July 17, 2015

Friday Guest post By Divya Ashok | Fresh Strawberry cake with Butter cream Frosting | Rose Swirl Cake Decoration Basics | How to make a strawberry layer cake

Good evening, friends! babaiI am super excited to write guest post..Yeah.I was absent for four weeks I know..But,family is very important than our hobbies right?? I have disappointed you people, all these days,Hope I will be active from now on fridays guest posts..

Today we are going to meet an amazing baker,beautiful woman,caring mother,loving wife,specially loving friend.. We met in fb first..I thought she is also a co blogger like me but later came to know about the great talent..she created her hobby into a professional and by taking orders making wonderful themed cakes for birthdays..It`s really tough to balance the home,kids and profession.But,this strong girl is managing all together very well. I admires on her talent,I love her gorgeous cakes, not to mention she takes such beautiful cakes pictures that make me drool at times! Many of her cakes are my favourite and I’m dying to find the time to try them out..Hehehe!!!  

When I invited her to guest post series last month, she accepted the request and sent her strawberry cake recipe to post on my blog and today I’m really excited to say that she’s here with a wonderful cake recipe! even she gave step by step pictures and a video too..Actually I have postponed this lovely guest post every time and til now she is quite patience and waiting for the post which made me to feel very guilty...Very sorry Divya on doing late all the time. Finally Iam very happy on posting the beautiful post..:)

Over to Divya Ashoknerd

Thank you for giving me an opportunity to write Usha.

1.About MLH, Usha has a huge collection of recipes.. You name a recipe it's going to be there in her blog. I have always admired her dedication and devotion to her blog even at tough times. 

2.I do feel bloggers family members are the most gifted ones.. They get to taste and enjoy different food which is uncommon in other homes.. Keep up the good work Usha.. 

3.Wishing MLH a lot more success and fame.

About me, I am Divya Ashok. I studied Biotechnology and wanted to get in to Genetic Research. At some point of time, I had kids(2 kids under 2 years) which led me to discontinue my Masters and become a SAHM.. To kill the time, I used to blog at Divya's Diner. Blogging led me to a new world, cake decorating.. Fell in love with it and now I do cake research.. Lol! at my very own DD's Bake Shop, Frisco, TX.

Here is the much awaiting post with step by step pictures:

( It is bit lengthy post with lots of pictures and detailed notes .please be patience until it loaded completely)

Fresh Strawberry cake with decoration basics
This recipe holds good for two 8”cake layers.
For the Cake
2 ¼ cup of Cake flour, sifted
4 teaspoons of Baking powder
1 teaspoon of Salt
1 ¾ cups of Sugar
¾ cup of Unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks or 12 tablespoons)
4 large eggs ( or 6 large egg whites), room temperature
¾ cup of Strawberry puree
¼ cup of Milk
2 teaspoons of Vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of Strawberry extract(optional), if you dont get good ripen strawberries
For the Strawberry puree
2 lbs of very ripe fresh Strawberries (frozen strawberries without sugar)
1 tablespoon of Sugar
I halved the above recipe and made two 6” cake layers
 For the Cake
1 cup + 2 tablespoons of Cake flour
2 teaspoons of Baking powder
½ teaspoon of Salt
¾ cup + 1 tablespoon of Sugar
6 tablespoons of Unsalted butter
2 large Eggs (or 3 large egg whites)
¼ cup of Strawberry puree
1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract
½ teaspoon Strawberry extract
For the Strawberry puree
1 lbs(454g)  of very ripe fresh Strawberries (frozen strawberries without sugar)
1 tablespoon of Sugar
(If you can’t find strawberries, you can substitute with any berries in this recipe)
Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen 

• Wash and hull fresh ripe strawberries. Cut it in to small pieces and transfer it to a bowl. Add a tablespoon of sugar and give a quick mix. Cover it and allow it to sit for 2-3 hours/ overnight in the refrigerator. Strawberries will become tender and juicy.

•  Simmer the tender strawberries in a pan with ¼ cup of water for 20-25 mins in low flame. (Taking care not to burn any). Mash it well with a spatula and allow it to cool.
•  Transfer the contents to the blender with ¼ cup of water and puree the cooked strawberries.
•  Filter the puree to remove any chunky pieces. (Taking care not to add any strawberry chunks, which would result in a mushy cake- We dont need it).
•  Again bring the filtered puree to the stove and slow cook it in low flame for another 15 mins. Reduce the puree to 1/4 cup. (If you have a little more puree thats fine. You can use that as a filling later)

