This one is a bit of a monster… but so long as monsters are delicious to eat, I think it’s all right! For the third birthday cake- celebrating with friends at the apartment- I had wanted to make yet a third cake, and strawberries were on sale. So clearly the cake was going to involve strawberries… but what ended up happening was a cake chock-full of them!
I had wanted it to be a very rich, very moist cake, and experimented a bit to find how to do that best. My solution was to incorporate cheese straight into the batter- as some will often do with cream- resulting in an incredibly rich and moist cake. The cake is deemed ‘triple strawberry’ because of their ubiquity: they are in the batter of the cake as chunks; then a first layer of strawberry sorbet, followed by strawberry slices, then strawberry cream cheese mixture; then another layer of cake that is both strawberry flavoured and has strawberry chunks; then more strawberry slices over the icing. Clearly we are in serious strawberry territory here! If you like these berries, this cake is sure to satisfy.
Triple Strawberry Layered Mascarpone Cake
- One recipe of strawberry cake (follow your usual stepsor use a mix- if so, use one with no trans fats!- and make the followihng adjustments)
- 1 heaping cup creamy mascarpone
- 1/2 cup non-fat whipped cream cheese
- 1.5 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled
- Approx. 1 cup frozen strawberries (very important)
- 2 cups (approx. 1 container) low-fat cream cheese frosting
- Assemble strawberry cake ingredients in bowl (using recipe of your choice) but cut moisture down by a 1/3 and add in mascarpone. Mix thoroughly until just combined.
- Cut 1/3 cup of strawberries into very tiny pieces (minced)- mix briskly into batter.
- Pour batter into two greased 9-inch springform pans (if you don’t have two, pour in half the batter now, then re-use the pan and bake the other later)
- Bake as directed for temperature, cutting baking time approximately in half (this will vary- you’ll have to watch, open, toothpick, and get a feel by the colour of the cake. When a few toasty spots appear on the top, it’ll be ready)
- Remove cake from oven and allow to rest in pan for 5 minutes, then on a wire rack for 10 minutes
- Prepare the first layer of filling by taking frozen strawberries, roughly chopping into smaller / more manageable chunks, and blending/processing on low speed until it reaches a sorbet consistency. Immediately put back into freezer.
- Prepare second layer of filling by placing cream cheese into blender / processor. Dice 1/4 cup strawberries, add to mix, and blend on low until just combined (do not allow to become too liquid- this will be a bit difficult). If your processing power is too great to avoid this issue, blend strawberries alone, then manually mix into cream cheese (I made the mistake of not doing this and then had to mop frosting…. luckily, the boyfriend didn’t mind eating it all…)
- Place second layer of frosting in fridge (not freezer)
- Place first layer of cake directly onto a large, heavy plate. Remove sorbet frosting from freezer and spread evenly onto top of cake layer- do not use entire quantity if any seems to be slipping off. Do not go right to the edge, but spread to about 1/2 inch away from edge.
- Slice approx. 1/3 cup hulled strawberries into 1/3-inch thick (approx.) slices and arrange in flower fashion on top of cake layer, not overlapping (see photo below)
- Spread a thin layer of cream cheese frosting on top of the fresh strawberries. They may slip- this will be a bit difficult. Be careful not to add too much frosting. To make this easier, place cake in freezer after adding fresh strawberries for a few minutes prior to adding cream cheese on top.
- Once cream cheese is on, add second layer of cake on top. If there is excess sorbet and cream cheese on the sides, take a rubber spatula and force them back into the cake, or mop up with a paper towel or hungry boyfriend.
- If you have extra sorbet and cream cheese left over, you may add them on to the top layer repeating the process from earlier, being sure to freeze in between steps. For a simpler/ less tall cake, save these in the fridge and freezer to use in making other desserts (I like to keep extra cream cheese mixture for filo cup desserts on the go)
- Frost entire cake with thick cream cheese frosting. You can pipe for extra decoration- I ran out of time and had too many strawberries I wanted to put on, at any rate :) but decorate as desired!
- Slice remaining strrawberries and arrange on top of cake in flower form and encrust aroundside edges, or as desired.
Well, that wasn’t so bad, right? :) It’s a bit like a bombe in the sense that the layers are precarious and require chilling in between to make sure they’ll stay put. I stored it in the freezer over night (or what was left of it, at any rate) and the remainder was eaten the next morning (it was a popular cake0 so I can’t say how well it keeps, but my suggestion would be to freeze it for two hours after it’s done, and to then move to the fridge. By that point, the cream cheese frosting should be thick enough to contain the more liquid layers inside, and if anything they’ll just soak the cake a bit, which ought not to be an issue… the mascarpone in it makes it moist already!