Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie ~ French Strawberry Cake

Two times a charm


This weeks Baking with Julia recipe is French Strawberry Cake.  The base for this cake is Julia’s recipe for the Perfect Génoise.  Madeleines, also made with a basic Génoise batter, have long been a favorite of mine, and I make them quite often. So, I expected no trouble with this cake.  Wrong!!  I made this cake twice!  I found that my first had a hard, heavy layer on the bottom and it did not rise at all. The second was better but, still not as good as it should have been.  I put my cake together, with my beautiful just picked strawberries (it’s strawberry season in NJ) and took my photos!  Then I went back into the kitchen and made a third cake that came out close to perfect! There was no way I was going to quit until I mastered this recipe!  Before I made my last cake; I did some online research and watched a video I found of Julia Child and Flo Braker making a Génoise  Part 1 and Part 2 .  
Warming your eggs (still in the shell) in a bowl of warm water before using them, was something I always do or, I use room temperature eggs.  I also found that I needed to beat the egg and sugar mixture longer then the suggested 5 minutes.  Ten minutes gave me a perfect ribbon.  Lastly, the most important thing I learned was to sift the flour, in small amounts, over the batter and then fold it in.  I don’t think this recipe was clear about how to incorporate the flour. 

Now I have a lovely Génoise waiting in my freezer, to be served the next time I have company coming over! This was a very lovely light dessert and my just picked strawberries made it even better.  It was reminiscent of the strawberry shortcake my grandmother used to make except, she used to buy the sponge cake sold in the grocery store!  Happy Tuesday everyone!

Our hosts this week for Baking with Julia are Sophia of Sophia’s Sweets and Allison of Sleep Love Think Dine. The recipe will be posted on blogs.


I did everything as written….prepared my pan….sifted my flour
This was the first time…after 5 minutes…I didn’t get pictures the third time around…but I beat it
for 10 minutes and it came out perfect
My very fresh just picked strawberries 
Although it caused a lot of angst…it really did come out pretty
And yummy!
Wish you could join me
Very delicious…although not the perfect spongecake...
We still enjoyed it!!

41 comments:

  1. Well kathy, you certainly put in the effort, and it shows! Not only did you make 3 batters, you cut it in 3 layers (mine was way too short for that) and used a piping bag! Well done, beautiful cake

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    1. I forgot to mention that I salvaged the top layer of the first cake which was fine and then added it to the two layers of the second cake! I would have never gotten 3 layers out of my first two cakes! My third cake came out much higher and would have given me 3 layers. I guess I should have said "Third Times a Charm"!!

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  2. Your tenacity certainly shows wonderful results, Kathy. Personally, I probably would have given up the first time. I am so NOT a baker, lol...

    The early strawberries around here seem to have disappeared for the season. (I'm in central PA) I thought it was just me missing them but I was talking to a few other and it seems the crop this year just wasn't up to par. Thankfully, my daughter is sending me some fresh Strawberry Jam to hold me over until the later varieties start producing.

    Thank you so much for sharing, your cake looks heavenly!!!

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  3. Wow, Kathy-this awesome cake is almost identical to the one that Lora and I made for Lizzy's guest post, and even the filling. Great minds think alike...because, I made another different kind of strawberry cake, for Father's Day!
    Gorgeous cake, and I love the pretty pink hurricane glass plates. I had a set of 12 of these plates with similar design, and donate it it to Goodwill when I move to my beach place...just had to downsize. (now, I'm sorry) I still have a similar pink platter like yours but mine is square!

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  4. I am impressed that you took the time to pipe the cream is well :-)
    Very lovely.

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  5. Holy moly--you made this three times?? That takes dedication~ Nice job! It looks beautiful, and I'm glad that ever try got a little better.

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  6. Wow, your cake is gorgeous. My cake turned out dry, but practice makes perfect. I'll have to try again. The strawberry season is over here in Virginia, so I bought imported from California. ;)

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  7. Gorgeous strawberry cake! I love your pink cake platter and plates, they go beautifully with your cake;-)
    I have not had time to participate in this baking group, sadly- but I am living vicariously through you and your baking exploits! Thanks for sharing and I wish I could have tried a slice with you;-)

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  8. A delicious cake:) I wish I could have a piece. I admire your perseverance in perfecting the cake. You did a fantastic job.

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  9. What a pretty way to frost and decorate your cake!

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  10. It's stunning, Kathy! Wish I had your drive to perfect the recipe! :)

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  11. Your cake is gorgeous Kathy - I could use a huge slice right now.

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  12. Your just picked strawberries look so beautiful! I love the height of your cake.

