How to make it

  • # reheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • # Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high-sides.
  • # Bring 3/4 cup of half and half to simmer in small saucepan. Remove from heat.
  • Add chocolate and 2 teaspoons vanilla and stir until smooth; cool to room temperature.
  • # Finely grind 1/2 cup pistachios with 1-1/4 cups flour and baking powder in processor.
  • # Using electric mixer, beat butter and 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Add yolks 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • # Beat in flour mixture alternately with white chocolate mixture in 2 additions each.
  • # Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form.
  • Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into batter in 2 additions.
  • # Divide batter between prepared pans and bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
  • # Cool 10 minutes
  • . Cut around pan sides to loosen cakes. Turn out cakes onto racks; cool completely.
  • # Hull and slice 2 baskets strawberries.
  • # Place 1 cake layer on platter.
  • Spread 1 cup buttercream (recipe below) over. Arrange enough berry slices over to cover.
  • # Spread 1 cup buttercream over. Arrange another layer of sliced berries over to cover.
  • # Spread thin layer of buttercream over second cake layer and place cake, buttercream side down, atop berries. Press gently to adhere.
  • # Spread remaining buttercream over top and sides of cake.
  • Chill cake until buttercream is firm, about 1 hour.
  • # Knead marzipan in medium bowl to soften. Shape marzipan into disk.
  • # Dust work surface with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar. Roll out marzipan disk on powdered sugar to 9 1/2-round.
  • # Place on cake; press to adhere to top and gently press overhang onto sides of cake.
  • # Beat whipping cream and remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar in large bowl to firm peaks.
  • Transfer to large pastry bag fitted with medium star tip. Pipe cream in side-by-side columns up sides of cake.
  • Pipe border of rosettes around top edge of cake.
  • # Refrigerate cake until cold, at least 2 hours.
  • # Arrange remaining whole strawberries in center of cake.

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