Even better than the aquavit during Swedish Midsommar celebrations is traditional Strawberry Cream Cake: a celebration of the berries just as they peak.
Adapted from Pat Sinclair
4 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
¾ cup cake flour
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. water
Zest of 1 lemon
6 ounces cream cheese
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 cups strawberries, quartered
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
2. Sift flour, tablespoon sugar, and salt together and set aside.
3. Place egg yolks, ¾ cup sugar, vanilla, water, and zest in large mixing bowl. Use whisk attachment to beat on high until thick and pale lemon colored, about 5 minutes.
4. In clean mixing bowl use clean whisk attachment to beat egg whites and cream of tartar; start on slow speed and gradually increase speed to high, until stiff peaks form.
5. Gently fold whites into batter. Fold the cake flour into batter and gently mix until blended; be careful not to lose any volume. Pour into prepared pans and spread evenly. Bake 13 to 16 minutes or until center springs back when touched lightly with a finger.
6. Cool pans upside down for 10 minutes on wire cooling rack. Run thin metal spatula around the edges of the pans and remove cakes; cool completely on racks.
7. Mix 2 cups strawberries with tablespoon sugar in medium bowl and set aside 5 minutes.
8. Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla in large bowl with wire attachment until creamy. Gradually add the cream while beating on low. Increase speed to high and continue beating until soft peaks form. Add sweetened strawberries and beat an additional 30 seconds.
9. Place one layer of cake on serving plate. Spoon 2 cups of the topping over the cake, spreading to the edges. Add the second layer and cover with remaining topping. Garnish with remaining 1 cup strawberries. Chill at least 2 hours before serving. Cake must be stored in refrigerator.
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