Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Blueberry Mascarpone Cake

I come from an Italian family and we love to eat.  We love to eat any and all kinds of food and desserts.  But...for it to get the "grunts of  approval" (where my family makes sounds of happiness while they are chewing and can't talk), the recipe has to have really good ingredients.   It can be meats and vegetables with fresh herbs and spices or it can be home made desserts with real cream and butter.  Rarely, if ever, does "boxed" ingredients come into play.  However....

My mom recently celebrated her birthday and I decided to make a Mascarpone Cake for her. This is a light white cake with a whipped cream and fruit filling.  If you want to make a special cake for someone....this is it.  My dad, "Papa Rudy" said this might be his favorite.  Holy cow!  You have to know my dad to know what a compliment this is.  It must be the real deal cuz he loves desserts.

This recipe actually starts with a boxed white cake mix and then it adds fresh ingredients to it. Don't look at the recipe and think it's too long and too complicated.  It's a few simple steps and it's well worth it.
When baking the cake, it is really important to watch your oven and test to see when the cake is done.  You don't want an over baked dried out cake.  Some ovens are different and cook faster or slower.  When it has a "slight" spring back - take it out and take it out of the pan.  It will almost look like it's not done - because it's white (no browning)
While the cake is cooling, puree some blueberries and mashem with a a spoon to get most of the water out.
Make your filling - which is basically fresh whipped cream with the pureed fruit.
Look how pretty the fruit filling is and how well it stands up with the cake layers.
Now, what makes the frosting so so yummy, is this fabulous mascarpone cream.  This is basically cream cheese - on crack.  It is sweet and creamy and when blended with fresh whipped is amazing.
I added food coloring to the cream on this cake to make it prettier but you don't have to.  I've also made this before with strawberries which you can see here.

Preheat Oven to 325F Degrees

1 box of white cake mix, sifted
1 c. cake flour, sifted
1 c. sugar
1 1/3 c. whole milk
1 c. sour cream
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 egg whites

1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp of white sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
2 cartons of strawberries (or 1 large carton) 

12 oz. of mascarpone cheese (1 1/2 containers)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. powdered sugar, sifted
2 c. heavy whipping cream

For the Cake:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, whisk together cake mix, flour and sugar. Then add in milk, sour cream, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Scrape down sides and mix again until well incorporated. Finally add in egg whites. 

Grease 2-9 inch round pans (I used Pam). Divide batter equally in the 2 pans. Bake for 30-minutes until the top of the cakes are slightly golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Do not over cook.  You want the cake moist! Allow the cake to slightly cool. Then turn them out and let cool completely. 

For the Filling:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip heavy whipping cream, on high speed until stiff peaks form.  Add sugar and vanilla.  Whip to stiff peaks.   Set aside in refrigerator.

Using half a carton of blueberries sliced in half, set aside.

Then, place one carton of blueberries in a food processor and pulse until the appearance of a "chunky applesauce." Using a strainer, push the puree through- to get rid of excess water. Fold strained blueberry puree (i.e., puree minus the water) into the whipped cream. The whipped topping will become a purple color when puree is well incorporated. Then fold in sliced blueberries.

Keep in refrigerator until assembling cake. Reserve 1/2 carton of blueberries for decorating.

For the Frosting:
In a medium bowl, whisk together mascarpone cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar with a spatula until well blended and smooth. Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip heavy whipping cream, on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in whipped cream into the cheese mixture. I actually blend this on low to make sure it is mixed well.  

Assembling the Cake:
Place one 9-inch round cake on serving plate. Place a large, heaping scoop of strawberry filling on top(you may not use all of the filling). Using a spatula, spread the filling evenly.

Gently place the second 9-inch round cake directly on top of filling, slightly pressing down and making sure the second layer of cake is perfectly aligned with the second. Cover cake with mascarpone frosting. Decorate as desired using the remaining frosting and berries.

Trust me...if Papa Rudy says it's one of his are in for a treat!

Try it and let me know what you think!