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Frosty Strawberry Cake

Strawberry Cake Slice This cake makes an impressive presentation and is especially welcome on a hot day.  However, it is simple to make provided you have the right equipment.  While the cake can be made with the use of a hand mixer, a stand mixer is the perfect tool and does a great job with this type of cake.  A quick-read digital thermometer or a candy thermometer helps to make the job easier, and a food processor or blender is required.
Because the crust contains a third of a cup of butter, it is sturdy and can support the airy filling easily.  It’s not hard to pop this cake out of the parchment-lined springform pan and onto a marble lazy Susan for garnishing; serving on marble will help to keep the cake frozen.  The hardest thing about serving the cake is cutting through the crust, but it does make a neat presentation.

If you have strawberries that are uniform in size, you can halve them and arrange end-to-end around the edge of the cake.  Otherwise, a more free-form garnish can be achieved with fresh sliced strawberries of varying sizes, or you can garnish each serving separately. Other berries or soft fruit will work as well: peaches that have been blanched to remove the skins can be sliced and arranged around the edge.

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The cake can be kept in the freezer for up to a month, provided it is sealed in an air-tight container or freezer bag.  Cover the cake with plastic film or foil and slip it into a 15” freezer bag or cake container.  Otherwise, you can freeze it in individual servings, which may take up less space in your freezer.

To ensure ease of removal, line a 9” or 10” springform pan with parchment.  Cut a circle that is slightly larger than the base of the pan, and a strip slightly larger than the sides, overlapping by a couple of inches at the ends. 

Crumb Crust:

1 ½ cups vanilla wafer crumbs (or crush 36 1 ½” vanilla cookies)

1/3 cup butter, melted

Strawberry Gear!

Mix melted butter with wafer crumbs and press into the bottom of a 9” lined springform pan.  Bake at 350° F for 10 minutes, then allow to cool on a rack.

If you prefer to make a crust from scratch, visit our Blueberry Ice Cream Cake recipe and follow the directions for crust there, omitting the lemon zest if you like.

Filling:

2 cups fresh strawberries (roughly 1 lb)

2 tbls liqueur or part lemon juice

¼ cup water

1 cup sugar

1 tsp light corn syrup

3 egg whites (room temperature)

1 ½ cups whipping cream (chilled)

1 ½ cups fresh strawberries for garnish

In a food processor, puré strawberries with liqueur (home-made vanilla extract) or lemon juice.  Set aside.

Ideally, set your stand mixer near the stove.  Have your mixer bowl and wire whisk attachment clean and dry.  Place your room-temperature egg whites in the mixer bowl.

In a one-quart saucepan, combine water, sugar, and corn syrup; stir until sugar is dissolved and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Continue to cook to the soft ball stage (240° F), then remove from heat. 

When the syrup reaches 200° F it should be safe to begin whipping your egg whites on high speed.  Once soft peaks form, reduce speed and begin slowly adding the syrup at the side of the bowl, being careful to avoid the whisk.  When all of the syrup has been added, return to high speed until mixture cools to room temperature, about 6-8 minutes.  It will resemble marshmallow fluff.

On low speed, fold berry puré into meringue mixture.  Empty mixer bowl into a clean bowl then wash the mixer bowl and whisk attachment, beginning with hot water to remove the syrup, then warm water, and finally rinsing with cold water.  Dry the bowl and whisk and re-attach to mixer.

 

Place whipping cream in mixer bowl and mix at high speed until soft peaks form.  This can happen quickly so keep an eye on the cream and check it when you see ripples holding their shape.  On low speed, gently fold berry mixture into cream.  Pour into prepared crust and smooth top.  Cover with plastic film and place in freezer for at least 6 hours or over night.

Garnish with sliced fresh berries before serving.  Any fresh berries or soft fruit will work.

As desserts go, this frozen strawberry cake is not terribly high in fat:  whipping cream is 30-35 percent milk fat, but most of the fat comes from the butter in the crust.  If you’ve had a light summer meal, this dessert will fill the gap and leave you feeling satisfied. 

The egg whites in the filling provide lean albumin protein with no cholesterol.  The hot syrup should cook the egg whites, but use fairly fresh eggs if salmonella is a problem in your area.  While older eggs are easier to whip, some regions have chickens contaminated with salmonella that can be present within the eggs, so allow the whites to come to room temperature without leaving them out longer than necessary.

Frozen Strawberry Cake
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