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  • Writer's pictureNava

Strawberry Poke cake



 Hello, hello, my lovelies,

 

I have been meaning to post this cake for aaages but it takes soooo looong and I do it all, (sigh) filming, editing, baking, decorating, photographing and let’s not forget the crucial part, quality control or eating if you like. Now on occasion I do overdo the quality control a lottle with the predictable cost to my dieting plans but no one said striving for perfection was going to be easy … or slimming. Anyway, sometimes the researching and camerawork, food styling and blogging feels like flogging a dead horse and finding the motivation to launch another of my food creations is missing, however sensational. Anyhow, I did it and I am chuffed and now I am awaiting your enthusiastic praise with bated breath. You know the usual modest mumurs of approval like; a standing ovation as you type “Nava, another triumph, how do you do it!" or " If there was a Nobel Prize for Cakes… You are to desert what Einstein is to physics." That kind of understated appreciation, subtle but full of meaning.

 

On to the real star of this post! Strawberry Poke cake, What can I say about this cake, besides the fact that it's a calorie bomb and  exactly my kind of deadly indulgence, a soft and fluffy, vanilla sponge cake, made extra moist with a delightful blend of three different milks, topped with a slightly tangy strawberry sauce, crowned with lashings of  rich, creamy vanilla whipped cream topped with fresh, plump, juicy strawberries adorning the cream. Because, let’s face it, nothing succeeds like excess. If you are not reaching out for a tissue to wipe the drool from the side of your mouth, then this ain’t your cake. If you are delicately dabbing, you better make a list and get your behind to the shops because you won’t rest until you’ve savoured every crumb of this delectable creation.

 

 


 

Helpful tips/notes

Best results for whipped cream

For a firm whipped cream, always ensure your cream is chilled. You can even pop it in the freezer for about 10 minutes before whipping. Even better if you chill the bowl and balloon whisk you'll be using for whipping as well. No piping bag? No problem! Simply grab a plastic sandwich bag, snip off one corner with a pair of scissors, and fill it with whipped cream for easy piping. Alternatively, for a rustic touch, dollop the cream atop the strawberry sauce and gently smooth it out with a butter knife or spatula.

 

Achieving a smooth cake batter

When incorporating wet and dry ingredients, start by adding the dry ingredients first and finish with the wet ones. This method ensures a smoother batter consistency.

Add the dry and wet ingredients in thirds ( I forgot and didn’t add the flour in thirds, oops) Be careful not to overmix—simply blend until the ingredients are just incorporated. Overbeating can result in a dense and tough cake texture. While I typically use an electric mixer, for this recipe, I opted for a spatula to showcase the batter's consistency.

 

Poking holes

when poking holes in your cake. Ensure the cake has cooled to warm, but not hot, as poking holes in a hot cake can cause it to crumble. Aim for nice, sizable holes to allow the milk mixture to penetrate the cake fully. I found that using the end of a wooden spoon handle or the thicker part of a chop stick yielded the best results for creating these holes.

 

Milk sauce

Use every drop of that milk mixture—the cake will soak it up. It may take up to an hour or two for the cake to fully absorb the sauce, but trust me, it's worth the wait!

 

Strawberry Sauce (safety first)

Whether you're using frozen or thawed strawberries for the sauce, the result remains unchanged. However, to avoid any accidental burns, ensure the strawberries are at room temperature before blending. Your fingers will thank you later.

 

 A day a head

you can absolutely make the cake and soak it in the milk mixture a day ahead of time., Especially if you're planning for a special occasion or entertaining guests. However, I would recommend waiting to add the whipped cream and strawberries until the day you plan to serve the cake. This ensures that the whipped cream stays fresh and retains its luscious texture, while the strawberries remain juicy and vibrant.

 

 



 

 Lets begin:

 

 

List of Ingredients

For the cake

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 360 grams cake flour (approximately 3 cups)

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 170 grams butter (soft )

  • 55 mls oil (equivalent to 3 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons)

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (about 15 mls)

  • 1 1/4 cups milk (approximately 300 mls)

For the Milk Sauce:

  • 1 can evaporated milk (such as Carnation)

  • 2 cups full-fat milk

  • 1 can condensed milk

For the Strawberry Sauce:

  • 800 grams frozen strawberries

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

For the Whipped Cream:

  • 600 mls thickened cream

  • 2 tablespoons vanilla pudding powder (I used Cottees brand)

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

For the Strawberry Decoration(Optional):

  • 250 grams fresh strawberries

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  • Method Step 1 Make the whipped cream  Refer to the notes for best results. 1. In a mixing bowl, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla pudding until firm peaks form. 2. Transfer the whipped cream to another bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge to chill until needed. Step 2 Make the cake 1.   Preheat the oven to 180°C. 2.   Generously grease a 23cm x 33cm x 5cm Pyrex baking dish or a similar-sized rectangular baking tray. 3.   In a separate bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. 4.   Using a hand-held or stand-alone mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, butter, and oil on high speed for about 3-4 minutes until creamy and well combined. 5.   Add the vanilla extract and mix briefly for about 10 seconds until incorporated. 6.   Add the dry ingredients (flour mixture) and milk alternately to the bowl in thirds, mixing just until combined after each addition. Be careful not to overmix. 7.   Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it evenly. 8.   Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  9.   While the cake is still warm or has cooled to room temperature (but not hot) Using the end of a wooden spoon or a chop stick poke lots of holes all over the cake. 10.mix all three types of milk (evaporated, full-fat, and condensed) until well combined and pour evenly all over cake. Step 3 Prepare the strawberry sauce 1.  Place frozen or thawed strawberries into a pot and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. 2.  Once boiling, add sugar and stir, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover with lid. 3.  Once strawberries are soft turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. 4.  Using a hand-held blender or a food processor, blend the strawberries until smooth. Step 4: Preparing the Strawberries 1.   Wash the fresh strawberries under cold water and pat them dry gently with a clean kitchen towel. 2.   Slice the strawberries into thin, uniform pieces.(more or less) Assembling the Cake: 1.   Once the cake has fully absorbed all the milk sauce, pour the prepared strawberry sauce over the top. 2.   Next, fill a piping bag with the chilled whipped cream. (Refer to the note for an alternative method if a piping bag is unavailable.) 3.   Let your creativity shine as you pipe the whipped cream onto the cake in any pattern or design you desire. 4.   Finally, decorate the cake with the freshly sliced strawberries, arranging them in whichever shape or pattern suits your fancy.


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