While playing “flick the channels” with the TV remote one evening, which the hubby absolutely
loves hates, I stumbled upon a New Zealand cooking show called The Free Range Cook with Annabel Langbein as the host. At that particular moment, she was making a Strawberry Cloud Cake which looked stunning and so simple. We waited for the cook book to come out before we made it, which we picked up on a trip to Melbourne and the weekend after we got home was the first of many times that this dessert has been made.
As you may have noticed through some of my previous posts, I love cake. Sometimes it can be a bit too much after a big meal but this Strawberry Cloud Cake is so light it is a perfect substitute and is fantastic in summer. Although I haven’t tried it, I am sure you could easily substitute the strawberries for any other berry that takes your fancy.
There are only seven ingredients and it is super simple to make and probably only takes about 15 minutes to prepare. The bulk of the time is letting it set in the freezer.
The original recipe calls for plain sweet biscuits flavoured with some cinnamon and a little coconut. When I first made the dessert I did follow the recipe, however the next time I had some Oreo’s in the pantry so thought I would give them a go instead. Needless to say, now I only make it with the Oreo base as Oreo’s make everything taste better after all.
Now the first step is to take out all of your frustration on the Oreo’s. Generally I am lazy and run them through the food processor, but on this particular day I couldn’t be bothered pulling the whole thing apart to go through the dishwasher and decided I would like to smash them the old-fashioned way.
So into a ziplock bag went the Oreo’s, with the corner still slightly open, covered in a tea towel and then whacked with the rolling-pin. You need it to be pretty fine, but you can leave a few coarse pieces in there as well.
When you are happy with the crumbs, pour in the melted butter and stir to coat. You may wish to alter the quantity of butter slightly as if there is too much the base will become rock solid after being in the freezer for many hours and is quite difficult to get through.
For this dessert, you need a spring form or loose base cake tin otherwise you will experience great difficulty trying to remove the cake from the tin (you can’t really flip it upside down). Line the base of the tin with baking paper and then pour the Oreo mix in, pressing it down to form a smooth even layer.
Put this in the fridge to set whilst you are making the “cloud”.
I was very sceptical of this filling working the first time I made it as there were only two egg whites and a whole bunch of strawberries being whipped together and it was apparently going to become quite voluminous. Pfft.
Of course Annabel knew what she was talking about and before my eyes this light pink cloud started appearing in my mixer bowl. The strawberries had mostly disintegrated, the sugar dissolved, and a gorgeous mixture had appeared.
Remove the cake tin from the fridge and spoon the batter over the base. You do not need to line the sides of the tin as it will just slide right out (another thing I was sceptical of the first time), so spread it out until it is evenly dispersed and then smooth the top as best as you can.
Cover with baking paper and then al foil before placing it in the freezer for at least four hours. I generally make this in the morning of the night I will need it, but even the day before is perfectly fine as well.
When you are ready to serve, remove the cake from the freezer and gently tease away the sides of the springform pan when you unbuckle it, or gently slide it over a large glass (or the like) to remove the loose base.
It is best to cut this with a hot knife so the slices are clean.
You may notice some air pockets, and this is because the mixture was probably not spread as evenly as necessary. There was an air pocket in the slice below which when side on, made it look like it had a mouth (it didn’t make for a very good photo).
The cloud cake can certainly be served as is, but for a bit of decadence serve with a little home-made chocolate sauce and an extra strawberry or two.