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Strawberry Mascarpone Cake

A simple lemon scented cake filled with mascarpone cream and topped with Grand Marnier soaked strawberries.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Cake, Dessert
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Tricia

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 cups sifted cake flour (sift before measuring)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sugar, such as Turbinado

For the Simple Syrup:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier, or other liquor as desired

For the Strawberries:

  • 4 cups fresh strawberries cut if large
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier

For the cream:

  • 12 ounces heavy whipping Cream 1 1/2 cups
  • 12 ounces Mascarpone 1 1/2 cups
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Lightly grease an 8" springform pan with butter or coat lightly with vegetable cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper, cut to fit, and butter or spray the parchment. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
  • Add the butter and granulated sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Be sure to scrape down the sides as needed. Add the vanilla bean paste and almond extract. Blend until incorporated.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until the yolk has disappeared.
  • Turn the mixer on low and add the buttermilk and lemon zest, blending just until combined. The mixture may look curdled at this point but that is normal.
  • Add the flour mixture in three batches mixing well after each addition but do not overheat.
  • Spread the batter evenly in the prepared cake pan and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan about 20 minutes, then remove the sides and bottom of the springform pan. Discard the parchment paper from the bottom and cool the cake completely before filling.
  • While the cake is baking prepare the simple syrup. Combine the 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat stirring occasionally until the sugar is melted. Remove from the heat and add 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier. Set aside.
  • To make the Mascarpone Cream combine the cream, cheese and confectioners' sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form.
  • When ready to serve, cut the cake in half horizontally with a long serrated knife. Remove the top and turn it cut side up. Place the bottom half on a cake plate. Brush both cut sides with the simple syrup. You may not need it all, just use your best judgment. It should not be wet.
  • Spread 2/3 of the cream on the bottom half of the cake. Place the top half of the cake on the cream, cut side down. Dollop the remaining cream on top in a pile somewhat decoratively so it will hold the strawberries and juice.
  • Put the strawberries in a heatproof mixing bowl. Place the 1/4 cup of Grand Marnier and 1/4 cup sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and pour the syrup over the strawberries. Stir gently to coat the strawberries. Set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, place the macerated berries on top of the cake and pass any remaining syrup to drizzle.

Notes

This cake may be made 1 day ahead and stored at room temperature in plastic wrap.
Simple syrup is great to have on hand to mix in iced tea, coffee, mixed drinks, or lemon juice for a quick lemonade. The ratios are 1:1 water to granulated sugar.
Adapted from a recipe on Epicurious