This light and delicate celebration cake is made with a type of vanilla sponge cake called hot milk cake. It has amazing texture and I absolutely love it! The cake gets soaked in champagne syrup and is layered with homemade strawberry jam and champagne mascarpone cream.
To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease a 9x13-inch and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper for easy release later on.
In a mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk eggs on high speed until combined and starting to foam, about 1 minute. Gradually add sugar and keep whisking until tripled in volume, about 6 minutes. Beat in vanilla.
Pour batter into prepared cake pan and smooth the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake springs back when slightly touched and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and invert the pan onto the rack to cool slightly.
To make the champagne syrup: Stir together the champagne and sugar in a saucepan and heat on medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
While the cake is still warm, poke lots of holes in the cake with a fork or toothpick. Brush with champagne syrup or pour the syrup over the cake slowly and gradually, allowing it to soak in. Use all the syrup and allow the cake to cool completely before layering on the jam and the champagne mascarpone cream.
To make the strawberry jam: Place strawberries, sugar, water, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Cook on medium heat until the mixture starts to boil. Reduce heat slightly and continue cooking for 5 minutes, or until the strawberries are soft. Then, puree using a blender or immersion blender. Return the jam to the pot and continue cooking on a low boil for another 7-9 minutes until the mixture thickens.** Stir often to prevent burning. Allow the jam to chill completely in the refrigerator before spreading on the cake.
To make the champagne mascarpone cream: Using a stand mixer fitted for the whisk attachment or with a handheld mixer, whip mascarpone cream until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the whipped cream and champagne and whip until soft peaks form. Then, add the powdered sugar and vanilla and whisk together on low-medium speed to combine. Don't overwhip or the cream will have a curdled appearance. You'll know it's ready when the cream looks light and fluffy with a spreadable consistency.
To assemble the cake: Once the cake is completely cool, spread the strawberry jam over the entire cake. Then, use a spoon or piping bag to evenly spread the champagne mascarpone cream on top. Garnish with fresh strawberries.
Keep cake in the fridge for up to 4 days.
*I love making homemade strawberry jam when strawberries are in season, but feel free to use store bought if you prefer. You can also make the homemade jam with frozen strawberries, you will just need to cook them a bit longer before pureeing so they can thaw and break down.
**To test the jam for doneness, place a small amount in a bowl and place in the fridge for a few minutes. This will allow you to see how thick the jam is once cooled. If it seems too thin, continue cooking for a few minutes.