Labor Day usually marks the end of summer for most of the country, but not here in the San Francisco Bay Area. There's a famous quote that says, "the coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco." That pretty much sums it all up. For those of you who've never been to this excellent city before, avoid it like the plague in July and August. Come back September through November, that's when our Indian summer normally lasts and you get the fantastic weather. After a few months of gray clouds and endless miles of fog it's a welcome sight to see the sun shining.
My brother hosted a Labor Day BBQ today and I brought this strawberry cream cake to serve on the dessert table. Most of my relatives prefer desserts that aren't too sweet and this cake is the perfect choice. This cake is perfect for summer, especially if you've got some sweet and juicy strawberries in season. The recipe is a real winner from the folks at America's Test Kitchen. Not only is it visually stunning, but it tastes as good as it looks.
The cake is almost like a combination of sponge and chiffon, just a lot easier to make. Halved strawberries line the perimeter of each cake layer and macerated, chopped berries cover the inside. The frosting consists of heavy cream whipped together with cream cheese and a little bit of sugar and vanilla. The cream cheese adds a slight tang and also gives the whipped cream some nice structure.
Hope this cake heralds the start of a great Indian summer!