Last weekend I found myself practically alone – except for the company of my 16 year old. My husband took the other three kids to Vermont for the weekend. What a blessing to find yourself alone with the ability to do what you want to do. Usually I dive into the tasks that always pile up in several places around the house. But instead, I became a cooking maniac. I made roasted cauliflower soup, vegetable soup, a jalapeno lime butter for salmon and a six layer Strawberry Stack Cake. I must say I was inspired to find the salmon and Strawberry Stack Cake recipes to round out my Valentine’s Day menu (no I usually don’t go to such lengths, but given I had the time – I decided to take advanage).
The Strawberry Stack Cake was a hit – essentially 6 cookie like layers separated by a homemade strawberry jam. It was quite easy to make as well and looked beautiful. It’s almost a different take on strawberry short cake. Here’s the recipe in case any of you are just dying to bake this weekend:
Strawberry Stack Cake
2.5 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and halved (you can also use frozen)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 T fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt
Bring the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and salt to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Mash the strawberries with a potato masher and cook until thick and jam-like, about 30 minutes (the mixture should measure 2 – 3/4 cups). Transfer to a shallow dish and refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes. (I left mine in the fridge for a few hours).
5 cups of unbleached flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
8 T unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
2 T confectioner’s sugar
1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper middle and lower middle positions and heat the oven to 350. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. Combine the buttermilk and vanilla in a measuring cup. With the electric mixer on medium high speed, beat the butter, cream cheese, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 mintues. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined, then the buttermilk mixture. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture gradually until combined.
2. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Pat each piece into a 5 inch disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cut six 9 inch parchment rounds. (note: I did cut out six rounds, but I think using just one is sufficient). Line an 8 inch round cake pan with the parchment paper, and press a chilled dough disk into the bottom of the lined pan. I just pounded the dough, and pushed is to the edges of the pan as best I could. Transfer the round to a baking sheet (you can just grab the parchment paper and flip the dough onto the cookie sheet). I could fit two dough rounds on each cookie sheet, and then into the oven they went, essentially looking like 4 big cookies. Bake until just golden around the edges, 6 to 20 minutes, switching and rotating the sheets halfway through. Cool for 10 minutes on the sheets, then transfer to the counter to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
3. To assemble: Place 1 cooled cake round on a serving platter. Spread 1/2 cup of the cooled berry mixture over the cake, leaving a 1/2 inch border uncovered, then top with another cake round. Repeat with the remaining berry mixture and cake rounds, finishing with the cake. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the cake has softened, at least 8 hours or up to 3 days. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve. I also had extra strawberry jam, so I put it on the top of the cake in the shape of a heart. Very delicious!
Source: Cook’s Illustrated