Tuesday, June 19, 2012

TWD: French Strawberry Cake

{We are in Colorado for a couple weeks so I am not sure how much I will be posting except for my baking group posts.  When we get back home, I will get back to it.}

I know I have mentioned at least 3 million times that I love my baking groups because they encourage me to bake new things.  I feel like I am constantly saying, "I haven't made or eaten this before."  This is another one of those situations.  The base of this French Strawberry cake is a genoise.  Don't ask me, I don't even know how to say that. 
The ingredients are similar to angel food cake, but whole eggs are used in the batter rather than just the whites.  As far as texture goes, I was expecting not to love it because the cookbook warned me that I might not.  I mean, I am an American after all, and the book said that it was pretty common for Americans not to love this cake.  How bad could it be though, drenched with Strawberries and whipped cream?  Well the first one was nothing short of AWFUL.  Look at this thing.  The middle fell to almost the halfway point and I was supposed to cut this thing into 3 rounds!
I think Colorado is the culprit.  We are at 4,600 feet here and I knew it was probably the altitude that was ruining my life.  No only did the cake fall but it was more of a cornbread texture than I would have expected, if I had known what to expect.  I have bake at higher altitudes before, but usually the cake box had high altitude directions on it! (Ha!)  I turned to the internet and once again wondered how in the world our ancestors survived without it!  Were they supposed to just settle for a sunken geniose?  Not knowing how to fix it?  I guess they might have had books then, but the convenience of being able to type a question into the computer and get an answer is one I would never want to live without.  

Anyway, back to the baking.  I learned that at any altitude over 3,000 feet, especially cakes like these, need to be adjusted.  If you would like to read it yourself, you can go here.  The gist of it is that I needed to increase the liquid (eggs) and decrease the sugar.  I added an egg white and decreased the sugar by 2 T, hoping that would do what I wanted it to.  The document didn't really have an equation or format for adjusting recipes, so I just guessed and made the cake again.  I also decreased the temperature (I am not sure why, it seemed like a good idea after my reading, to decrease the temp and cook longer).  This time it didn't fall hardly at all!  And while the texture still wasn't my idea of a cake, it was much lighter and better than the first cake.
It left me room to cut the cake into 3 layers.  I was really wishing I had thought to pack my Cake Leveler.  I will take it with me everywhere from now on.  My cake levels were not exactly even, but a bunch of whipped cream helps.  I took the advice of some of my fellow bakers and made extra whipped cream (which also had some sour cream in it.  I was excited about that, but ended up not being able to taste it much).  I must have thought I had plenty and used too much on the middle layers because I still didn't have enough left to make rosettes.   Instead I just improvised with extra strawberries. 
All in all, I was glad to learn a few things making this week's selection, but I think I have too much of a sweet tooth for a delicate French cake like this one, I think I am just too American.  I thought it would be a glorified strawberry shortcake, but for me, it needed more sugar everywhere to even compete with strawberry shortcake.  If I make it again, and I might because it's a beautiful cake and fun to decorate, I might just add more sugar to the strawberries and whipped cream and try to incorporate the syrup from the strawberries.

If you would like to see what the other TWD bakers did this week you can go HERE.  If you would like the recipe, you can buy the book or visit the blog of either of our hosts this week:


  1. Amanda, your cake looks delish...you are a trooper...it was enough to know the cake is not a simple one, and, you had to adjust for altitude. Hats off to you!


  2. I love your blog design. Who did it? Plus love how you decorated your cake.

    1. Thanks Lisa, that makes me happy. I wish I was cool enough to have someone do it for me, but alas, I am not. ;)

  3. Kudos for keeping at it despite the altitude. Great looking cake!

  4. Oh it looks so delicious in that shot with the cream and berries all over..very nice work

  5. another success! It looks great, even if it wasn't a winner.

  6. hahahaa I think i'm more into American cakes even if France is much closer to Spain hahaha

  7. Your cake is beautiful!
    I soaked my layers for an extra touch of sweetness and moisture. I guess I am just too much of an American :-)


I ♥ your comments!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover
Pin It button on image hover