Black Pepper Sponge Cake with Strawberry Balsamic Whipped Cream
Servings: 12-16 slices
Black Pepper Sponge Cake
1cup2 sticks unsalted butter
1cupcastervery fine sugar
1large vanilla beansplit and seeds scraped from pod
2tspfinely ground black pepper
Strawberry Balsamic Whipped Cream
2/3poundfresh California strawberries
1pintheavy whipping cream
2½Tbspgood quality balsamic vinegar
1/3poundfresh California strawberries
To make Black Pepper Sponge Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8" springform cake pans and line bottoms with circle of parchment paper.
Beat butter and sugar together with electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until just incorporated. Fold in flour gradually until smooth.
Stir in vanilla bean and black pepper and pour batter into prepared cake pans.
Bake 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean from center of cake. Cool in baking pan for 8-10 minutes; remove and place on rack to cool before assembly.
To make Strawberry Balsamic Whipped Cream:
Rinse all whole strawberries and gently pat dry. Divide into thirds. Cut tops off of two-thirds of the strawberries and cut into 1/4"-1/2" slices. Reserve remaining third of whole strawberries to decorate top of cake.
In large mixing bowl, combine heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and balsamic vinegar. With electric mixer, whip until stiff peaks are formed.
Place one cooled cake layer on cake stand or serving plate. Spread sliced strawberries evenly across the cake.
Layer the strawberries with half the balsamic whipped cream. Top with the second cake layer. Repeat with whipped cream mixture and top with whole strawberries. For an interesting styling trick, leave some strawberries whole and cut some halves to add dimension to the garnish.
Nutrition information calculated based on a 16 slice yield.