Evident from some of my posts, and as I have probably mentioned before, I love themed menus, so it is no fluke that for Canada Day (July 1st), my family has tried a fair share of maple-flavoured or maple-leaf-shaped food; true Canadian dishes and desserts, such as poutine and Nanaimo bars; and all sorts of culinary creations in red and white. This year is no exception; my previous post involved Canadian East Coast donair, and for dessert, I could think of nothing better than a Reina de fresa (Strawberry Queen), a light vanilla cake with strawberries and Chantilly cream filling and icing. The inspiration came directly from the original Reina de Fresa, created and made famous in one of the best-known bakeries in Mexico City, “La Gran Vía”. There is not much of a recipe – one of the secrets is to make the cream from scratch – but it looks incredibly elegant, and incredibly Canadian, all white and red.
Strawberries and Cream Cake – Reina de Fresa
2 eight-inch vanilla cake round layers*
6 cups fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups whipping cream (35% M.F.), chilled
½ cup icing (powdered) sugar
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
* To go with the theme, I followed Canadian chef Ricardo’s “Vanilla Cake (The Best)” recipe. This cake is ready in no time, has a very light crumb, and the vanilla flavour is intense (it calls for one whole tablespoon of vanilla extract!)
Measure four cups of strawberries; slice and mix with the granulated sugar; refrigerate for at least one hour. In a large metal bowl, beat cream and vanilla (if using) in an electric mixer at high speed for two to three minutes, then incorporate icing sugar, and continue beating until fluffy and thick; place in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Meanwhile, reserve the best-looking strawberries from the remaining 2 cups, and slice the rest; set aside. To assemble cake: place one layer of cake on a serving plate; spread the sugared strawberries on top, including all the juices. Spread ½ cup of whipped cream on top, then the sliced plain strawberries, and finally, another ½ cup of whipped cream. Cover with second layer of cake. Spread the rest of the whipped cream to cover top and sides, reserving about ½ cup in a bag for piping. Place cake and reserved cream in the fridge for one more hour. Finish by decorating with the reserved cream and best-looking strawberries.
HAPPY CANADA DAY!
More to celebrate: This post is dedicated to the Ragtag community, as it officially completes a whole month of daily prompts! Hurray!
Also check: Cactus Catz’s Tummy Tuesday