2 1/2 cups cake flour (5 oz)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cup sugar
10 large eggs ( 4 whole, 6 separated) room temperature
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
4 tablespoons water
4 teaspoons vanilla
2 pounds fresh strawberries( about 2 quarts) washed, dried, and stemmed
4-6 tablespoons sugar
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups heavy cream
Preheat oven to 325 degrees, adjust rack to middle. Grease and flour 2 round 9 by 2 inch cake pan or a 9 inch spring form pan and line with parchment paper.
Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and all but 3 tablespoons sugar in mixing bowl. Whisk in 2 whole eggs and 3 yolks (reserving whites), butter, water, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
In clean bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat remaining 3 whites at medium low speed until frothy, 1-2 minutes. With machine running, gradually add remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, increase speed to medium high and beat until soft peaks form, 60-90 seconds. Stir one third of whites into batter to lighten; add remaining whites and gently fold into batter until no white streaks remain. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes our clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert pan onto wire rack, peel off and discard parchment paper. Invert cakes again and cool completely about 1 hour. Or, wrap the cake in plastic wrap and freeze for about 1 hour.
For Strawberry Filling:
Halve 24 of the best looking berries and reserve. It is best to pick berries that are uniform in size, if possible. Quarter the remaining berries; toss with 4-6 tablespoons of sugar in medium bowl and let sit for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Strain juices from berries and reserve, you should have about 1/2 cup of liquid. In work bowl of food processor fitted with metal blade, give macerated berries five 1-second pulses. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, simmer reserved juices until syrupy and reduced to about 3 tablespoons, 3-5 minutes. Pour reduced syrup over macerated berries, add pinch of salt, and toss to combine. Set aside until cake is cooled.
For Whipped Cream:
When cake is cooled, place cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whisk at medium high speed until light and fluffy 1-2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low and add heavy ream in a slow steady stream. When almost fully combined, increase speed to medium high and beat until mixture holds stiff peaks, 2 to 3 minutes more. You should have a total of about 4 1/2 cups of the cream mixture when finished.
Yes! Cake Assembly:
Using a large serrated knife, slice cakes into two even layers (you will use 3 layers and have one left over).
Place first layer on cake plate or cardboard round( found in craft or kitchen stores) and arrange ring of 20 strawberry halves, cut sides down and stem ends facing out, around perimeter of cake layer.
Pour one half of pureed berry mixture about 3/4 cup, in center, then spread to cover any exposed cake. Gently spread about one third of whipped cream (about 1 1/2 cups over berry layer, leaving 1/2 inch border from the edge.
Place middle cake layer on top and gently press down (whipped cream layer should become flush with cake edge).
Repeat with 20 additional berry halves, remaining berry mixture, and half of remaining whipped cream; gently press last cake layer on top.
Spread remaining whipped cream over top.
Decorate with remaining cut strawberries.
Serve, or chill for up to 4 hours.