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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Marscapone Cream-Filled Cake with Berries

This cake was marvelous!  Very different flavors--the marscapone cheese (an Italian style cream-cheese, most famous in Tiramisu) created a rich, sweet cheesy taste, with the berries balancing everything. I found this recipe on www.epicurious.com (and made some alterations).

For cake:

2 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
For berries:
1/2 cup Fino (dry) Sherry (can substitute 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup water and 1 tablespoon sugar)
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups mixed berries, cut if large
For cream:
8 ounces mascarpone (1 cup)
1 cup chilled heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
confectioners sugar
Make cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter 2 9-inch round cake pans (2 inches deep). Line bottom with a round of parchment paper, then butter parchment.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer at low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing after each addition until just combined.
Spread batter in cake pans, smoothing top. Rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles.

Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a plate. Discard paper and reinvert cake onto rack to cool completely.
Macerate berries:

Bring Sherry and sugar to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Put berries in a bowl and pour hot syrup over them, gently tossing to coat. Let stand 15 minutes.
Make cream and assemble cake:

Beat mascarpone and cream with sugar in a large bowl using cleaned beaters until mixture just holds stiff peaks (don't beat too long or it gets mushy!).

Put one half on a plate, then spread evenly with all of cream and replace top half. Serve with berries.

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