Monday, April 12, 2010
Happy Birthday April!!
Well, my first baby is now older! She turned 17 last weekend and after weeks of pondering,(I wanted to take her to Paris, but the plans fell through-that's another story), and many last minute changes, we came(uhem- I came) up with a great party theme. We had an "Iron Chef" party. Since she didn't want a whole lotta hoopla, there were 6 girls total and that broke it up into 3 groups of 2. Each group had a recipe to fix and had an hour and a half in which to prepare it. Group 1 had a lovely Strawberry Torte. Group 2 had Thai Chicken and Noodle Salad. Group 3 had Wontons to make. My goodness this place was rocking with laughter, conversation and the constant business of cabinet doors opening and closing. The young ladies had a great time and the best part was that I sorta got a tiny break from cooking. The cleanup was appauling, and it took 2 days to REALLY get the kitchen clean, but again, the party was a success and April enjoyed it.
Group 1 won!!!! That cake was the bomb, absolutely delicious!
Strawberry Torte (Found at MarthaStewart.com)
Serves 8 to 10
Unsalted butter, for pan
8 extra-large eggs, room temperature, separated
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons sifted baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 pint heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, plus more for work towel
1 quart strawberries, washed, dried, and hulls removed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and line a rimmed 15-by-10-by-1-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar together until light in color, about 1 minute; stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Add cake flour and baking powder; stir until well combined.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into flour mixture.
Pour cake batter in prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Transfer baking sheet to oven and bake until cake springs back when touched, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, set 6 strawberries aside for garnish. Thinly slice remaining strawberries. Place heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium speed. Slowly add remaining teaspoon vanilla and 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar. Continue beating until soft peaks form. Set half of the whipped cream aside. Gently fold sliced strawberries into remaining half; set aside.
Lay a clean kitchen towel flat on a work surface with one of the short ends facing you. Generously sprinkle dish towel with confectioners' sugar. Flip cake onto towel, remove baking sheet, and peel off parchment paper. Using the dish towel, roll cake away from you; let cool.
Unroll cake. Evenly spread strawberry whipped-cream mixture over surface of the cake and re-roll. Transfer cake to a serving plate and evenly spread top and sides of cake with reserved whipped cream. Cut reserved whole strawberries in half lengthwise and place on top of cake for garnish.