Original Source: Chef Dennis of More Than a Mount Full (http://www.morethanamountfull.com/)
Italian Strawberry Crème Cake
Sponge Cake (2- 9 inch round layers)
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
Whisk the eggs, yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla together by hand in the bowl of your electric mixer, then place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 120 degrees. Do not overheat this mixture or the eggs will not whip properly!
Place the bowl back onto your mixer and using the whip attachment whip the eggs at high speed until they are light in color and increased in volume. You should be able to make a line in the eggs and have it remain briefly.
While you are whipping your eggs measure out your flour and cornstarch, use a strainer with an open mesh to sift the mixture together.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and sift 1/3 of the mixture into the eggs, and fold it into the eggs using a rubber spatula. Make sure you go to the bottom of the bowl frequently, the flour will settle to the bottom.
Repeat this procedure with flour, 1/3 at a time until it is all folded in.
Divide the mixture into two prepared baking pans, tilt the pans in a circular motion and bring the batter close to the top as it goes around, this will help prevent the cake from crowning.
Bake for approx. 30 minutes until the cake is well risen and firm to the touch. A knife inserted in the center should come out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool, then run a sharp knife around the edges to help it release from the pan, and place on a plate to finish cooling.
Split the layers in half with a serrated knife and set aside until needed.
Strawberry Mascarpone Crème
1 quart fresh strawberries washed and hulled
1 cup sugar
12 oz. mascarpone
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 envelope gelatin
Wash the strawberries, remove the stems and cut in quarters. Place into the food processor and puree until smooth, add in the sugar while the strawberries are pureeing.
In the bowl of a mixer add the mascarpone ands vanilla, whip until smooth and creamy then add in the strawberry puree and mix until well blended.
Move the strawberry mixture into a large mixing bowl.
Add the heavy cream in your mixer, and pour in the envelope of gelatin and allow it to sit for one minute. Then start whipping the cream slowly and building up the speed gradually so the cream is not overworked.
Fold the whipped cream into the strawberry mixture and mix well.
Refrigerate the strawberry cream for about 30 minutes to let it set.
Start with one of your split layers and start a layer of strawberry cream, then another cake layer and repeat until all the layers are used.
I had originally intended to only have the strawberry cream in between the layers, but I had so much extra strawberry crème left over I decided to frost the entire cake.
You don’t have to split the layers if you would rather not go to the trouble, and you can always add extra cut up strawberries on top of the crème, to make it more like traditional strawberry shortcake…..just kicked up a few notches!