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  13. Your cake is so pretty! You worked hard and it shows! Your piping is beautiful! That's another thing I need to work on. What recipe do you usually use for your madeleines?

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    1. My basic madeleine recipe is from Martha Stewart. It was in her book Entertaining. I also posted a chocolate madeleine recipe from Epicurious.com. here.
      http://www.bakeawaywithme.com/2011/04/chocolate-madeleines.html

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  14. Thanks for all the hints. Mine also took a bit longer than 5 minutes to get the ribbons and I left my eggs on the counter for a while & my kitchen is about 85* right now, so definitely on the warmer side. Your cake looks gourmet!!

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  15. I am impressed by both your stamina and fortitude. I turned into a pouty baby after mine didn't work out the first time and didn't even really think of trying it again. Your cake looks beautiful and you have totally inspired me to try again. Maybe even this week....

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  16. This is definitely a cake that I will be making. We went strawberry picking last weekend and this recipe is perfect!

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  17. Hi Kathy! I'm so excited to know you will be joining us for the Picnic Game!!! And to think you're bringing the letter L Limoncello Biscotti!

    We are going to have a wonderful Picnic and guess what, we don't even need to worry about the weather!!!

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  18. Beautiful! Love the piped cream on top!

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  19. so sos beautiful... i came by earlier.. marvelled at the cake.. and then called my mom to have a look .. u've done a brilliant job!!!

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  20. Just beautiful, Kathy! I had a feeling that the flour part was what ruined my cake. It just seemed odd to me to sift the flour onto a piece of wax paper and then pour it into the batter in thirds - I was so tempted to just sift over the batter and now I wish I had. I completely forgot about those Julia Child videos that are available and will watch them before I make this again because I do want to try and make the perfect genoise. Great post. I love that you had enough freshly picked strawberries to use with your cake. Oh, and I LOVE your depression cake plate and dessert plates! :)

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    1. Thanks Elaine, If you watch Flo while she’s baking this cake, she sifts the flour, then sifts again, then measures out her one cup, leaving flour on the wax paper which she puts back into the canister. That means she was using less flour then we used. Then she put it into a sifter to sift over the egg mixture. I think this cake is all about technique and that would be a reason so many of us had problems.

      The cake plate was my moms. I love it, too!

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  21. What determination! Your cake is lovely.

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  22. Just picked strawberries sound amazing!

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  23. If I didn't know better, this is a cake I could have purchased at "Layers", my current bakery of choice. Kathy, it is beautiful, love the piping. What effort. I think I'm most fortunate because I didn't participate this month and will catch up with the June recipes in July and August. Yourt second graph of suggestions will be good to follow and I also will pick up the videos at the library and watch Julia and Flo do their thing. Lovely. Just lovely.

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  24. This looks amazing, i'm glad you enjoyed it after all!!!

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  25. Kathy, I love the colors of the pink glass serving platter and matching plates - the pink color perfectly matches the amazing looking cake you made. I just love your post, so nicely done!

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  26. Your cake looks great and how fun to use "real" strawberries! ;) I only sliced my cake into two. It would have been a sad, crumbly mess if I'd have done 3.

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  27. Beautiful job! I wish I'd tried this recipe again. My cake had one sad little layer. Thanks for the tips - it will make a difference when I try again.

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  28. well you really did your homework and it looks like it really paid off! what an incredibly beautiful cake!
    Mary x

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  29. Kathy, I love your dedication! It would have been easy to give up after the second or third try. Congrats for not giving up!

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  30. I'm impressed that you tried so many times! It really looks lovely.

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  31. Kathy, you are amazing! I admire your spirit of not giving up…after two tries, I said, 'I quit'. After reading your post, I just may give it another try…

    ~ Carmen
    http://bakingismyzen.wordpress.com/

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  32. Wow, Kathy! You truly are a perfectionist. I'm sorry I had to drop out of the group, but I love the way this cake looks. Also - love your Depression Glass!

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  33. Kathy this cake is so elegant! It looks like it came straight from the hands of a pastry chef!

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  34. Thanks for all the great tips on baking this cake! I'm so impressed that you stuck with it for three attempts and you've inspired me to try again. Gorgeous results!

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  35. Would you do the honours of making my wedding cake in 10 yrs time - you are amazing :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  36. from one jersey girl to another-well done! strawberry season in tennessee is long gone but i went ahead with using them, they made up for the lousy cake layers. it is also nice to know that i wasn't the only one making this 3 times.

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  37. Kathy,

    Will be baking this cake today, for the third time. Wish me luck! Your post made me reconsider. ;)

    Carmen

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  38. Made the cake...it was a finally a success...thanks for your encouraging post...

    Carmen

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