Patriotic Patisserie That is Sure to Impress
Photos by Ashlee Glen
Celebrations are often synonymous with some type of food. Consider the Thanksgiving Turkey, the Christmas Ham—or the spicy chicken wings folks like to eat on Superbowl Sunday.
But there are some special days that are often lacking in the food department. Some of our most beloved celebrations have yet to properly be associated with a special food. Yes, I am looking at you, Independence Day. The 4th of July was meant for so much more than watermelon and hot dogs!
I would like to see this fantastic Flag Cake recipe get a permanent place on America’s birthday table. It’s delicious, surprisingly easy to make, and its dramatic appearance will make your guests gasp when you bring it out. Also, if you don’t have time to decorate, let your guests help out. It’s fun!
I like to serve this cake with a sweet strawberry drink called Saft. Saft is a homemade, fruit flavored syrup with Swedish origins. Mix some of the syrup with water to make a refreshingly sweet, all-natural alternative to Kool-Aid.
AMERICAN FLAG CAKE
Serves: 18-20 People
2 1/4 sticks (255 grams) of unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups (385 grams)
1/3 cup corn starch
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt (reduce to
1 tsp if using table salt)
1 tsp baking soda
4 cups heavy cream
1 tbsp sugar
1 pint blueberries (for the number of rows you see in the photo,
you need 72 berries)
1 1/2 pint raspberries (for two long and two short double lines
you need 128 berries)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 18 x 12 x 1 1/2 inch sheet pan.
In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until it looks light and fluffy. Reduce the speed and mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add the sour cream and the vanilla and beat another minute until smooth.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, corn starch, salt and baking soda. You can sift the dry ingredients if you have the patience, but lightly beating with a hand whisk works, too.
Now, slowly mix the dry ingredients into your stand mixer bowl until just combined.
If you will be serving the cake directly in the pan, just pour the batter into the buttered pan. However, if you are planning to turn out the cake and serve on a board or tray, use a sheet of parchment paper in addition to greasing and flouring the pan.
The batter will be fairly thick, so spread it evenly into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the middle of the oven until a toothpick comes out clean, or about 25 minutes.
When the cake has cooled completely, whip the cold heavy cream along with the sugar on high speed until thick and spread over the cake.
Decorating with berries can be as simple or complicated as you make it. If you go for perfection you may want to set aside around 30 minutes and use a ruler to space the rows of blueberries and raspberries. If you prefer a quicker, more rustic approach, strawberries cut in half make a good alternative to raspberries and you will be done in
Makes: About 1 Pint
1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1 1/2 cup water
Add strawberries, sugar, and water to a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the sugar has dissolved then turn off the heat. Add lemon juice. Let the mixture cool before straining it through cheesecloth to remove the strawberry solids. Store in a snap-top bottle in the refrigerator. Will keep for one month or longer.
To enjoy a glass of saft, mix 1/4 cup of the syrup with 1 cup water. Ice is optional!