May 30, 2011

napletonia

How did we decide that the term 'Neapolitan' should refer to something from Naples? By my calculations, Napletonian (almost an anagram) is much more fitting.

It seems like my best creations are often the ones I have the most trouble photographing.  Sigh.

Regardless of the origin of the word, nearly everyone knows that a bucket of Neapolitan ice cream is simply the combination of three classic and popular flavors--chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. I'd be willing to bet that in your family, there are several people who fight for the chocolate and some who do battle for vanilla, leaving one or possibly two to eat the strawberry. Yep, in my experience, it's the strawberry that gets left behind, gathering ice crystals. Agreed?

I think it's a great idea to package multiple flavors together, and I think chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry make a great team. If it works for ice cream, why not apply it to cake? I'm definitely not the first person to do this, but I took the idea and made my own adjustments. You should, too.


Moist cake, made more tender by the addition of some jam between the layers, and frosted with the most supreme of all frostings, swiss meringue buttercream stuffed with sweet, ripe strawberries. Happy Memorial Day indeed!

Napletonian Cake
One recipe of your favorite chocolate cake, halved (or you could just make two 9-inch rounds and freeze one)
One recipe of your favorite vanilla cake
strawberry jam
strawberry meringue buttercream (recipe follows)

Assembly is easy. Plop a layer of vanilla cake on your serving piece and slather on some strawberry jam. Plop the chocolate layer on top of that and slather on some more jam. Place the other vanilla cake layer on top of that, and then frost the sides and top with your luscious buttercream. Refrigerate for an hour or so to let things meld.

Strawberry Meringue Buttercream
(from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes)

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries (8 ounces), rinsed, hulled, and coarsely chopped
4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, cut into tablespoons, at room temperature

Puree strawberries in a food processor. Combine egg whites and sugar in the heatproof bowl of a standing electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).

Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, mix until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.

With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula and switch to the paddle attachment; continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Add strawberries and beat until combined. Stir with a flexible spatula until the frosting is smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

57 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a delightful looking cake! Layers of pure pleasure.

Cheers,

Rosa

Pam said...

You're right about the strawberry ice cream! Though, no ice cream stays in our house long enough to develop ice crystals.

~~louise~~ said...

I haven't had Neapolitan ice cream since I was a youngster. Every payday my father would bring a half gallon home. My mother got the vanilla, me chocolate and my sister strawberry. My dad didn't eat ice cream. (Maybe because he was Sicilian:)

I adore the thought of this cake, Grace. It looks pretty darn good from my angle and I have a feeling it tasted pretty darn good too!!!

Thanks for sharing...Enjoy your Memorial Day...

bellini said...

This cake wouyld certainly be a crowd pleaser Grace!!!!

livinlocal said...

Are you kidding me? Transforming the ice-cream considered a joke in the grocery store to a slice of perfect loveliness? Oh, you are dangerous!

shaz said...

Oh yum, Grace! I'm not much of a swiss meringue buttercream fan, but studded with strawberries you say? Yes please! And chocolate cake too. Oh my.

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

What an incredible looking cake! You've captured it perfectly. And what a smart idea to make a cake inspired by that Neopolitan icecream! Just fab

Cheryl said...

The first thing I thought when I saw this was HOLY SHIT! What a gorgeous cake, I have everything needed to make it. p.s. I love the Strawberry Ice Cream!

Julie said...

When I saw that first picture all I could think was "ooh" and "ahh"! Looks amazing!!

jose manuel said...

Que maravilla, fantastica te ha quedado, esta me la copio.. Saludos

Bridgett ~ La Bella Cook said...

I disagree, I think your photos turned out beautifully showing all the details of the cake and layers. Very lovely cake.

Carolyn Jung said...

Yum. Yum. And more YUM! Three brilliant flavors in one.

Gloria said...

amazing!!! I love this Grace!! the pictures amazing! LOL gloria

foodhoe said...

dang, I'll take a bowl of the frosting please!

scrambledhenfruit said...

Am I the only person in the world that likes the poor maligned neapolitan ice cream? Get a big scoop of all of the flavors and smoosh them up with a little bit of milk and you've got one of my favorite treats. This cake could quickly become one of my favorite treats too. I love all of the flavors combined. :) And that frosting? It looks soooo good!

Joanne said...

There is definitely is something truly fantastic about that neapolitan trilogy. (and yes - why neapolitan? weird.) this cake is gorgeous!

The Blonde Duck said...

You should open a bakery and invite me to taste-test!

Catherine said...

Lovely cake! The vanilla one was always neglected in our household... although I did enjoy mixing them all together!

Heather said...

It looks amazing! Thank you for the inspiration, and yes the strawberry is always left behind.

Faith said...

This cake would be a huge hit in my house! My husband goes crazy for strawberry frosting...and I'm a cake-lover. ;)

Lindsey said...

Taking photos of something that is both chocolate and vanilla is definitely not easy, and you did a great job!

Hungry Dog said...

