The Italians do not mess around when it comes to their sweets...oh, or their coffee and wine.
So, I thought I would make something for my co-worker's birthday that uses mascarpone and a dessert wine that I recently discovered called Vin Santo. The original recipe calls for Fino Sherry which I substituted with the Vin Santo because it's delicious and I wanted it to be Italiano-inspired (sorry Spain, maybe next trip).
Mascarpone-Filled Cake with Sherried Berries
Adapted from Gourmet, July 2008 Issue
- 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 Sherry [I substituted it for Vin Santo, an Italian dessert wine]
- 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
- confectioners sugar (to garnish, optional)
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.
Bring wine 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.