Tuesday, 11 August 2009

The Lovely Wife deserves a lovely cake...

The Lovely Wife celebrated her 30-something birthday on Monday, 10th August. I still haven't figured out what it is about women and their ages. I mean, I have no issue announcing to all and sundry that I am 42 - although my birthday is in November and that means I am still 41 but for all intents and purposes, I am 42. With women, and here I apologise to all the women in the world that are NOT 'afraid' of their ages, they are always hiding their ages with early 30's, mid 40s, late 20's or something or other. I just dont understand it and I guess I never will...but I digress as usual.

For The Lovely Wife, who is not only lovely but also wondeful - not just for putting up with me but simply because she is - this cake was specially made for her birthday. Although The Lovely Wife loves chocolate, I wanted to make something light and fruity that would tickle her taste buds more than chocolate would. To put it simply, I wanted to make her something that she would really like and so after thinking hard for a few weeks, I came up with this - Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Cake!

The Lovely Wife had hinted at an Ice Cream cake but I had just stared at her rather grumpily. How dare she read my mind and figure out what I was trying to do for her. I had already decided I was going to use Dory Greenspans Perfect Party Cake for the base and I surfed around for a Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream recipe. I found one that I liked on Joy of Baking by Stephanie Jaworski and I based my recipe on that.

For the ice cream, I used my kenwood ice cream maker that produced a lovely thick, creamy ice cream. I made some mini cakes with the leftovers that The Lovely Wife sampled on Sunday as she didn't want to cut her cake before her actual birthday!

For the actual Birthday Cake, I grated some chocolate over the top of the cake for garnishing/decoration.

After spending more than 24 hours in the freezer, the cake was really frozen solid and I had to let it thaw a bit before we attempted to cut it. Even with the thawing, the cake was a little hard to cut but nothing that a firm hand and a sharp serrated knife coulnd't overcome!

To say that she loved the cake would be a little bit of an understatement! I was rather surprised with how well it turned out too although the strawberry chunks I added in at the churning stage seemed to be a little frozen and icy. Still, there was the nice subtle taste of cream cheese that went really nicely with the strawberry ice cream. My little princess loved the cake too although my son was a little disappointed. He wasn't too keen on the strawberry ice cream although he did like the cake. He commented that he would have preferred something with chocolate in it but I told him the cake was for Mummy and not for him!

All in all a very succesful birthday cake and what really matters is that The Lovely Wife really, really enjoyed it! Happy Birthday!

Strawberry Cheesecake Icecream Cake

1 recipe Perfect Party Cake
1 recipe Strawberry Cheesecake Icecream

Bake the cakes and set aside. Place one layer into a springform pan and cover with half the ice cream. Place another layer over the ice cream and cover with remaining ice cream. Freeze overnight. Allow to thaw about 10 mins before serving.

Perfect Party Cake
Courtesy of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from My Home to Yours (page 250).
For the Cake

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups whole milk
4 large egg whites
1 ½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
4 ounces butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon pure lemon extract

Centre a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9 x 2 inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

To Make the Cake
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
Add the butter and working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.
Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed.
Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated.
Add the rest of the milk and eggs beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
Finally, give the batter a good 2- minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.
Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean
Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unfold them and peel off the paper liners.
Invert and cool to room temperature, right side up (the cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to two months).

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
Based on http://www.joyofbaking.com/StrawberryCheesecakeIceCream.html by Stephanie Jaworski. I added an egg yolk and used fresh strawberries for the puree rather than sauce.
2 cups (500 ml) cream
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
125 grams cream cheese, room temperature
4 egg yolks
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
250g fresh strawberries - processed into puree
250g fresh strawberries, chopped coarsely in food processor

