Balsamic Strawberry Sponge Cake

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If there was only one kind of cake for summer, I would immediately say it out very loudly – sponge cake with lots of strawberries and loads of whipped cream. 

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We all love sponge cake for its simplicity. You can easily whip it up in a rush using simple ingredients. And while it’s perfectly delicious to go with fresh berries and whipped cream, I wanted to add a little something to make the cake even more amazing.

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Instead of just piling fresh strawberries on top of the cake, I soaked the strawberries in balsamic vinegar. The balsamic vinegar brings out the berries’ beautiful color and truly enhances their flavor. These balsamic strawberries are great to go with butter pounds cake, vanilla ice cream or simply by themselves.

Ingredients (8-inch cake):
Sponge Cake
3 eggs, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cool slightly
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons milk
Balsamic Strawberries
2 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Topping
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Fresh basil leaves or mint leaves

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk eggs and sugar on high speed for 5 minutes, until light and triple in volume. Stir in the melted butter.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture on low speed, and mix until just incorporated.
Add lemon juice, zest and milk. Stir until batter is smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Run a pairing knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Peel off the parchment paper circles. Let cool completely.
While cake is baking, prepare the strawberries. Place them in a bowl and toss with sugar and balsamic vinegar. Cover the bowl and let stand for 30 minutes until the strawberries release the juice.
Prick holes in the cooled cake with a toothpick and spoon juice over the top of the cake.
Beat whipping cream with powdered sugar until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
Spread the whipped cream on top of the cake, then piled strawberries on top and decorate with basil or mint leaves. Drizzle more juice on top.

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