In my gardening zone the alpine, and frais des bois, as well as the traditional strawberry plants will continue producing until the first frost, which is just around the corner. I grow the frais des bois and alpines in raised beds, dedicated only to them. Traditional strawberries are grown in several strawberry pots on the upper decks where they receive optimum sunshine, I'm happy they thrive despite living in the midst of forrested property. Besides serving them fresh and unadorned in fruit bowls, this is another of my favorites~ But very soon this fresh strawberry cake will be just a memory until next season, making it all that much more special.
If you don't grow your own strawberries, don't worry! It can be made with commercially grown strawberries as well.
Fresh Strawberry Cake
One 9-inch triple layer cake
About 12 servings
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
20 tablespoons (10 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 and 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 350-degree (F).
Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
Sift the next four ingredients into a large bowl. Set aside.
With an electric stand mixer beat butter with 1 cup of sugar for 4 to 6 minutes on high speed, until light in color. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and continue to beat until well blended. Beat in the milk and flour mixture alternately, ending with flour. Scrape the batter back into the bowl that held the flour.
Wash the electric stand mixer bowl until squeaky clean and dry completely (this is important, so there is absolutely no butter, residue remaining in the bowl, or the egg whites will not whip properly.)
Place the egg whites into the bowl and beat with the wire whisk attachment, beat at high speed until foamy. Gradually add the remaining sugar while machine is running, until soft peaks develop and hold their shape.
Gently transfer the egg whites on top of the batter, fold in with a silicone/rubber spatula using a light touch so as to retain as much volume of the egg whites as possible. Carefully scrape batter into the springform pan and smooth the top.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for one hour. Release the springform latch, and with a metal spatula transfer cake onto a plate. When completely cool wrap securely with plastic film.
When ready to assemble cut the cake into 3 horizontal layers.
1/2 cup strawberry preserves
Make the fresh strawberry frosting*:
1/2 cup butter
1 pound confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup fresh strawberries, cut into small pieces.
1/2 cup strawberries preserves
Beat the butter and confectioners' sugar together until smooth and fluffy. Add fresh strawberries, combine to blend.
Spread 1/2 of strawberry preserves/jam on the top of the bottom cake layer, spread frosting, repeat with middle layer. Spread top layer with frosting only (no preserves), and frost sides of cake with remainder.
*Note: (If you like a thicker layer of icing, increase the butter to 3/4 cup (1 & 1/2 sticks), and an additional 2 cups confectioners sugar, and additional 1/8 cup or so, of fresh strawberries.
Garnish the cake with whole or half strawberries, as desired. I usually make a design as shown in my photos.