Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Baking with Julia: French Strawberry Cake (and a delinquent Oasis Naan Bread)

Ok, so I've been playing hookey the last few weeks ;) I baked both my Oasis Naan bread and French Strawberry Cake on time... life just got in the way of posting about them!  Summer is in full swing here, we took a trip down to New York City (that turned out to be more of an adventure than we expected) and have a new niece expected any day now, so I've been keeping busy.

This past weekend was B's dad's birthday and Father's Day so I volunteered to make dessert. I have never, in my life, made a Genoise before (come to think of it, I'm not sure I've _eaten_ one before, either), so I read through the P & Q post for some pointers and dug right in.

It didn't *seem* difficult... until I got to the point where all the ingredients were added and I was folding gently to combine... and folding... and folding... and folding some more. Every time I though it was my last fold, another pocket of flour would appear, and I'd have to keep going, until I basically beat all the bubbles out of the damn thing. So frustrating!

I tried baking it anyway, and got a depressingly flat (and dense) cake as a result. That was the night before, so the next morning I was up early and tried again... this time being _super_ careful with the folding. I still ran into the same problem with the pockets of flour (what gives?!) but this attempt seemed to come out a little fluffier, at least, and I was able to get three thin layers out of it.

It is strawberry season here in Montreal, so I snagged some local Quebec berries at the market (they are smaller and sweeter than the usual grocery store variety) and let them soak with a bit of sugar and brandy over night. The juices added a welcome moistness to the cake layers and it all came together fairly easily, though I realized I need to consider getting a cake plate (if not a cake stand) for future attempts at all things cake-y... my dinner plates are the perfect size, but they are slightly concave which made frosting rather difficult :P

So here is the finished product, all ready for the candles to be blown out: