Strawberry Cream Cake with Mascarpone Whipped Cream Frosting

Strawberry cake

It is almost strawberry season.  We luckily live in California where strawberries are available in abundance.  It also happened to be my brother’s birthday and I wanted to bake him a simple cake.  My family is Chinese which means we do not like sweet desserts.  The typical buttercream frosting would be way too sweet for my family to enjoy.  Even swiss meringue buttercream would be too sweet.  So how could I come up with a cake that would be transportable (an hour drive), take advantage of the strawberries, and not be too sweet?

I made a strawberry cream cake topped with dark chocolate ganache covered strawberries.  It went over well and was relatively easy to make.  For the base cake I looked at recipes from Epicurious as well as Cooks Illustrated.  In the end I used the cake recipe from Cooks Illustrated because it uses less eggs.  However, instead of a 9″ pan which I don’t own, I used two 8″ pans with one filled with 2/3 of the filling and the other pan filled with the remaining 1/3.  This allowed me to have a total of three layers.  I also used the low sugar strawberry jam and fresh strawberries for the filling.  You can use the strawberry filling method from the Cooks Illustrated recipe instead.

For the frosting, I wanted to use mascarpone with stabilized whipped cream.  I highly recommend stabilizing whipped cream whenever you use it to frost cakes.  This frosting was a little loose when I made it, and it could have benefited from a 2 hour rest in the refrigerator before I piped it.  Unfortunately I only had 30 minutes to cool it before piping, so I had to periodically stick the piping bag in the freezer to get a rest from my hot hands.  As you can see from the picture, the frosting was stabile enough to handle decorative piping, but I don’t know if it would handle piped flowers.

I think this cake improved after resting in the refrigerator overnight.  The cake and frosting get to firm up and the flavors meld together well.

 

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