White Chocolate-Strawberry Cream Cake
1 cup milk, heated to a simmer
3 oz white chocolate, chopped
2 1/2 cups unsifted cake flour (not self-rising)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups + 1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 large eggs, separated
2 pints strawberries, 8 whole berries halved, remaining berries
White Chocolate Frosting:
1/2 pint heavy cream, heated to a simmer
6 oz white chocolate, chopped
1 pint heavy cream, chilled
Cake: In bowl, pour hot milk over white chocolate; stir until
smooth, let cool. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 2 (9-in.)
round cake pans with cooking spray. Line bottoms with waxed paper.
Coat paper; dust pans with flour. In bowl, mix flour, baking powder
and salt. In large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat butter and
1 1/4 cups sugar 3 minutes, until fluffy. Beat in vanilla, then
yolks, 1 at a time, until blended. On low, beat in flour mixture (in
fourths) alternately with white-chocolate mixture (in thirds).
In bowl, with clean beaters, beat whites until soft peaks form.
Gradually beat in remaining 1 Tbsp sugar, until stiff, billowy peaks
form. Fold into batter. Spread in pans. Bake at 26 minutes, until
pick inserted in centers tests clean. Cool in pans on rack 10
minutes; invert onto rack. Remove paper; invert again. Cool.
Assemble: To finish frosting, in bowl, beat chilled white-chocolate
mixture and 1 pint cream until billowy peaks form. Level tops of
cakes with serrated knife. Place 1 cake on plate; spread with 2/3
cup frosting. Top with sliced berries. Spread with 2/3 cup frosting.
Top with second cake; frost. Garnish with berries and pansies.
Frosting: In bowl, pour 1/2 pint hot cream over chocolate. Let
strand 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth; chill.