Whipped Cream, Fresh Strawberries & Gelatin Glaze
1 1/4 cup cake flour [141 g]
2 tsp baking powder [8 g]
1/4 cup granulated sugar [50 g]
3/4 tsp salt [4.3 g]
1/2 cup sliced strawberries (about 2.5 oz) [70 grams]
3 tbsp water [44 mL]
4 egg yolks [80 g]
1/2 cup vegetable oil [120 mL]
1 drop red food coloring (gel paste)
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest [1 g]
1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest [1 g]
4 egg whites [120 g]
1/2 tsp cream of tartar [1.7 g]
1/3 cup granulated sugar [67 g]
Whipped Cream Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese (room temperature) [226 g]
3 cups heavy cream (very cold) [720 mL]
1/2 cup granulated sugar [100 g]
1 tbsp vanilla extract [15 mL]
1 tsp finely grated orange zest [2 g]
13.5 oz strawberries [383 grams]
16 oz (1 lb) strawberries [454 g]
Strawberry Gelatin (optional):
0.35 oz strawberry gelatin powder [10 g]
1/2 cup cold water [120 mL]
1/2 cup boiling water [120 mL]
Strawberry Chiffon Cake:
Separate 4 eggs into yolks and whites, and let them come to room temperature.
Preheat your oven to 340 F (170 C). Prepare two 9" round cake pans by lining the bottom with parchment paper. Do not grease parchment paper or the sides of the pans. Soak 2 cake strips in cold water for 5 minutes. Then shake off excess water but do not wring. And place these soaked cake strips around each of the cake pans.
In a blender, puree 1/2 cup of sliced strawberries (about 2.5 oz) and 3 tbsp of water. It should make about 1/2 cup of strawberry puree. Set this pureed strawberry aside.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together 1 1/4 cups of cake flour, 2 tsp of baking powder, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, and 3/4 tsp of salt. Then add in 4 egg yolks, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, the pureed strawberry, 1 drop of red food coloring (gel paste), 1/2 tsp of finely grated lemon zest and 1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest.
Beat this together with an electric mixer until the mixture is smooth and well blended.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, add in the 4 room temperature egg whites and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar, and with the whisk attachment beat on medium speed until it looks frothy, about 2 minutes. Then turn the speed up to medium-high, and very slowly add in 1/3 cup granulated sugar while continuing to beat. When all the sugar has been added, turn the speed up to high and beat until you see stiff glossy peaks.
One third at a time, gradually and very gently fold in this meringue into the cake mixture until very well combined. Divide batter equally into two prepared round cake pans.
Bake these in the preheated oven at 340 F (170 C) for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the surfaces are firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Invert them onto metal racks immediately, and let them cool sitting on racks for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, lift off the pans. Let the cakes cool on the racks to room temperature.
Whipped Cream Frosting:
In the bowl of the stand-mixer, add in 8 oz of room temperature cream cheese, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, 1 tbsp of vanilla extract, and 1 tsp of finely grated orange zest. Then using a paddle attachment, beat them together till the cream cheese has softened and the mixture is smooth. Scrape down the bowl for any unmixed cream cheese.
Then while beating on medium speed, slowly add in 3 cups of very cold heavy cream, and continue to beat for about 2 minutes, until the cream cheese and heavy cream are combined and uniform. Stop the mixer and scrape down the paddle attachment and the bowl. Mix for another 1 minute.
Switch to a whisk attachment, and continue beating on medium-high speed until the mixture forms very stiff peaks. Leave this frosting in the fridge till you're ready to use it.
Assembling the Cake:
Place one of the chiffon cake rounds on a cake board that's larger than 9" in diameter. We're using a 10" cake board.
Take about 13.5 oz (the remaining strawberries from the first one-pound container) and cut the top stems off, so the bases are flat. Then cut them in half lengthwise so they make a "heart" shape. Put them in a large mixing bowl. Then add in about 3 cups of the prepared white frosting, and mix this together.
Place this filling mixture onto the first chiffon round, and spread it so it makes a flat and even layer over the first cake round. Make sure the strawberries are evenly distributed, so every slice of cake will have strawberry slices in the filling.
Place the second chiffon cake round on top, gently tapping it down with the back of your hand to make sure the layers are snug. Then spread a generous layer of the white frosting on top of the cake, and the sides of the cake, use a bench scraper to smoothen the surfaces as smooth as possible. Use a bench scraper to smoothen out the surfaces as much as possible. Make sure to save enough whipped cream frosting for the top border.
Transfer the remaining whipped cream frosting into a piping bag with an open star tip attached. I'm using a number 1M. Make a whipped cream border around the top circumference of the cake, right at the edge, in whatever pattern you'd like. I'm creating a subtle "S" shape, and then lifting the bag to create a pointed tip at the end of the "S". Start the next "S" shape at the bottom of the previous "S" shape. Continue this pattern around the circumference of the cake. The "S" shapes should overlap slightly, making sure there are no gaps between them, so that the strawberry gelatin will not leak through.
Take another 16 oz (i.e. 1 lb.) of strawberries, and like before, cut the top stems off so the bases are flat. Pick out the biggest and roundest strawberry, and place it cut-side down in the middle of the cake.
Cut the remaining strawberries in half lengthwise so they make a "heart" shape. Arrange these half strawberries starting at the whipped cream border, with the cut side facing towards the center but leaning slightly backwards (leaning out towards edge of cake).
Using the smallest strawberry slices, start with a circle of strawberries on the outer edge (right next to whipped cream border), so the outer ring of strawberries is well-defined with clean lines. This ring of strawberries should form a barrier that is snug against the whipped cream border.
Next, using the biggest strawberry slices (as close in size to the center strawberry), form a circle of strawberries around the center strawberry. Once those 2 circles are created (the smallest strawberries for outermost circle and the biggest strawberries for innermost circle), fill in the rest of the cake's top surface with rings of strawberries, arranged similarly with the cut side facing towards the center and leaning slightly towards the edge of the cake, working from the outside-in. Try to match strawberries according to size to make an even-looking pattern as much as possible. Place this assembled cake in the fridge to chill for a minimum of 1 hour before adding the gelatin topping.
In a heat-proof container, add in 0.35 oz (10 g) strawberry
gelatin powder and 1/2 cup of cool water. Stir to dissolve.
Pour in 1/2 cup of boiling water, and stir to combine. Rest this mixture in the fridge for 5 to 10 minutes, to allow the gelatin to cool down and firm up a bit, till it reaches a thicker syrupy texture.
When the gelatin is no longer runny, and forms a thicker syrupy texture than can be drizzled, spoon the strawberry gelatin over the cold strawberries on the chilled cake, cover the top of the
strawberries as well as in between the strawberries. The whipped cream border should contain the gelatin till it has firmed up, and prevent it from running down the sides of the cake.
Rest the cake in the fridge for the gelatin to firm up and for the layers to set for a minimum of 6 hours to overnight. Enjoy!