strawberry concentrated puree is ready
For the Cake:
• Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease (butter/shortening) and dust (flour) two 6” pans. (I have halved the recipe and made it in two 6” pans). Take required butter, cut them in to pieces and allow them to sit at room temperature. • Break open the eggs in a bowl and keep it ready.
Wet Ingredients
• In a small bowl, take ¼ cup of cooked strawberry puree and add ¼ cup of milk and whisk it.
• Add vanilla extract & strawberry extract (optional).
• Whisk in eggs, one at a time and keep the mixture ready.
Dry Ingredients
• In a large mixing bowl, sift cake flour. If you cant find cake flour, substitute with all purpose flour (APF) and corn starch.  Standard substitution will be 1 cup cake flour = 1 cup of APF - 2 tablespoon of APF + 2 tablespoon of corn starch but for this recipe substitute, 1 cup cake flour = 1 cup APF- 1 tablespoon of APF + 1 tablespoon of corn starch.
• Add baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix it slowly in a stand mixer with paddle attachment or with a hand held mixer.
• Toss in softened butter and continue mixing till you get ‘bread crumbs’ like texture.
• Slowly add the wet ingredients mixture little by little and the cake batter is ready. (Taste the batter, you can feel the yumminess of fresh strawberries :P)
• This is going to be the color of the cake once baked and its not going to turn pink. So if you want the cake to look pink, add few drops of beet juice or red food dye.
• Pour the batter equally in to two prepared pans. The mixture will not be runny and it will be difficult to spread. Dont use spoon to spread it, instead drop the pans on the counter multiple times to level the batter. Bake it at 350 degrees for 25-30 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
• Once done, remove the pans from the oven and let it sit in the counter for 10 mins.
(Tip: Press the bulges of the cake with a wet clean white cloth as soon as you remove from the oven. Taking care all the time not to burn your hands. You may not need to trim a lot of cake, while stacking also it gives clean edges.)
• Cover it with plastic wrap and transfer it to the freezer for a night. (Make sure your cake is completely wrapped and is not exposed, else your cake might turn dry).
orating a Cake
Remove the cake from the freezer 4 hours before you start decorating and place it at room temperature.
Basic Butter cream Frosting Recipe
1 ½ cups of Unsalted butter, softened
4 ½ cups of Powdered sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons of Heavy cream
A pinch of Salt
1 teaspoon of Clear vanilla extract
• In a large mixing bowl, add softened butter and mix it till it becomes
• Add sifted powdered sugar, heavy cream, salt and clear vanilla extract and mix it for couple of mins. Delicious buttercream is ready.
Basic Cake Decoration
Keep your things ready.
You may need a turn-table, cake board, a spatula, cakes, buttercream, a small spoon.
Levelling, Filling & Stacking the layers.trim the edges and level the cake.
• Take a cake board. Add a spoon of frosting in the center and spread it. Top it with a cake layer. Trimmed edge facing down.
• Add a tablespoon of strawberry puree to ¼ cup of frosting. Mix it and fill it between the cakes. Spread evenly with a spatula.
• Stack another layer on top with trimmed side facing down.
• Add ½ cup of frosting on top and spread it evenly on the sides. Just make sure the cake is totally covered with frosting. This is called crumb coat. (We are just locking up the crumbs of cake with the frosting). Let it sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
• Remove the cake from the refrigerator and add generous amount of frosting on top and sides. Spread the frosting. You dont need to have a smooth finish as we are going to have a unfinished look.

Take a spoon. With the rounded sided up slowly move on the sides from down to up, creating a pattern on the cake.
Then on top creating a rustic unfinished look. Its easy & very simple to follow
Rosette Cake
Another popular and most beautiful decoration will be the rosette. Its simple and very easy to follow.
Things needed
Crumb coated cake, decorating bags, 1M tip & turn-table
• Cut the ends of decorating bags and insert tip 1M inside.
• Place the bag on a cup and fill ½ of decorating bag with frosting.
roll the edges and you are all ready to set up.
Start in the lower side of the cake. Make a dot and pipe all around the dot like a circle. Go all the way around the cake. Try not to leave space between the roses.
In the end coverup all the spaces with the frosting.
Checkout these videos- Thats me piping the rosette :-)

you can watch this video for a clarity

That`s an awesome cake recipe,notes..Totally a big clap..You deserves lots of appreciations dear!!! Loved the whole post,your hard work,dedication and big salute to your patience first...:) I wish you a very healthy wealthy future to you..Keep doing many more creations like this my cake queen.
I  hope you like this post. I’m speechless totally.. I make it definitely if a chance I get. Feel free to share your comments and always welcomes your guest post recipes.
Thanks so much to Divya for presenting me this nice post today. It was a total pleasure spending the day..:) rindu

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