Monday, April 12, 2010

Mascarpone-filled cake with berries

I made this for our belated Easter dinner last night. Really simple, and light -- which is good after eating a big dinner.

adapted from Epicurious

For cake:

2 cups sifted cake flour (you know if you don't have cake flour, you can add 2 Tbsp. cornstarch to every cup of all-purpose flour, right?)
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 Grand Marnier
1/2 cup sugar (I used slightly less than this)
4 cups mixed berries, cut if large

For cream:
8 ounces mascarpone (1 cup)
1 cup chilled heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan (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 pan, 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, 35 to 40 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 Grand Marnier 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.
Halve cake horizontally with a long serrated knife. Carefully remove top half and reserve. Put bottom half on a plate, then spread evenly with all of cream and replace top half. Serve with berries.

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