This Strawberry Cream Cheese Cake is light and airy and a perfect sweet treat to start off strawberry season. Easy to make and incredibly delicious! Do you know this feeling when you eat cake and could eat up the whole baby? This cake is one of this kind.
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and lightly flour two 9x2 inch cake pans and set aside.
Separate six egg whites and egg yolks into two large mixing bowls. On medium speed, beat with a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment egg yolks with a 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and vanilla* until foamy for about 2 minutes. Add water and mix on low speed until creamy for about 1 minute. Then slowly stir in flour just until combined. Set aside.
Whisk the six egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup of granulated white sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form for about 3-4 minutes. Gently fold in egg whites into egg yolks. Separate and pour batter into the two prepared pans. Set aside.
Whisk two egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup of granulated white sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form for about 3-4 minutes. Add onto one cake layer evenly and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Bake for 20 minutes. Then let cool completely before filling.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Therefore, chop strawberries and set aside. Then beat cream cheese with mascarpone with a whisk attachment on medium speed for about 1-2 minutes. Reserve 1 tbsp of powdered sugar for the heavy cream, add the remaining powdered sugar and vanilla* into the filling. Set aside.
Whisk heavy cream on medium to high speed with the reserved 1 tbsp of powdered sugar until firm. Gently fold heavy cream with strawberries into cream cheese filling. Store in the refrigerator until cake is chilled.
Spread filling evenly on bottom cake layer and place the upper layer (with the meringue and hazelnuts) on top. Chill overnight and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.
*First, cut off the straight end of the vanilla bean. Then place the tip of your sharp knife below the curled end and cut the vanilla bean through the middle of the bean lengthwise. Although you don't need to cut it all the way through, it's ok when you do so. Then open the vanilla bean and scrape out the flavorful seeds with the back of your knife. Just use the seeds.