Easy Layer Cake with Custard & Strawberries

Easy Layer Cake with Custard & Strawberries

Yields: One 2 or 3 layer cake, depending on how thin your layers are
1 box of Betty Crocker French Vanilla 'Super Moist' Cake
Pirouette Rolled Wafers, in Chocolate and Vanilla (for decoration)
Preheat the oven to 350 F, 325 F if using a dark or nonstick pan. Prepare the batter according to the directions. Grease 2 or 3 8-inch round cake pans with butter or non-stick cooking spray. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and golden brown, about 25 - 30 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes before inverting. Let cool completely. Using a serrated knife, even the cake layers out to create cakes of even width, set aside.

For the custard:

1 small box of instant 'vanilla pudding'
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
Mix the package of pudding, milk and heavy cream together until it begins to thicken, about 5 - 7 minutes. Fold in the vanilla or scraped vanilla beans. Let refrigerator about 10 - 15 minutes.

For the frosting:

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Beat the whipping cream in a stand mixer until soft peaks form. Fold in the sugar and vanilla. Continue beating until peaks are stiff.

For the chocolate covered strawberries:

6 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 oz. white chocolate, chopped
10 large strawberries
Put chocolate in separate microwave safe bowls. One at a time, melt the chocolate in the microwave in intervals of 30 seconds, stirring each time. Heat and stir until smooth. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Hold the strawberries by the stems and dip each one into the semisweet chocolate, tapping any excess chocolate off. Place on baking sheet. Dip a fork into the white chocolate and drizzle over the dipped strawberries. Let set.

For the strawberry filling:

1 1/2 cups trimmed and sliced strawberries
1/8 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup water
1/2 tbsn. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tbsn. cornstarch

Easy Layer Cake with Custard & Strawberries

Mix everything besides 1 cup of strawberries in a medium pot over medium heat. Let simmer for 15 - 20 minutes until strawberries have broken down a little and mixture has thickened. Turn off heat and mix in remaining strawberries. Transfer to bowl and cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate until cool.

To assemble the cake, place one layer of cake on the surface you want your final cake to be on. To prevent a frosting mess, you can put pieces of parchment paper around the edges to 'catch' the excess frosting. Use the whipped cream to pipe a 'barrier' of frosting around the top edge of the cake. Spread half of the custard on the cake in the ring, then top with the stewed berries. Top with the next layer of cake and repeat until you have your last layer on. Spread the rest of the custard on the top of the cake. Frost the entire cake with the remaining whipped cream, covering the custard as well. Decorate the top of the cake with the chocolate covered strawberries and the sides of the cake with the straw cookies.

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