Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place
rack in center of oven. Grease and flour two - 8 x 2 inches (20 x
5 cm) round cake pans.
Separate the eggs while they are still cold, placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another bowl. Cover
the two bowls with plastic wrap and allow the eggs to come to room temperature
before using (about 30 minutes).
In a mixing bowl
or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In bowl of your electric
mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar
and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the egg yolks and beat
until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl
and then beat in the vanilla extract.
mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three
additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between
the two cake pans, smoothing the tops with an offset spatula or back of a spoon.
Set aside while you make the meringue.
Meringue: In a clean bowl of your
electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy.
Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually
beat in the sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Beat in
the vanilla extract.
Divide the meringue
evenly between the two cake pans, gently smoothing the tops with an offset spatula.
Bake for approximately 25
minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out
clean. The meringue layers will have turned brown and will be crisp to
the touch but soft inside. Place the pans on a wire rack to
cool. When completely cooled, remove from pans.
Shortly before serving whip the
cream with the sugar until stiff peaks form. Cut the strawberries into bite
sized pieces and, if
necessary, add a little sugar to sweeten them. Place one of the cake
layers, meringue side up, on a serving platter. Spread the
whipping cream onto the cake and top with the strawberries. Gently
place the second cake layer, cake side down so the meringue layer is facing up,
onto the first layer. Dust with confectioners (powdered or
icing) sugar. If not eating immediately, cover and place in the refrigerator until serving time.
The assembled cake will hold in the refrigerator for a few hours.
Serves 8 - 10.
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