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19TH STRAWBERRY & WHIPPED CREAM BIRTHDAY CAKE – step by step guide to making a birthday cake

This year I had a small birthday bbq for my 19th birthday. I’m still not 19, a few more weeks and I will have completed my 19th year of life, but I wanted to have some friends over early to celebrate and eat cake. It’s not often that everyone is around on my birthday, especially because it is exactly in the middle of summer when everyone goes on holiday so I guess I get 2 celebrations, one with friends and one with my family on my actual birthday.

I was so excited to make the same cake as I had for my brother’s wedding because I think it may have become my favourite type of cake. I did cheat and use box cake mix but its oh so worth it, plus it cuts down some of the time it takes to make the cake, especially since there are extra steps. I made a white chocolate cake with fresh whipped cream and fresh strawberries.

Tip: I like to make the cake decorations at least 2 days before assembling the cake and bake the cakes one day before assembling. That way the cakes will be 100% cooled and there will be no chance of the frosting melting!

Scroll down to see some pictures and to get the recipe for the cake and the frosting!

Ingredients for the cake (makes 4 layers)

1 stick of butter cut into slices about 1 tbsp each

6oz of white chocolate chips

1 box of white cake mix (the

1 cup whole milk

3 large eggs

 

Steps

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F convection bake.

2. Place the butter and white chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water (bain-marie) and stir until both have melted. then set aside.

3. In a large bowl add the cake mix, the milk, the eggs, and then add the melted chocolate mixture.

4. With an electric mixer mix the cake batter on medium until smooth. It will have thickened and may have tiny lumps but that’s okay.

5. Divide the batter between 2 greased and lined cake pans and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

6. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 5 minutes and then turn them out to cool on a wire rack.

7. Trim the domes off the cake and wrap in clingfilm (saran wrap) before popping them into the freezer for at least 2 hours.

8. Cut each cake in half to make 2 layers of cake from each one (you will now have 4 layers total).

 

Ingredients for the stabilized whipped cream filling

2 tsp unflavoured gelatin

8 tsp cold water

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 packages of strawberries washed and cut into half (this is for the assembly)

 

Steps

1. In a small bowl sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and set aside.

2. Whip the cream and the confectioner’s sugar until it begins to thicken.

3. Microwave the gelatin mixture for about 10 seconds or until liquidy.

4. While mixing on high, slowly drizzle the gelatin into the whipped cream.

5. Whip until stiff peaks and then store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Ingredients for the swiss meringue buttercream

6 egg large whites at room temperature

1 1/3 cups white sugar

4 sticks salted butter at room temperature

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

Steps:

1. Over a bain-marie, combine the egg whites and sugar and mix until the mixture reaches 140°F (if you don’t have a thermometer this will be when the sugar is completely dissolved and it will be pretty hot to the touch, be very careful not to cook the egg whites).

2. Remove the egg white mixture from the bain-marie and with an electric mixer on high, whip until stiff peaks.

3. Once the egg whites and sugar have reached stiff peaks (the bowl should be able to be turned over and the meringue will not move or fall out).

4. With the mixture on medium, slowly add the butter 1 tbsp at a time. Whip for about a minute after adding the last piece of butter.

5. If the mixture looks like it has separated at the end of mixing, the butter may have been too cold, so to fix this, return the frosting to the bain-marie until it begins to look a little melted around the bowl. Remove from the heat and whip until stiff peaks.

Assembling the cake

1. On the cake stand put 1 layer of cake.

2. spread about a cup of the whipped cream all the way to the edges of the cake layer. The whipped cream filling should be about 1 cm thick.

3. Press the strawberry halves into the cream filling.

4. Repeat steps 1-3 for all the layers.

5. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes.

7. Frost the crumb coat (a very thin layer of frosting on the cake to stick all the crumbs to the cake).

8. Let the crumb coat set in the fridge for 10 minutes.

9. Apply the final layer of frosting (I tinted half of the remaining frosting a very very pale blue and the other half a slightly darker blue and put the darker blue on the bottom and turned the cake standing while holding my frosting knife still to blend the colours. I also piped a geometric design on the bottom of the cake using royal icing.)

10. Finish with the decorations and serve!

 

 

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