strawberry cake with cream
trionfo di fragole
1 (8- or 9-inch layer cake)
- 1 stick ( 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing pans
- 2 cups cake flour (not self-rising) plus more for dusting pans
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, kept at room temperature for 30 minutes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 5 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup limoncello (see note)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 pound strawberries, preferably small, trimmed
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- Confectioners sugar for dusting
- Mint leaves for garnish
- SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: 2 (8- or 9-inch) cake pans
FOR CAKE: Heat oven to 350º with rack in middle. Lightly grease 2 (8- or 9-inch) cake pans with butter and dust with flour. Into a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, alternately add flour mixture and milk in four batches; beat until just combined.
Divide batter between cake pans, spreading evenly with a spatula. Bake until cakes begin to pull away from sides of pans and testers inserted into centers come out clean, 20 to 25 minutes (tops of cakes will be pale in color). Cool 5 minutes in pan on wire rack, then invert onto rack and cool completely.
FOR FILLING: In a small saucepan, combine 3 tablespoons sugar, limoncello, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon water;
heat over medium heat, whisking, just until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
With tops of cakes facing up and avoiding outer 1/2-inch border, poke both cakes all over with tines of a fork. Brush with syrup.
Slice half of the strawberries. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat cream and remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated
sugar to stiff peaks. Cover 1 cake with 1/2 of the cream, leaving a 1-inch border. Arrange sliced berries on top. Top with second cake layer. Cover with remaining cream, leaving a 1-inch border. Top with whole berries, then dust with confectioners sugar. Garnish with mint.
Note: Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur available at liquor stores.
Photo by Ellen Silverman
Food styling by Maggie Ruggiero; prop styling by Amy Wilson
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