Strawberry season has arrived with a vengeance and my sweet daughter could not be stopped from heading to the farm with some of her friends to pick lots and lots of delicious strawberries. Obviously, I don't know where you get your fruit, but I can tell you that the fruit you can get at a farm is far superior in taste to anything you can get in a store.
Once they came back home, I was presented with a rather large bag, brimming with beautiful ripe strawberries. Now, I like to eat my fair share of strawberries and cream, but even I could not possibly eat the large amount that my daughter presented to me.
I wasn't quite sure what to do – until I remembered a lovely desert my parents used to make every once in a while. They would create the most delicious, light, and fluffy cake dough, fill it with lots and lots of strawberries, add plenty of whipped cream, roll it all into a log, and sprinkle confectioner's sugar on top.
With this vision in mind, I knew what I had to do.
Mind you, I am not a baker – but this concoction turned out perfectly right away.
So, here it is. It's simple, it's fast, it's mostly beige. Believe me when I tell you that I have no experience baking anything – but even I managed to make this be just perfect. Thus, don't doubt yourself – you have all the skills you need to make this. Be prepared that this lovely desert requires quite a few bowls...
8 egg yolks.
4 egg whites – there cannot be ANY egg yolk in the egg whites!
½ cup sugar (plus 1 Tbs. sugar for sprinkling the baked dough).
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract.
1/8 tsp. lemon juice.
½ cup all-purpose flour.
1 tsp. corn starch.
1 lb. fresh strawberries, trimmed, and finely chopped.
1 cup heavy whipping cream.
¼ cup sugar.
Whip Cream Stabilizer (I use Dr. Oetker WhipIt (Sahnesteiff), but ClearJel will work, too).
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract.
1/8 tsp. lemon juice.
Powdered sugar as needed.
Let's get started:
Preheat the oven to 460 degrees Fahrenheit.
Add the egg yolks, half of the sugar, the vanilla extract, and the lemon juice to the bowl of your mixer. With the wire whisk attachment, slowly increase the mixture speed to fast and let mix for about five minutes or until the mixture thickens and turns somewhat fluffy and airy.
In a separate bowl, add the egg whites.
With a wire whisk attachment and the mixer on high (I actually use a separate hand mixer while my stand mixer works on the egg yolks!), start beating the egg whites.
Slowly add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar – don't dump it in all at once; this needs to be done slowly and deliberately.
Keep beating the mixture on high until the egg whites turn really, really stiff. They should be so stiff that you can turn the bowl upside down and the egg whites won't fall out!
By now, your egg yolks should be super fluffy.
Turn the mixer with the egg yolks off so that you can access the contents.
Pile the fluffy egg whites on top of the egg yolk mixture.
In your measuring cup (or a small bowl) combine the flour and corn starch an
Carefully add the flour and corn starch mix by sifting it on top of the egg whites. The sifting is important so that you do not end up with flour clumps in your dough and to make the dough light and airy.
Use a spatula and carefully start lifting the ingredients on the bottom on the bowl to the top. Keep repeating until the egg yolks, egg whites, and flour are very well integrated. Do NOT stir, do NOT work fast – this needs to be done very slowly and carefully or you will destroy the light and fluffy consistency of the batter.
Line a rimmed cookie sheet (roughly 16 x 12 inches) with parchment paper.
Fill the cookie sheet with the batter, making sure that the batter is distributed evenly.
Bake on the center rack for 5 minutes or until the dough turns a beautiful golden color. The dough bakes very quickly, so please make sure you check on it so that it does not burn or get really dark. When you check, avoid opening the oven door – you want the heat to be consistent.
Remove the cookie sheet from the oven.
Sprinkle the reserved 1 Tbs. of sugar on top of the baked dough.
Cover the sugar-covered dough with a linen (or other lint-free) dish towel.
On top of that, place a flat board (wood, metal, plastic – whatever you have on hand).
Carefully hold the cookie sheet and board together with your hands to turn upside down.
Carefully remove the cookie sheet – you should now be staring at the parchment paper!
Carefully peel the parchment paper off the baked dough.
Take a second linen dish towel (or other lint-free dish towel), and soak it under running water for a second. Wring it out completely so that it is simply moist but not dripping wet.
Cover the baked dough with the moist dish towel and let cool down.
While the baked dough cools down, get started on the whipped cream.
Add the cream, sugar, WhipIt, vanilla extract, and lemon juice to a work bowl.
With the wire whisk attachment of your hand mixer, whip the ingredients until the cream turns very stiff. Don't overdo it or you will end up with butter!
Remove the moist towel from your dough.
Carefully and evenly spread the whipped cream on the dough – making sure you cover all areas.
Place the finely chopped strawberries on top of the cream – again making sure that they are evenly distributed.
Grab the corners of the dish towl on which your dough still rests and carefully start lifting it up. The dough should start to curl inward. Help it along and make sure it rolls up fairly tightly. The dough should not break – although you might see a few cracks here and there.
Finish rolling and you will end up with the seam on the bottom – which is where you want it.
Carefully transfer the strawberry log to a large serving platter.
Sift powdered sugar to your liking on top of the strawberry log.
You can keep the strawberry log for about two or three days IF you cover and chill it. If you don't cover it, it will likely take on a hint of whatever else you have in your fridge! If you don't chill it, the cream will melt and ruin the whole strawberry log.