I loved everything about this cake: the cream puff shell that brought me back to my days eating giant cream puffs at the Wisconsin State Fair, the cream cheese flavored whipped cream made outstanding with orange zest, and the slightly sweetened strawberries to top it all off. My father-in-law, and the rest of the family, heartily agreed. I love a good dessert success!
My only recommendations would be to make this the day you're planning to serve it, and don't assemble until right before serving. I made the whipped cream portion a day ahead of time and while it still tasted great, I think it lost a little bit of its fluffiness. I waited until just before serving to assemble, per My Kitchen Cafe's instructions, and this was definitely the right move. The cake gets soggy fast!
All in all, this is a great strawberry dessert. The verdicts still out on whether it beats this one!
Strawberry Cream Puff Cake
from My Kitchen Cafe
Cream Puff Base-
-5 tbsp butter
-2/3 cup water
-1 tbsp sugar
-2/3 cup flour
Cream Cheese Mixture-
-4 oz cream cheese, softened
-1 tsp fresh orange zest (I used at least 2 tsp--Ryan asked for extra zest!)
-1/2 tsp vanilla
-1 cup heavy whipping cream
-2/3 cup powdered sugar
-2 cups fresh strawberries
-1 tsp sugar
1. To make the cream puff base, preheat oven to 375F. In a medium saucepan, bring the butter, water, and sugar to a boil. Add all of the flour and stir quickly until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. After allowing to cool for 5 minutes, add the eggs one at a time. Beat after each addition until the mixture is shiny with a satiny sheen (careful not to overbeat).
2. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Spread the cream puff mixture on the bottom and one inch up the sides of the pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and use a toothpick to poke the pastry 10-12 times. Bake for 5-10 minutes more until golden brown. Cool completely.
3. To make the cream cheese mixture, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add the orange zest, whipping cream, and vanilla, and beat until stiff peaks form. Spread onto cooled cream puff shell.
4. Mix 2 cups sliced strawberries with 1 tsp sugar and allow to sit for at least 10-20 minutes (can sit much longer if needed). Top cream puff and whipped topping with strawberries. Cut into slices and serve.