Thursday, 15 June 2017

Strawberry Time - Strawberry, Mascarpone & Chocolate Cake

Some say it is best to eat foods that are in season. I especially enjoy this with regards to strawberries. They taste so much better, when they are fresh from the region compared to the ones you get at the supermarket and are imported from who knows where. Last year we didn't take full advantage of that, but this year will make up for it. Nearby is a large field of strawberries where you can pick them for yourselves at a very good price. Therefore whenever we feel like it we head over and get some fresh strawberries. Well, that is when we have finished off the last once we got. Usually the last remaining once end up in a smoothie or something like that.
There are many ways to enjoy the strawberries. You can eat them fresh, with yoghurt, with your muesli, with curd cheese, in smoothies, in cakes, in salads ... well, we just watched Forrest Gump the other day, but I think I really shouldn't go into this part in detail of what you can do with strawberries like they did in the movie with shrimps ... hm ... eh ... well ... eh ... and that's about all you can do with strawberries. Well, I haven't got that much time and I really can't imagine an end of that list.
Therefore I will rather limit my writings to what I did and what I announced in the title of this blog post: Strawberry, Mascarpone & Chocolate Cake.



I tried to think of another name for this cake, but I really couldn't come up with any and above that in these days there are certain words you rather shouldn't use in public. Anyway, let's focus on the more important things ...



Picking strawberries is really enjoyable for me, in the sun, it's relaxing after a full day at the office. I reckon we still have a few weeks, maybe about two and then it will already be over with this field. I guess, though, it is not our fault.




We usually get about two kilos or a wee bit more of strawberries. After all we can easily return and get some more another day.



After we have gotten one of the key ingredients for our Strawberry, Mascarpone & Chocolate Cake, I reckon it is about time to start with the preparation ...

Ingredients:
Sponge
225 g butter
225 g sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs
225 g spelt flour
2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
Zest of 1 lemon

Jam
300 g strawberries
100 g sugar
1 vanilla pod
Juice of 1 lemon

Cream
5 mashed strawberries
500 g mascarpone
500 g curd cheese
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Strawberry frosting
Juice of 5 strawberries
100 g icing sugar

300 g strawberries
200 g chocolate



Method
As for the recipe, you can deviate as much as you like. Maybe you have a favourite sponge recipe and are already good at it, go ahead and use it. If you like to use already made strawberry jam, just go ahead and use it. But if not ...
For the sponge, cream the butter together with the sugar. Take care to do it throughly. It really helps a lot, if the butter is already softened. Add the vanilla extract. Then add one egg at a time and mix well. Once you have all eggs in the bowl, sift in the flour mixed with the baking powder and a pinch of salt. Carefully mix the dough together.
Divide the dough equally among two round cake tins, which you have greased with butter beforehand and where you additionally placed a piece of baking parchment. The tins with the dough go into the oven at 190 °C for 20-25 minutes. Check for colour and with a skewer whether the sponges are done then.
Meanwhile you can put the ingredients for the jam into a small pot and start simmering away. Make sure to open up the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds to add both parts separately into the pot.
Of course you can look at the photos to get some further details.
While you are waiting you can whip up the cream for the cake ... eh ... that is the mascarpone cream with mixing together all the above mentioned ingredients for the cream. No worries, no big deal, just make it smooth. Well, there is just a little something. When you mash the strawberries, make sure to put the juice of the smashing apart for the strawberry frosting. Almost forgot to mention that.
Let the sponges cool down for a bit and ... give the jam a bit time after it's finished to do the same. Once you have removed the sponges from the tin, place the first (the one that is less good looking) on the bottom of the plate.
Spread some jam on the bottom sponge, after that put the mascarpone cream. If it looks to much for your taste, reserve something for a separate dessert.
Cut half of the strawberries in slices and place on top of the mascarpone cream. Afterwards you put the second sponge ... wait ... that was the original idea, before I wanted to make a teaser cake to please my wife ...



So you could out a round piece of the top sponge before you place it, but only if you have use for this round piece, because it is not essential for the Strawberry, Mascarpone & Chocolate Cake.
That we it is really better for the cake. Now you can fill the opening on top with the remaining strawberries. Of course, you can only add so much as fit in, but I don't have to tell you what to do with the remaining remaining strawberries ... I just ate them.



Then mix the strawberry juice with the icing sugar and spread the frosting as much as you can over the top of the cake.
Finally melt the chocolate and spread the chocolate even on top of the strawberry frosting. If you manage to make it look even more lovely, no worries.
Then ... enjoy the cake ... with friends ... or whatever. The second day, when the remains of the cake might look a bit messy, it tastes even better, but whom am I telling things like that.
Well then, keep enjoy strawberries, if they are in season in your neck of the woods, and have a wonderful life ...

The other day with more strawberries in the house, there was the sudden craving for a spontaneous dessert ...



Just use some ready puff pastry, pudding and strawberries and enjoy ... as long as you can. What is it then you enjoy doing with strawberries? We are always open for more and new ideas. Just let us know!

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