1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 stick (8 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Then, whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Pour the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
- To assemble the cake: place one cake layer on a cake platter and poke it with a fork. Brush some of the simple syrup and spread a layer of Nutella (you can be as generous as you want). Then, arrange the prepared strawberries in a single layer overlapping each other. Cover this layer with the whipped cream frosting over the top. Poke some holes on the second cake layer, brush it with the simple syrup and cover your cake base. Frost the top and sides of the assembled cake. Smooth it and proceed to decorate as desired. Refrigerate and enjoy!
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Source: Cake layers - recipe courtesy of "Baking from My home to yours" by Dorie Greenspan.