A Perfect Cake

Today I made a perfect cake: layers of butter spongecake filled with homemade strawberry jam and homemade dulce de leche cream, covered with fresh Chantilly, and decorated with, of course, one sugar rose.

As you may note, I have a passion for flowers. From the heirloom species to the simplest one, all of them are capable to incite the most beautiful felling on me. When I was working on this post I realized how marvelous is to photograph and also make these sugar flowers. 

I had some leftover dulce de leche from the bonbons of the last week and then I decide to incorporate it on this cake. I used it to prepare a velvet cream by adding egg yolks and cream. If you don’t have dulce de leche you can use sweetened condensed milk and the taste will be similar. To add freshness I made a homemade strawberry jam. I have to say that the combination of the flavors between the dulce de leche cream and the Chantilly was wonderfully pleasant. 

The butter spongecake is from the book Mastering The Art of French Cooking. This cake is delicate and fine, proper to pair with the other luscious flavors. The first bite of this cake envelops you in a luxury sweet embrace. It’s that delightful second when a little piece of heaven can be yours.

Butter spongecake filled with homemade strawberry jam and homemade dulce de leche cream covered with fresh Chantilly

Butter Spongecake
(from the book Mastering The Art Of French Cooking)
For a 10-inch cake pan - I used three-4inch pan.

4 Tb butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 egg whites
pinch of salt
2 Tb granulated sugar 
3/4 cup cake flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter ad flour the cake pan.
Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
Gradually beat the sugar into the egg yolks, add the vanilla, and continue beating for several minutes until mixture is thick and pale yellow.

Beat the egg whites and salt together in a separated bowl until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Scoop one fourth of the egg whites over the top of the egg yolks and sugar mixture. Sift on one fourth of the flour, and delicately fold in until partially blended. Then add one third of the remaining egg whites, sift on one third of the remaining flour . fold until partially blended, and repeat with half of each, then the last of each and half of the tepid, melted butter. When partially blended, fold in the rest of the butter but omit the milky residue at the bottom of the pan. Do not overmix; the egg whites must retain as much volume as possible.

Turn into prepared cake pan, tiling pan to run batter to the rim all around. Set in middle level of preheated oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cake is done when it has puffed, is lightly brown, and has just begun to show a faint line of shrinkage from the edges of the pan. 

Dulce de leche cream

1 cup of homemade dulce de leche or 1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 egg yolks
¾ cup heavy cream 

Pour dulce de leche or condensed milk into a medium saucepan and place over medium heat
Add the egg yolks and keep stirring the mixture until it starts to show the bottom of the pan when you scrape it with a spoon. The mixture should be thick enough to show the bottom the pan for a couple of seconds before the mixture back again.
Pour the mixture in a greased bowl and leave aside to cool. When the mixture is at room temperature, add heavy cream and mix until combine. Place it in the fridge until decoration.

Strawberry Jam

1 cup strawberries
½ cup sugar
1 cup water

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes (jam will continue to thicken as it cools).

Chantilly Cream

1 cup heavy cream, cold
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chill a mixing bowl and wire whisk in the freezer for 10 minutes before beginning. Beat heavy cream in the chilled bowl until it begins to foam and thicken up. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until the cream barely mounds. Do not overwhip.