Finding Balance: Strawberry Cake filled with Sweet Vanilla Mascarpone Cream

June 9, 2011

in American,Cakes,Recipes

Strawberry Cake

These past few weeks seem to be running on an endless-loop of “When it rains, it pours.” type-of-events. The month started off relatively normal during the fist two weeks, attending music recitals and an end of year High School Band banquet. There was also an anticipated 15th birthday however, it wouldn’t take place until the end of the month and luckily, when the birthday boy was asked if he wanted a party; he said he would much rather receive cash so he could buy a new electric guitar and amp instead. (Score!) I also had made it a point a few months ago to ask him what type of cake he would like to have on his birthday, he answered with a simple. “I don’t know… something with strawberries and white chocolate.”

The Birthday Boy

I also knew I needed to schedule my mom’s MVD surgery to correct her trigeminal neuralgia; which she’s been living with for the past three years. As was expected, the status-quo type days seized to exist the day I took her in for surgery. After all, her type of MVD surgery was considered brain surgery and, at a ripe age of 81 you can just imagine what recovery would be like.

Grandma's Surgery

Surgery went extremely well. She was sent home with nothing but Tylenol for the pain which seemed a bit strange to me since she was being given morphine via her IV while at the hospital . But who was I to question, after all my name isn’t followed by the coveted “PhD” title.

Once we got home and the effects of the morphine wore off, she had to endure very strong migraine headaches; The couple of pills of Tylenol and/or Motrin every few hours were doing absolutely nothing for her. The image of the notepad in the above collage is where she would keep track of every post-surgery medication dosage she would take. She started jotting these down as soon as she got home.

Well, since the migraine headaches wouldn’t subside and a mild fever was starting to develop. I decided to take her into the ER to make sure everything was OK and she wasn’t developing an infection.

After a few shots of morphine to help ease the pain and a slue of tests including an MRI. There were no signs of an infection, so we were given the green light to go home.

Graduating with Honors

As faith would have it that particular day I took my mom into the ER was the day Joseph (my oldest) would graduate High School and with Honors!

Needless to say I missed Joseph’s graduation. However, I was relived to find out my mom was infection-free.

Baking/cooking usually bring me balance. However, during these few weeks I found it hard to motivate myself to go into the kitchen, it was practically the last thing on my mind. Nonetheless, I had a request, a very special event to celebrate, and I did not want to let anybody down.

The more I thought of how happy Josh would be once he saw “his” special cake the more I got pumped, and off into the kitchen I went, on a birthday cake mission. (Disclosure: A couple of glasses of red may have been consumed during the baking of said birthday cake)

Somewhat magically -all turmoil seemed to completely disappear as soon as I saw the big smile on the birthday boy’s face just as he was about to make his birthday wish and blow out those birthday candles.

Strawberry Cake

After everything was said and done; I’m happy to report we all enjoyed a slice of this nicely “balanced” strawberry cake.

Fluffy, yet packed with a bold strawberry flavor, thanks to the strawberry puree; this cake was able to find it’s balance with the help of a creamy sweet-vanilla mascarpone filling, freshly sliced strawberries, and thin layer of white chocolate ganache.

We all need a support system sometimes…

5.0 from 1 reviews
Strawberry Cake
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¾ cup superfine sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup strawberry puree
  • 1 tablespoon strawberry liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 16 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 2 gelatin sheets, bloomed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 batch of sweet vanilla mascarpone cream (see below)
  • 4 or 5 fresh large strawberries, sliced
  • 12 ounce white chocolate chips
  • 3 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • additional fresh strawberries and/or a french macaron for garnish (optional)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper sprayed with non-stick baking spray.
  2. Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer; place the paddle attachment on the stand mixer and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, and mix on medium-low speed just until incorporated.
  4. Combine strawberry puree, strawberry liqueur, vanilla extract, and milk into a bowl or large mesuring cup. Sift flour and baking powder into another bowl.
  5. Alternate adding flour mixture and liquid mixture to the creamed butter, beat on low until just incorporated. Be careful not to over-mix.
  6. Pour cake batter into the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester come out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes the carefully transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled. Once cool place in the refrigerator while you prepare the Sweet Vanilla Mascarpone Cream.
  7. Remove cake from refrigerator and slice in half so you end up with two 9" x 13" pieces.

 
5.0 from 1 reviews
Sweet Vanilla Mascarpone Cream
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 16 ounce mascarpone cheese
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 gelatin sheets, bloomed
Directions
  1. Combine mascarpone cheese, vanilla extract, confectioners' sugar, and bloomed gelatin sheets over a double boiler. Stir with a whisk until gelatin is dissolved and you have a smooth cream. Transfer to the refrigerator for 1-2 hours to allow cream to thicken.

 

Strawberry CakeStrawberry Cake topped with Sweet Vanilla Mascarpone and sliced StrawberriesThe Birthday Cake is ready...Time for a slice

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Belinda @zomppa June 9, 2011 at 2:34 am

You’ve had quite a time! I’m so glad your mom is OK and recovers quickly! Congrats to the grad – and happy birthday!!