In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring the cream and vanilla extract to the scalding point (the milk begins to foam up). Remove from heat
Meanwhile in a stainless steel bowl beat the cream cheese, egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy (about two minutes). Gradually pour a little of the cream into the whipped egg yolk mixture to temper it, making sure you keep whisking constantly so the eggs dont curdle. Pour the tempered mixture back into the saucepan, whisking constantly. Return pan to the heat to and stirring constantly with a whisk cook until the custard becomes thick.
Immediately remove the custard from the heat and continue to stir the custard for a few minutes so it does not overcook. At this point stir in the vanilla extract, if using, and the strawberry puree. Cover and let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate the custard until it is completely cold (several hours but preferably overnight).
Transfer the cold custard to the chilled container of your ice cream machine and process according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once made, stir in the cut up fresh strawberries and transfer the ice cream to a chilled container and store in the freezer.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Most excellent Dharm!
The chocolate on top ... brilliant!
(sigh) I guess I'm one who doesn't care that you know I'm a really old lady (at least I know there was a time long ago I thought 65 was really old). My mom told us she was 39 for so long she was 75 before I finally figured out how old she really was.

Lauren said...

Gorgeous cake!! I love the idea of an ice cream cheesecake - Yum =D.

Ages haven't ever been a big thing in my family - of course we've joked about it, but the older you are, the more you've experienced and the longer you've lived, so why not be proud of it.

Happy Birthday to your Wife!

Ms. Kong Piang: said...

I love the cake, its so light and taste so natural (not heavily falvoured) it makes a perfect dessert

The Cooking Diva said...

My my my! You know this is going on my blog pronto right?? This is like...heaven!!!! Cheesecake...ice cream...strawberries! You are killin me here!

Alexandra@Chefspiration said...

Yum! What a lovely cake for the lovely wife! Looks wonderful :) I have no qualms about revealing my age...

Anh said...

Happy belated birthday to your dear wife!! She must have been really happy with the cake you made for her!

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

Wonderful cake for TLW's birthday Dharm, just awsome goodness! You are wuite a baker huh? Dad-Baker-Hub & Chef...I love it loads! I have to shake my hub out of oblivion to deliver soemthng this stellar! WOW!!

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

Oopppppps sorry. Happy belated birthday to the lovely wife! Left my manners behind...sorry!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Happy belated Birthday to your wife! That cake is fantastic! Lucky her ;-P...



Lisa Michelle said...

You are not only a master baker/cook, but you are one gem of a hubby! Trust me, as a woman, once you hit 30, or even 35 for that matter, you do NOT relish B-Days as you once did! I try to avoid them..lol

BTW, that cake is stunning and looks so fluffy, light and delicious! Well done!!

Foodycat said...

That looks beautiful! I love strawberry icecream.

Bellini Valli said...

A beautiful woman deserves a beautiful cake. Well done Dharm:D

Elle said...

Happy Birthday to the Lovely WIfe, who truly is lovely. Superb combo of the Perfect Party Cake and the special ice cream. My Mom did the same age thing...she was 36 for so many years that for a long time I really didn't know what her age was. Now that she is in her 80s, she treasurers every year added to her age. Your son wold probably like the Turtle Ice Cream Cake that my niece likes for her birthday...caramel, chocolate and pecans.

Aparna said...

A really beuatiful cake, Dharm. Birthday wishes to your wife. I guess your son will get chocolate for his birthday cake.
Wish my husband would bake me a cake too, though I shouldn't complain 'cos he makes up in other ways. :)

Apology accepted. I don't mind people knowing hoe old I am. Now I'll let you figure that out for yourself!!! ;)

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Happy Birthday to The Lovely (and beautiful) Wife! :)

I think you did an excellent job on the cake Dharm - and you did manage to get the chocolate there after all! :)

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

What a sweet girly cake. Perfect for your beautiful young wife. :-D Happy birthday!

Jennywenny said...

Happy birthday to the lovely wife, what a delicious looking cake! She is beautiful whatever age she is, although I'm sure you've told her that many times!

glamah16 said...

I am 40 going on 41 and proud to be alive! Thats the way we should approach it.
I am blown over by the ice cream cake. I have never made one, but want to . Looks amazing.

Sophie said...

What a gorgeous cake, it would certainly put a smile on anyone's face :)!


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