As Paris Pastry's third blogoversary approaches, I thought about the first few posts I wrote that are still one of the most popular. The mille feuille crêpes cake, autumn meringue cake and the neapolitan cake. Three years later my baking skills have improved and certainly the photographs I take are done with more care. But the taste, I wouldn't want to change that.
Last time I made this cake I used three cakes mixes, but this time, everything's made from scratch. Sounds like an awful lot to make three different cake batters, but it wasn't; I just made one cake recipe and added cocoa powder and pureed strawberries to 2 different layers. Et voilà! Out came a gorgeous 3-layer cake that I hope Italians would be proud of. Certainly a looker this cake is! Rating: 4- out of 5.
Neapolitan Cake: adapted from Martha Stewart's Boston Cream Pie
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
- 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup pureed strawberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 8- or 9-inch round cake pans. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan; set over very low heat.
- With an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar on high speed until thick, lightened in color, and mixture holds a trail for several seconds when beater is lifted, 4 to 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in dry ingredients just until incorporated.
- Bring milk and butter to a boil. With mixer on low speed, add hot milk mixture to batter; mix just until smooth. Mix in vanilla. Divide batter into 3 equal parts. Mix cocoa powder with one of the batters, and the pureed strawberries with the other. Transfer batters to the three prepared pans, and smooth top.
- Bake until golden and pulling away from sides of pan, 30 to 45 minutes. Cool cakes 10 minutes in pan; remove from pan, and transfer to a rack to cool, right side up.
Whipped Cream Frosting: makes enough for a 3-layer cake
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ⅔ cup confectioners' sugar
- Put heavy cream and ⅓ cup of confectioners' sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Whip up the cream until soft peaks form with an electrix mixer. Add the remaining ⅓ cup confectioners' sugar and mix until whipped cream remains a trail from the electrix mixer.
- Put in the refrigerator and let stiffen for 30 minutes before using.