One thing I love about my Husband is how his family celebrates their Italian heritage. My Husband’s Dad’s side of the family is Italian while his Mom is Irish. Oddly enough, my Mom is also Irish. People always think they are sisters in public, and they joke that one day they will go to Ireland and find out about their family histories. My Dad’s side of the family is from the Czech Republic. As fun as these nationalities are, there’s nothing like an Italian family! If you were at our wedding then you probably remember the Tarantella, THE Italian dance where I painstakingly tried to jump with each wedding guest for what seemed like an eternity in high heels. It was a blast, but we were so exhausted afterwards that we vowed to never make any other couple do the dance at their wedding. They not only take pride in their music, but also their food.
My Husband’s family still has relatives in Italy who own vineyards and hotels. You can rest assured that my jaw dropped to the floor when I found out, but it was quickly picked up when I found out there had been no contact with them in five years. If there was ever a time for a come to Jesus meeting… I digress. So when I found out that I was hosting Easter dinner this year, I had some choices to make. In the past, we have had wine, fish stew, and spaghetti in addition to a few traditional American dishes for the holidays. For this meal, I wanted it to be more of a traditional American meal with some Italian touches incorporated here and there. Hence the distinct Mediterranean flavor of rosemary for the pork and potatoes. For dessert, I decided on a Lemon Blueberry Mascarpone Cake. I first tried it at Coco’s Italian Market in Nashville and it has become one of my favorite, local desserts. Naturally, I wanted to find a way to replicate that same taste at home.
Lemon Blueberry Mascarpone Cake
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 1 hr, 5 minutes
Start by mixing together the crumb topping ingredients. This will make a sugary and crunchy topping for the cake. When crumbles form, set topping aside.
- 1/2 c flour
- 1/3 c sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp butter (melted)
Now it’s time to grease two, 9″ pans and pre-heat the oven to 350 º.
Using a small bowl, combine the following:
- 2 c flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
In a large mixing bowl, combine:
- 1 stick of butter (heated for 30 secs.)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 c sugar
- 3 eggs (at room temperature)
- 1/4 c lemon juice
Gradually mix these ingredients together, adding the eggs one at a time so that clumps don’t form in the batter. Combine the mixture from the small bowl into the mixing bowl.
Slowly mix in:
- 3/4 c sour cream at room temperature (3/4 c of plain yogurt and 1 tsp of baking soda is a healthy alternative, but it will dry out your cake a tad. It will still be good, just not quite as moist.)
It should look something like this…
Next, divide the batter into the two cake pans and divide 1 1/2 c of mixed berries (any variety of fresh or frozen) on top of both cakes. Now you’re ready to select the top layer of the cake and garnish it with the crumb topping you made in the very beginning. I will call this the “Before” photo. haha
Now you’re ready to put these babies in the oven for 35 minutes or until they pass the toothpick test. I know you’re tired, but you’re not quite done. You’ve got to make that mascarpone layer that will make you want to slap your Mamma. Trust me, this cake is worth all of the dirty dishes in the sink afterwards. Washing dishes burns calories, right?!
In a mixing bowl, beat together:
- 12 oz. Mascarpone cheese (more than likely you need 2 containers)
- 1/4 c half and half
- 4 tbsp powdered sugar
Once the cakes are done, let them cool completely.
If I’m in a hurry, I put them in freezer for 20 minutes or so. When they are cooled, use a knife around the edges of the cake to help you dish out the bottom layer on the stand you plan to use for this glorious creation. Spread the mascarpone layer on top, about 1/2 inch thick. The top layer is going to be tricky with all of the crumbs on top. Let me tell you what I did. Again, use a knife around the edges to loosen the cake. Next, I placed a clean plate upside down on top of the cake. Then, I slowly turned the cake upside down to help guide it out of the pan. Once the cake came out, I placed one hand on the bottom of the cake and one on the plate and turned it right side up to bring the cake and crumbs safely on top of the other layers. I’m proud to report that I didn’t lose many crumbs in the process. 🙂
For MORE scrumptious cakes, check out my Pinterest board of cakes that I love. You won’t regret it!
What are your favorite Spring time desserts? What ingredients do YOU like to bake with this time of year? As always, if you try my recipe, send me pics and comments. I want to hear from you!