Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Happy 5th Birthday WITK!

I can't believe that it's been five years since I started writing here at WITK! I remember reading food blogs during my down time in the lab and thinking that I'd like to share my cooking online too! A lot has changed since those early days in the kitchen...

In 2010, I was living in Colorado and getting ready to move to Connecticut. It was probably the worst time to start a food blog, since my kitchen was about to be packed up and shipped off to the East Coast!

I spent a year cooking from my tiny studio apartment in New Haven, Connecticut, before landing my first real job and moving to New Jersey. Not just moving to New Jersey, but moving in with my boyfriend of eight years.

I spent almost two years at my first job before the company was closed and I found myself unemployed! During my six months of unemployment I started a lifestyle blog, Wilde in the City, interviewed at a half dozen pharma companies and traveled the US with the boyfriend.

These days I'm happily at a new pharmaceutical company, in a completely different position, traveling the world and occasionally getting into the kitchen. With my work and travel schedule, I've been lax with my posting here at WITK, but I couldn't let this date pass me by!

Since it's July, I thought that I would celebrate the fruit of the season - the Strawberry! The cake is flavored with ripe strawberries and layered with strawberry compote and fresh whipped cream. To top it all off, the cake is covered with an amazing cream cheese frosting.

Thank you for coming along on this exciting journey at WITK! I wish you could all come over and have a slice of cake. I guess I'll just have to eat it all myself!

One Year Ago: Neapolitan Cake 
Two Years Ago: Milky Way Cake
Three Years Ago: Sponge Candy Cake
Four Years Ago: Pizza Foccacia
Five Years Ago: Chocolate Cupcakes

Strawberry Cake
Adapted from Baked Occasions


I used my kitchen scale quite a bit for this recipe. If you have one, I would recommend you use it too! It makes the measuring so much easier.

4 ounces hulled strawberries (about 1 cup)
1 1/4 cups cake flour (158 grams)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (45 g)
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup ice water
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (175 g)
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 325 °F. Coat a quarter sheet pan with cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper and coat paper with cooking spray. Add some flour and cover the pan completely, tap out the excess flour.

Place strawberries in a food processor and pulse. You want the berries almost pureed, but still chunky. Set aside.

Sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set bowl near the stand mixer. Mix together ice water, milk and buttermilk. Set with the dry ingredients.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and shortening until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add sugar and beat until combined. Scrape down the bowl and add egg yolk and vanilla extract. Beat until light and fluffy. Add half of the dry ingredients and mix on low until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the liquids. Mix until smooth. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix on low. Scrape down the sides and beat for another 30 seconds.

In another bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar. Whip until soft peaks are formed. Add whipped egg whites to the cake batter, gently fold in to incorporate. Add strawberries to the batter and fold in. Pour batter into the prepared sheet pan. Even out with a spatula. Bake cake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake. Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pan. Once cool, remove from the pan and peel off the parchment paper.


8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream

Beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Once all the sugar is incorporated, add vanilla and salt. Add 1-2 tablespoons of heavy cream (depending on how thick you want your frosting) and whip frosting for about 1 minute.

Strawberry whipped cream

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup finely chopped strawberries

Pour the heavy cream and powdered sugar into a metal bowl. Place bowl and a whisk in the fridge for 30 minutes. Beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add vanilla and beat until whipped and fluffy. Gently fold in strawberries.

To assemble the cake

1/4 cup strawberry preserves
2 fresh strawberries - 1 whole & 1 cut into 6-pieces

Using a 6-inch cake ring, stamp out two full circles and two half circles from the quarter sheet pan. Clean the cake ring. Set a 6-inch cardboard cake board on your surface (I used a rotating cake stand). Spread about 1 tablespoon of frosting on the cake board, set cake ring on top and line with an acetate cake collar. Place the two half circles in the bottom of the cake ring. Fill in the missing middle with some remaining bit of cake.

Add 1/2 cup of frosting to a piping bag, fitted with a 1-cm round piping tip. Pipe a border around the edge of the cake. Spread half of the strawberry preserves within the border. Add half of the prepared whipped cream. Add second layer. Repeat the border, preserves and whipped cream. Top with the final cake layer. Place cake in the fridge and let set up for 1 hour.

Take cake from the fridge and remove the cake ring and acetate. Give the cake a nice crumb coat with the frosting. Put cake in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove from the freezer and frost with the remaining cream cheese frosting. Transfer to your cake stand and pipe a pretty border on the bottom. Pipe a small blob on the top of the cake and six blobs at the edge of the cake. Top with fresh strawberries.

Store in the fridge. Cover any cut edges with plastic wrap.

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