Strawberry Shortcake Dolci Torta

We make a lot of tortas around Bella Cucina. Our signature is the ever-so- tasty Layered Basil + Sun-dried Tomato Mascarpone Cheese Torta. 

That is, until now.
{Who knew there could be a luscious sweet version of the torta?}

A  strawberry shortcake version made with Preserved Lemon Pound cake and a sweetened mascarpone cream was the answer we were looking for. Strawberries are in season at the farmer's market. Our preserved lemon pound cake is so easy to make.  And who doesn't love a pillowy cloud of  sweetened cream?  All of our favorite things layered into a luscious torta. La Dolci Vita, indeed! 

Preserved Lemon Pound Cake
4 large eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla bean
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 ¾ cups flour, sifted
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 Preserved Lemon wedges , rinsed, flesh removed + diced finely *{optional}
½ cup heavy cream room temp
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted/cooled

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 
Butter a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan and dust with flour. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, salt until blended.   Fold in the sifted flour, baking powder and lemons.  Add the heavy cream and butter and mix until the batter mixure is smooth.  Pour the batter into the baking pan and cook for about an hour, or until the center of the cake comes clean when pierced with a  skewer or knife. Remove from oven and cool. 

Mascarpone Cream 
1 cup of whipping cream
1 cup {8 oz.} mascarpone cheese
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla 

In a stand mixer with a whip attachment, mix the cream,  sugar and vanilla just until lightly whipped.  Add the mascarpone  and lemon cream and mix just until incorporated and the mixture is smooth. 

To Assemble the Torta:
1# fresh strawberries, cleaned, stems removed and sliced. 
2 Tablespoons sugar

Toss the sliced strawberries with sugar and let sit for an hour so that it creates its own syrup. 

Line a baking pan {same size as the pound cake was baked in} with plastic wrap, allowing enough to hang over the edges of the pan so you can wrap and cover the top when it is filled.

Cut the top off the cake in order to have a flat surface.  Cut the rectangular cake lengthwise into three equal pieces.  Place one piece of cake on the bottom of the pan.  Divide the strawberries in half  and spoon over the cake with some of the syrup. Divide the mascarpone cream mixture into 3 equal parts. Spoon one part of the cream evenly over the cake. Repeat this process again, ending with the last piece of cake. Press firmly on the cake, cover it with the overhanging plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Weight the torta with something so it will compress. {a dozen eggs in a carton work well for this}. 

When ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap and  carefully invert the pan onto a platter. Tug at the plastic wrap so the cake comes out evenly.  Spoon the rest of the mascarpone cream over the top of cake and top with sliced strawberries  and garnish with a sprig of mint. 

Serves six to eight.

Buon appetito! copyright 2010 Alisa Barry

1 comment:

The Italian Dish said...

Whoa. This looks INCREDIBLE!