Strawberry Fantasia Cake

My husband and I like to go wine tasting around the Napa Valley area. A couple of years ago, we discovered a beautiful winery called Castello Di Amorosa which is in Calistoga. After visiting a few times, we decided to become Club Members and we like to go wine tasting quite frequently bringing friends and family. The winery is a beautiful castle and has great views plus the wine is really awesome. My favorites are La Castellana, Chardonnay Reserve, Pinot Noir, Barbera, Zingaro and… well I think I like many of them.

One of their most popular wines is La Fantasia which is a sweet sparkling wine with a very delicious berry flavor. I enjoy drinking it during summertime or when I get together with my girlfriends. I think this wine is perfect for any occasion specially if you know somebody who likes sweet wines.

I’ve been thinking to bake with wine and finally I decided to make my first attempt. This is a vanilla cake filled with La Fantasia wine infused strawberries and topped with La Fantasia whipped cream.

I hope you enjoy baking this cake. Cheers!

Ingredients

For the cake layers
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup white granulated sugar
3 large eggs room temperature
1 large egg yolk room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons  pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk room temperature

For the filling

1 lb fresh strawberries, sliced

1/2 cup La Fantasia wine

For the frosting

1 1/2 cups cold heavy whipped cream

3 tablespoons of powdered sugar

1/4 cup La Fantasia wine

*If you want the frosting to be sweeter, you can add more sugar.

Directions

For the cake layers

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9 inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, and tap out the excess. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.

Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Working with a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment,beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for another 4 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, and then the yolk, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla; don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.

Bake for 28 to 30 minutes. When fully baked, the cakes will be golden and a thin knife inserted into the centers will come out clean. Transfer the cakes to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, unmold them, and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right-side up.

For the filling

Put sliced strawberries in a shallow container and pour the wine over it. Cover and let it rest in the fridge for about an hour.

For the frosting

Using both a chilled bowl and chilled beaters, beat the cream until frothy. Add the powdered sugar and wine gradually while beating.  Whip until the cream holds soft peaks.

*If you see the frosting gets too thin, don’t add more wine.

*If the frosting looks as if it might be a little too soft to spread over the cake, press a piece of plastic wrap against its surface and refrigerate it for 15 minutes. You can refrigerate the cake too.

To assemble

It’s very important that if the tops of the cake layers have crowned, you should use a serrated knife to even them. Place one layer right-sight up on a cake plate. Using a brush or a spoon, soak the layer with some La Fantasia wine. Spread some of the whipped  cream frosting and add some of the strawberry filling. Put the second cake layer on the counter and brush the top of it with some La Fantasia wine, then turn the layer over and position it, soaked side down, over the filling.  Frost all the cake with the remaining whipped cream. You can decorate the top with fresh strawberries or you can use the leftover filling. Refrigerate it for an hour and then serve.

Enjoy! 

If you would like to visit the winery, here is their website: http://www.castellodiamorosa.com/

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