For the macerated strawberries:
- Strawberries – 1 1/2 pounds
- Granulated sugar – 2 tablespoons
For the cake:
- All-purpose flour, lightly spooned into measuring cup then leveled – 1 cup
- Baking powder – 1-1/2 teaspoon
- Kosher salt – 1/4 teaspoon
- Large eggs, separated at room temperature – 5
- Granulated sugar for the egg yolks – ¾ cup
- Whole milk – 1/3 cup
- Vanilla extract – 2 teaspoons
- Granulated sugar for the egg whites – ¼ cup
For the soaking liquid:
- Sweetened condensed milk – 1 14-oz. can
- Evaporated milk – 1 14-oz. can
- Heavy cream – 1/2 cup
- Vanilla bean paste – 2 teaspoons
- Kosher salt – Large pinch
- Heavy cream – 2-1/2 cups
- Vanilla extract – 1 ½ teaspoons
- Confectioners’ sugar – 5-6 tablespoons
Macerate the strawberries:
- Hull and slice each strawberry vertically. Place sliced strawberries in a large bowl.
- Pour sugar over the strawberries and mix with a spoon until sugar dissolves.
- Place in the refrigerator until the strawberries soften and you are ready to use them.
Bake the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and position a rack in the center of the oven.
- Spray the bottom and sides of two 8 inch pans with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper and spray the parchment paper with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Place an 8 inch spring form pan over a large rimmed platter and also set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Separate the yolks from the whites. Set the whites aside momentarily in a small bowl.
- To a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (you can use a hand mixer), beat the egg yolks with ¾ cup of sugar on medium/high speed until the yolks are thick, creamy, and pale – About 2 minutes or so. Lower the speed to medium.
- Add the milk and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined, about 1 more minute. Transfer the egg yolk mixture to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Clean and dry the whisk attachment and mixer bowl. Add the egg whites to the bowl and whisk the egg whites, over medium/high speed until it forms soft peaks, about 2-3 minutes.
- Increase the speed to high and add the ¼ cup of sugar in a stream. Whisk on high until the egg whites form firm peaks, about 1-2 more minutes.
- Add 1/3 of the flour mixture into the egg yolks and fold with a rubber spatula until combined. Gently fold 1/3 of the egg whites until no white streaks remain.
- Alternate between the flour mixture and the egg whites in two more batches until incorporated. Make sure no flour or egg white streaks remain, but don’t overbeat the mixture.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bang the pans on the counter a couple of times to even out the batter.
- Place in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes.
- Remove pans from the oven and allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 7 minutes. Invert the cakes onto a wire rack, remove the parchment paper, and allow to cool completely.
- Once the cakes are cooled, poke holes on the entire surface of the cakes with the tines of a fork. Don’t be shy about poking. Just when you think you can’t poke anymore holes, poke a few more. While the cakes cool, prepare the soaking liquid.
Prepare the soaking liquid:
- In a large bowl, combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream, vanilla bean paste, and kosher salt.
- Whisk vigorously until combined and pour into a 4-cup measuring cup. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Filling and topping:
- In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, pour about 1/3 of the heavy cream and mix over medium/high speed until thickened. Add another third of the heavy cream and also mix until thickened.
- Add the rest of the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Beat until thickened and forms medium peaks.
- Reduce the speed to low and add the confectioners’ sugar. Beat on low until combined then increase the speed to high and beat until firm peaks form.
- Remove the heavy cream from the mixer, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To assemble the cake:
- Place one of the poked cakes in the prepared springform pan. Slowly pour half of the soaking liquid, starting at the edges, pausing to allow the liquid to soak into the cake before adding more liquid. A turkey baster (a new one) works very well for this.
- Remove the macerated strawberries and filling from the refrigerator. Spread half of the whipped cream filling onto the soaked cake with an offset spatula. Place half the macerated strawberries on top of the filling, making sure to cover the surface of the cake.
- Place the second cake on top of the filling. Slowly pour the rest of the soaking liquid, once again starting at the edges and pausing to allow the liquid to soak into the cake before adding more liquid. Top the cake with rest of whipped cream filling and strawberries.
- Cover the cake loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the cake is well chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Remove the cake from the spring form pan. Slice and enjoy.
Recipe Source here