Corbo's Bakery Cassata Cake

This challenging but rewarding recipe makes one of the most beautiful and delicious cakes you've ever had, a four-tier cake layered with strawberries and custard, and iced with whipped cream.

Photo by Theresa O.
Adapted from nwitimes.com
The perfect spring-time dessert.

PREP TIME

15

minutes

TOTAL TIME

60

minutes

SERVINGS

6

servings

PREP TIME

15

minutes

TOTAL TIME

60

minutes

SERVINGS

6

servings

Adapted from nwitimes.com

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4

    cup cake flour

  • 1 1/4

    and 1/4 cups sugar, divided

  • 1

    tablespoon baking powder

  • 1

    teaspoon salt

  • 3/4

    cup cold water

  • 1/2

    cup vegetable oil

  • 1

    teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1

    teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 5

    large egg yolks at room temperature

  • 8

    large egg whites at room temperature

  • 1/2

    teaspoon cream of tartar

  • CUSTARD:

  • 6

    large egg yolks

  • 1/2

    cup sugar

  • 2

    cups half-and-half

  • 3

    tablespoons cornstarch

  • STRAWBERRIES:

  • 3

    pounds strawberries

  • 2 1/2

    tablespoons sugar

  • WHIPPED CREAM:

  • 2

    cupsheavy cream, chilled

  • 2

    tablespoons sugar

Directions

Whisk together all of the custard ingredients in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. Turn down the heat so that the mixture just simmers, and whisk until thick, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the custard to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a round of wax paper, and cool. Then, chill custard, covered, for at least 3 hours, or up to 2 days. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottoms of two 9-inch round cake pans with lightly oiled parchment paper. Sift together the flour, 1 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt two time into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, beat together the yolks, water, oil, zest and vanilla until smooth. Stir into the flour mixture. In another large bowl beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and beat on high until the peaks are stiff but not dry. Using a rubber spatula, fold about a quarter of the fluffy egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Then very gently fold in the remaining whites. As soon as the egg whites are no longer visible, stop folding. Scrape the batter into the two prepared round cake pans and spread evenly. Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans on a cooling rack for at least an hour. When completely cool, run a knife around the sides to release the cakes, cover each pan with a wax paper-lined plate, and flip. Gently lift the pans off of the cakes. Slice the strawberries thinly and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with the sugar and stir. Allow the strawberries to soak up the sugar for 1 hour, giving them a stir every so often. Strain the berries, reserving the released juices. When the cakes are thoroughly chilled slice them in half so you have four layers. Place each layer on a wax paper-lined baking sheet or plate. Whip the cream and sugar together until stiff. Place one cake layer on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Brush with 1/3 of the reserved strawberry juice. Cover with a layer of strawberries, and then a layer of custard. Repeat for the following layers. Then, ice the top and sides of the cake with whipped cream. Top with fresh strawberries. Chill the cake for at least 8 hours before serving, so that the cake has time to absorb the strawberry juices. Bring to cool room temperature before serving.

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