Awesome idea. And even if you're not the first to think of it, you certainly did a fabulous job!

Lori said...

Napolitan- hate that ice cream when I was little. Never enough of the flavors I wanted. Now your cake looks like something that I would like every single layer!

Mimi said...

No one in my house would turn down this cake. BTW ths strawberry was left behind because it had such a fake strawberry flavor.
Mimi

lisa is cooking said...

I always wanted the strawberry! (Does that make me weird?) But, in cake form, I'd want all three flavors. Looks amazing.

Joshua said...

Once again beautiful pictures. Of course Neapolitan comes from it's Latin name Neaplolis (or Neopolis, it's too late at night for spelling)

It's also interesting that an ice cream modeled after the Italian flag (this Thursday Italy celebrates 150 years of unification) is namedfor the city that was least happy to join Italy back then.
But then enough history, I want to eat what's in your photo. Slowly

5 Star Foodie said...

Oh, this would have been a perfect dessert to make for my celebration of my family's 20th anniversary of coming to America. Because the first food I had in the United States was Neapolitan ice cream :)

Barbara said...

That is one divine cake, Grace! I'm odd, in that I'd eat one layer at a time.
But then, that's the way I ate Neapolitan ice cream too. Adore your idea of making it in cake form. Clever girl!

cookies and cups said...

what a fun cake!! I have the same trouble with photographing my faves...usually, in my case, because they all have giant spoonfuls missing...ahem

Lisa-Marie said...

I can't take photos of food at all. Mine all end up looking exactly the same. This looks tasty good, and I love the ice cream favours as cake!

Karly said...

Beautiful cake!

In my house my son and I would eat the chocolate and vanilla layers and my daughter would eat all three, which would leave my cake-hating husband asking where the ice cream was. :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Very nice! But I did think Neopolitan ice cream was Napoleon ice cream as I called it for years!

Juliana said...

When a child I used to love the Neapolitan ice cream...and you created in cake. Looks delicious...and the pictures sure reflects the beauty of your creation. Hope you are having a great week Grace :-)

Dame Noir said...

i'm so hungry right now.. looks yummmyyyy

The Teacher Cooks said...

This is absolutely mouth watering! I would love a piece right now! Nothing wrong with your photo either :)

Natalya (Deliciously Suite) said...

The strawberry buttercream made my heart flutter. Just a lil bit.

Dana said...

Gorgeous! I'd have a big slice, even if I had just eaten. I think the picture is great.

Maria said...

Your photos and recipes never fail to make my mouth water! What a delicious cake!

Pam said...

Neapolitan ice cream is my very favorite and I am the type that needs equal amounts of each flavor in my bowl. You have no idea how much this cake makes me drool. I know what I want for my b-day this year. YUM!

Hornsfan said...

Wow - this looks amazing, it's really difficult to be sitting at work (yup I'm goofing off) and know that there's nothing even remotely resembling that beautiful creating close by!

sweetlife said...

strawberry was always left alone when my parents bought home neapolitian ice cream, sinful creation,

sweetlife

Julie M. said...

Yo Grace. This cake is da bomb! Beautiful, beautiful my friend. I just have one question... did you save me a piece?

Rosita Vargas said...

exquisita receta querida gracia se ve estupendo soy una amante del chocolate,cariños y abrazos.

Chef in Training said...

this looks amazing! Oh my goodness! I am so happy I found your blog! I am your newest follower and would love it if you would come check out my blog and follow me too! Thank you!
-Nikki
http://chef-n-training.blogspot.com/

pigpigscorner said...

This brings back memories! Haven't had this flavour combo for the longest time!

vanillasugar said...

i adore using jam in the middle of cake. i never used to do it but now am hooked.
all i need with this cake is a nice scoop of ice cream. perfect.

Lisa {Authentic Suburban Gourmet } said...

What a classic cake! Love the layers of goodness. Enjoy your weekend. :)

pierre said...

tjis is divinely (maybe not the right word!!)moist
Pierre

Foodycat said...

What a brilliant cake! Hmmm, how can I combine this with your gorgeous zorse cake?

Lucie said...

To be honest, I always leave strawberry flavored ice cream / cake behind...but if you gave me a slice of this I can definitely promise it would be alllll eaten up :)

marla said...

This cake looks beyond amazing...wish I could dive in for breakfast and all my snacks today :)

Leslie said...

Lol. totally true, the strawberry always get shafted! Looks amazing Grace!

kimberleyblue said...

Great job on the neapolitan cake! I love cakes with jam in between the layers, and how the cake just soaks it up. And your frosting looks beautiful!

Jannett said...

Wow..what a outstanding looking cake... great job... ;o)

Kerstin said...

So creative - I love the idea of a Neapolitan cake! And especially like that strawberry buttercream - yum!

FramedCooks said...

Now that is what I think of as an "Event" cake - wow!! And gorgeous picture, as always. :)

Chef Fresco said...

Regardless, I think this is a most delicious looking photo!

Jammed jam?! Yes please!