaks form.
  18. THE ASSEMBLY
  19. Now that we've made all the cake components, it's time to put them all together.
  20. First, slice the dome off of the cake layers to get a flat surface on all of them and then slice each layer in half so you end up with 6 layers.
  21. Then set the bottom cake layer on the serving surface and slide strips of parchment or waxed paper under the edges of the cake.
  22. Brush the cake layer with lemon juice. Then spread a layer of the mousseline and covered that with sliced strawberries. Cover the strawberries with another thin layer of mousseline.
  23. Add the next layer of cake and repeat the lemon, mousseline and strawberry process. Keep doing this until you place the top layer on the pile.
  24. At this point break out the whipped cream! Coat the top and sides with a nice thick layer of whipped cream. If you need to, you can throw the cake in the fridge for a little bit before going to this step to firm everything up a bit. Also, it's generally helpful to do a thin "crumb layer" of the exterior frosting and then chill and put on another coat to cover that first layer.
  25. Now that the cake is frosted, decorate with remaining strawberries.