Happy Mother`s Day!!! I don`t normally post on Sundays, but I wanted to post about these mini cakes I baked for my mom today. ♥
I`m not sure what has gotten into my parents, but they have been very adventurous in the kitchen with their cooking. Let me brief you a bit. My mom cooks most of the dishes for dinner, while my dad helps out on his off day with a few veggie dishes. He would cook special dishes, like lobster noodles, once in awhile. It`s been this way for years.
Also, before I start, I`m going to be sprouting out food names that might sound like nonsense to you. If you recognize them, that`s great, because I won`t sound absurd to you. Haha! Even if you don`t, I`ve added links so you can look at the foods I`m talking about. I mean, we`re all here because of our mutual love for food, right? :)
Lately, it`s like they`ve been bitten by a foodie-bug! (Possibly, from me? I`m hoping, hehe.) My dad started making various Chinese snacks, like Hong Kong Style Egg Waffle, coconut buns, steamed buns, and even sponge cakes. There was a period where he made this Vietnamese classic dessert, honeycomb cake (bánh bò nướng), which is a pandan coconut flavored cake, like ten times!
Then, my mom caught this foodie-bug going around and she`s been trying out new recipes like crazy. She made Vietnamese beef jerky (thịt bò khô) and Vietnamease yogurt (da ua). I came home one night and she made this dish that looked like squid cioppino! Then, this morning, she was bragging about her Thai fried rice. :P
I`ll admit that this isn`t their first time trying out new dishes. My parents` cooking reflects their upbringing. My mom`s cooking leans toward Vietnamese cuisine, while my dad`s come from a Chinese (Hong Kong) background. But, to get their daughters (aka me and my sisters) to be excited about their food, they`ll venture out occasionally. Years ago, when my sisters and I became obsessed with the Korean culture (music and dramas), my mom learned how to make japchae and soft tofu soup. This is one of the many reasons why she`s the best! :) So, I guess I can`t say that their adventurous sides came out of nowhere because I have seen it before. It`s just to a new extent this time! Now, they`re not just making entree dishes, but the snacks and desserts they`ve always bought for me when I was a child.
Seeing as how I`m familiar with Western desserts though, I stuck with my specialty when I was brainstorming ideas on what to make for my mom. She`s not too keen on American desserts because they`re too sweet, but I didn`t want to ruin anything by baking something I wasn`t familiar with for Mother's Day. I just kept a mental note about it.
This strawberry cake uses real strawberries in the cake base and the buttercream frosting. When I baked the berry pound cake, she kept telling others how good it was, so I knew she would like this strawberry cake. It`s really light in texture. Without the frosting, it`s not too sweet, either. I barely frosted the cakes and made just enough to pipe roses on top. The cake has a very soft pink hue from the strawberries. I added 1 tiny drop of red food coloring, but I didn`t think it made much of a difference in the cake.
I opted for mini layered cakes, since I knew we couldn`t finish a whole layered cake. These mini cakes are the size of cupcakes. To get the straight edges, I baked the cakes in those standalone baking cups similar to these. I filled them almost to the top, then trimmed off the dome. I sliced each cake in half to get the layers. To assemble, I piped a thin circle of buttercream around the edge and filled the centers with lemon curd. Then, I topped it with another cake layer. Alternatively, you can bake this as one layer in a square baking dish and use a circle cookie cutter to get the layers. Or, just bake them as cupcakes!
So, to honor all the mothers and mother figures out there today, let`s celebrate with some cake! I know I definitely wouldn`t be the person I am today without my mom`s sacrifice, selflessness and her unfaltering love. Love you! ♥
1.Mash strawberries over a fine mesh sieve over a measuring cup. Use the
back of a spoon to squeeze the juice out until you get ¼ cup.
2.In a food processor, puree the
juice and mashed strawberries until smooth.
3.Pour mixture in a pan over low heat. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and
4.Let mixture thicken. Once it's reduced down to about ¼ cup, remove from
heat. Set aside.
5.Preheat oven to 350°F. Use
cupcake liners or grease cupcake pan.
6.In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set
7.In a large bowl, with an electric mixer attachment and whisk attachment,
whip your eggs on medium-high speed until foamy.
8.Gradually add the sugar. Continue whisking until it thickens and reaches
the ribbon stage (when you lift the
batter stays on top for a few seconds before disappearing).
9.Heat milk and butter in microwave to melt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
10.Back to the eggs--add the dry ingredients to the eggs all at once. Mix
11.Next, take out about 1 cup of batter into another bowl. Whisk in your
milk/butter mixture until incorporated.
12.Transfer everything back into the rest of the batter.
13.Add the vanilla extract and strawberry puree. Mix until combine.
14.Pour until cupcake molds.
15.Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes
16.In a bowl with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese until light and
17.Add the butter, salt, and lemon extract and beat on medium speed until
fluffy (about 3 minutes).
18.Add the strawberry puree and beat until blended.
19.Gradually add in the powdered sugar until blended. Increase the speed to
medium-high until buttercream is light and fluffy.
-Cake will make 6 mini cakes & 4 cupcakes /or about 12 cupcakes/or one
(8-9 inch) layer cake.
-To make mini cakes: bake cakes in standalone baking cups, like these and peel the wrapper off. Trim top and slice mini
cakes in half to create the layers. For the layers: pipe a thin buttercream
layer around the edge, fill center with lemon curd, then top with another
I added 1 drop of red
food coloring in the cake and frosting, but you can omit this.