Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mixed Berry Shortcake Layer Cake with Fresh Berries, Lemon Soaking Syrup, & Whipped Mascarpone Frosting

Mixed Berry Shortcake Layer Cake with Fresh Berries, Lemon Soaking Syrup, & Whipped Mascarpone Frosting
I know that the Fourth of July has come and passed us now, but I still have one more festive recipe to post. For our meal on the 4th, we enjoyed jello shots & fried chicken and this cake for dessert. This cake is so simple, yet so flavorful. Sometimes you don't want a cake with a bunch of crazy components... you just want a vanilla cake with a bunch of fresh berries and a killer frosting. I mean the frosting was divine. I used  this frosting as the base, but I added in a whole bunch of mascarpone, so it's like ten times better than before. We were literally eating it with a spoon. And it might seem like there's a lot of the frosting on the cake, but trust me, you want it there. I love the balance of flavors in this cake. And hey, it's patriotic to boot! I know I'm a little late, but it'd be a great cake for next year's celebration!! Enjoy :)

For the Vanilla Cake:
5 Large Egg Whites, Room Temperature
¾C Whole Milk, Room Temperature
1 Lemon, Zested
2 ¼t Vanilla
2 ¾C Cake Flour, Sifted
1 ¾C Sugar
1T + 1t Baking Powder
¾t Salt
12T Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature & Cut into Cubes

For the Lemon Soaking Syrup:
¼C Sugar
3T Fresh Lemon Juice

For the Whipped Mascarpone Frosting:
10T AP Flour
2C Milk
2t Vanilla
4 Sticks of Salted Butter (or you can use unsalted and just add salt to taste)
2C Sugar
16oz Mascarpone

For the Mixed Berry Shortcake:
Prepared Three Layers of Vanilla Cake
Prepared Whipped Mascarpone Frosting
Lemon Soaking Syrup
Fresh Blueberries, Blackberries, Strawberries, & Raspberries, For Garnishing

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 3 round cake pans with parchment paper and spray with Pam and set aside.
2. For the Cake: In a medium bowl, combine and stir the egg whites, ¼C of milk, lemon zest, and the vanilla. Set it aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed for 30 second. Add the butter and remaining ½C of milk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1½ minutes. Scrape the side of the bowl and begin to add in the egg mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition. Divide the batter evenly into the three prepared cake pans. Bake each cake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center (do not over-bake). Let the cakes cool on racks for 10 minutes before loosening the sides with a knife, and invert onto greased wire racks.
3. For the Lemon Soaking Syrup: In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon juice, stir with a fork until the sugar dissolves. Set it aside until ready to use.
4. For the Whipped Mascarpone Frosting: In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. You want it to be very thick, thicker than cake mix, more like a brownie mix is. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. (If I’m in a hurry, I place the saucepan over ice in the sink for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture cools.) It must be completely cool before you use it in the next step. Stir in vanilla. While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You don’t want any sugar graininess left. Then add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat the living daylights out of it. If it looks separated, you haven’t beaten it enough! Beat it until it all combines and resembles whipped cream. Once it has reached the consistency you liked, gently adding in the mascarpone and beating to combine. It should be fluffy and light, but smooth.

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