Hubs and I like to host a summer cookout every July for our friends. The party usually also lines up with his birthday, so I like to pull out all the stops and make something extra special. This year, Hubs requested something with berries, but he couldn’t decide what kind. I was equally indecisive, so he got three for the price of one! The mascarpone cream filling was a surprise, since he LOVES any kind of cream cheese frosting.
- Fresh strawberry cake (http://dixiemockingbird.hubpages.com/hub/Fresh-Strawberry-Triple-Layer-Cake)
I really wanted to find a recipe for strawberry cake that didn’t call for a package of strawberry gelatin or a white box cake. This one was perfect. The flavor is subtle, but delicious. It definitely tastes more like real strawberries than strawberry jello. The texture is also really nice- moist and slightly dense, just like a fruity cake should be. I made this one exactly like the recipe, except I skipped the food coloring, since it was a very pretty pink all on its own.
- Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream (adapted from the Martha Stewart Recipe at http://www.marthastewart.com/357618/strawberry-meringue-buttercream)
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups room-temperature butter (salted or unsalted works fine)
- 1 1/2 cups pureed fresh strawberries
- 1/2 c. powdered sugar
- Combine the egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl placed over simmering water. Whisk together until the sugar has dissolved completely and the mixture is warm.
- Remove from the water, and whisk in an electric mixer at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture is fluffy and cool (10 minutes or so).
- Mix in butter several tablespoons at a time at low-medium speed. Continue to beat at low speed until all the butter is incorporated and there are no more air bubbles.
- Slowly stir in strawberry puree until combined.
- Gently stir in enough powdered sugar to reach the desired consistency. (The original recipe doesn’t call for any powdered sugar, but I prefer a slightly thicker frosting. Adding a little powdered sugar at the end gives the frosting a little more sweetness and substance without sacrificing the strawberry flavor or making it difficult to spread.)
Triple Berry Filling:
- 1 c. chopped fresh strawberries
- 1 c. fresh blueberries
- 1 c. fresh raspberries
- 1 3/4 T. cornstarch
- 3 T. lemon juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- In a medium sauce pan, combine the berries and lemon juice and cook over medium heat. Stir occasionally until most of the juice is released and the berries are soft (about 10 minutes).
- Strain the berry mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.
- Return the berry juice to the pan and add in sugar and corn starch. Slowly bring to a boil over medium-high heat and stir until thickened.
- Remove from heat and cool completely before using.
Mascarpone Cream Filling:
I used another Martha recipe for this. You can find the ingredients and instructions here: http://www.marthastewart.com/313528/mascarpone-frosting. I was a little surprised at how this turned out, given that the original recipe states that is is very similar to cream cheese frosting. Though it tastes like a richer version of a cream cheese frosting, the texture is totally different. It is very light and fluffy and looks a lot like whipped cream. I don’t think I would like to use it to frost a whole cake, but it worked perfectly as a filling in this one. The flavor paired really well with the berries and the creamy color was just right.
- After cooling the cakes, spread a one third of the triple berry filling on the first layer. Top with one third of the mascarpone cream. Repeat for the next layer.
- Carefully wipe the edges of the cake for any berry filling that oozed out the sides.
- Frost the entire cake with strawberry meringue buttercream and decorate as you like.
- For the white accent icing on top, I used the remaining third of the mascarpone filling and whisked in about 2 cups of powdered sugar. It lost the light and fluffy texture of course, but made it thick enough that I was able to pipe it on top. I bet the original recipe would also be amazing on a strawberry shortcake.