Mascarpone-Filled Cake with Sherried Berries
Adapted from Gourmet
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
1/2 cup Fino (dry) Sherry
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups mixed berries, cut if large
8 ounces mascarpone (1 cup)
1 cup chilled heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
With a baking rack positioned in the middle, preheat oven to 350°F. While the oven is preheating, butter a 9-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides and line its bottom with a round of parchment paper. Butter the top of the parchment paper as well.
In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
With a mixer, in a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar, beating until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat in. Add eggs 1 egg at a time, making sure each is well incorporated after each addition. Turn the mixer speed to low and beat in buttermilk until combined. In 3 batches, add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Be careful not to overmix or you will get a dense crumb.
With a spatula, spread batter in cake pan and smooth out the top. Give a few light taps as to eliminate the air bubbles.
Place in the oven and bake fora bout 35-40 minutes, until cake is golden and when tested with a toothpick or a cake tester inserted come out clean.
Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes, after which run a dull butter knife around edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Gently invert cake onto a plate. Remove parchment paper and reinvert cake onto rack to cool completely.
If using strawberries, wash, dry and cut them into quarters. Wash and dry berries like raspberries/blueberries, but obviously, don’t cut them. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring Sherry and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Put berries in a bowl and pour hot syrup over them. Toss gently to coat berries and let stand for about 15 minutes.
You’d be best served with a bowl that’s been hanging out in the freezer for awhile – I just take my mixer bowl and put it in the freezer for about an hour. Beat mascarpone, cream with sugar in this large, chilled bowl using cleaned beaters until mixture just holds stiff peaks. Cold bowl – lovely whipped frosting. Which means, of course, heavenly cake.
Halve cake horizontally with a long serrated knife. Carefully remove top half and set it aside. Put bottom half on a plate, then spread evenly with all of cream and replace top half. Serve with berries on top.