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Cleveland’s Cassata Cake MICHAEL SYMON

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Seriously, this might be our favorite thing ever!

ingredients
FOR THE CUSTARD:
2 Cups heavy cream
2 Cups whole milk
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 vanilla bean (split and scraped)
12 large egg yolks
2 cups sugar
1/2 Cup cornstarch
FOR THE CAKE:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup cold water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 lemon (zested)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
6 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
FOR THE STRAWBERRIES:
3 pounds strawberries (hulled and thinly sliced, 1 cup reserved for garnish)
1/4 Cup sugar
1 lemon (juiced)
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM:
3 cups heavy cream (chilled)
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

directions
For the Custard: In a medium saucepan whisk together the heavy cream, whole milk, salt, vanilla bean, egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch. Whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and if necessary strain the custard into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the custard to avoid developing a film. Chill the custard for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
For the Cake: Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the water, oil, lemon zest, vanilla extract and egg yolks until smooth. Gradually stir in the flour mixture. Gently fold in the egg whites 1/3 at a time until light, fluffy and fully incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
For the Strawberries: Combine the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a large bowl. Allow to sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour to macerate. Strain the strawberries and reserve the juices.
For the Whipped Cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the heavy cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form.
To Assemble: Slice the cake rounds in half horizontally so you have four layers. Stack the first layer of the cake onto a cake stand. Brush with 1/3 of the reserved strawberry juices followed by a 1/3 of the custard. Arrange an even layer of the sliced strawberries on top of the custard. Top with a cake round. Repeat two more times ending with your final cake round, leveled side down. Using the whipped cream, ice the top and sides of the cake.
Garnish with remaining sliced strawberries and serve.
Tip: Use any combination of berries to make the filing your own!

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