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2 Daydreamer Desserts June 9, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Thanks Belinda! She’s finally of the meds and is doing much better….

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3 bryan June 9, 2011 at 3:36 am

What handsome lads! Happy Birthday and Congratulations to them. I am happy th hear that your mom is doing well.

I am like you baking has always hepled me find just a little peace. I once refered to yeast as my therapist. The cake looks awesome! what a wonderful sweet mix of flavors.

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4 Daydreamer Desserts June 9, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Thank you so much! Funny how that works right… sigh. :)

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5 Katrina June 9, 2011 at 3:54 am

This cake is so tasty looking! Love this. Also, Happy birthday boys!

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6 Daydreamer Desserts June 9, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Thanks Katrina!

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7 Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction June 9, 2011 at 7:47 am

Wow… You’ve had a busy time lately. Glad to hear your mom is doing well. And, congrats to the boys, as well! This cake looks like a wonderful way to get back in the swing of things… It’s lovely!

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8 Daydreamer Desserts June 9, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Just a bit, thank you so much for the well wishes. Hope your recovery is going without a hitch as well!

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9 Emily @Cleanliness June 9, 2011 at 9:20 am

God bless you! Life always seems to be thrown at you in clusters.

It is during these times that we do find our balance in food.

Such a touching post. Thank you for sharing.

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10 Daydreamer Desserts June 9, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Hi Emily, that’s so true. Thanks for your support, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. :)

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11 thepickyeater June 9, 2011 at 12:17 pm

that was a heartfelt post….nice to see family pictures. hope your mom is ok…..the cake looks yumm !

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12 Daydreamer Desserts June 9, 2011 at 8:50 pm

It’s taken some time, but now she seems to be doing better and slowly returning to her normal self.

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13 Jeanne June 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery for your mom. And congrats to the birthday boy and graduate. This cake would bring a smile to anybody’s face!

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14 Daydreamer Desserts June 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Hi Jeanne, thank you so much! Hope all is well in your world too! XOXO

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15 Foodness Gracious June 9, 2011 at 3:27 pm

The cake looks great! I too like to partake in the consumption of some vino whilst cooking….

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16 Daydreamer Desserts June 9, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Glad you liked the cake and also happen to share the same cooking/baking habits. (It’s inspirational isn’t it?)

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17 Junia @ Mis Pensamientos June 9, 2011 at 6:39 pm

wow so much is happening in your life! you must be a strong woman! kudos to you. and the strawberries on the cake look fabulous!

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18 Daydreamer Desserts June 9, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Thank you Junia!

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19 The Farmers Wife June 9, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Wow girl! And I thought my month had been crazy! haha! Thank you so much for sharing this with us, I’m so glad your mom is doing well!! That cake looks absolutely incredible! Yum…

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20 Juanita June 10, 2011 at 12:47 am

I’m so sorry you’ve been through such a rough time, and that you missed your son’s graduation ceremony as well.

Congratulations to him for graduating with honours.
Happy belated birthday to your other son.
My best wishes for your Mom’s ongoing recovery. May it be a full one.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful cake recipe. I do not use white chocolate very often, but am looking forward to trying it paired with the luscious strawberries and creamy-dreamy mascarpone. What light and lovely complimentary flavours those are!

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21 Sally - My Custard Pie June 10, 2011 at 5:13 am

What a rollercoaster. I really hope your lovely Mum recovers completely soon. You must be so proud of your family and I’m sure there was so much love in that cake.

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22 Peggy June 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Sounds like you’ve been a busy bee! Glad to hear your mom is doing okay and congrats to both your boys – one of the graduation and the other for the birthday! I’m sure your cake really made his day =)

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23 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts June 10, 2011 at 4:40 pm

So glad to hear that your mom is oK. Congrats on graduation! And Happy Birthday! Now to the cake – yum! That looks amazing with the fresh strawberries!

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24 sara @CaffeIna June 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm

What a month! I understand the feeling of not wanting to go in the kitchen and bake…that’s how I have been feeling lately under the pressure of way too many things going on. But I’m glad you got to do so for your boy. I can just imagine his happy face at the sight of this cake!

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25 Sandra June 12, 2011 at 6:34 pm

I’m so happy your Mom is doing well, I’ll be holding positive thoughts for her continued recovery. Your strawberry cake sounds so delicious. For sure I’d have seconds.

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26 bridget {bake at 350} June 14, 2011 at 5:33 am

Oh, wow….what a stressful time! Glad your mom is doing better…and congrats to your son! You have *such* a beautiful family, Josie!

Baking calms me, too. That and the wine. ;)

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27 Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets June 16, 2011 at 4:05 pm

So glad she’s okay! I agree that she’s beautiful and so is this cake. Love the mascarpone cream mmmm.

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