2 cups fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups plus 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Salt, to taste
1/2 cup vegetable oil
6 eggs, separated
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
1 2/3 tablespoons lemon zest, divided
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
8 ounces Wisconsin mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds
In small bowl, combine strawberries and 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar. Chill.
In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and add oil, egg yolks, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup water and 2 teaspoons lemon zest; beat until batter is smooth. In medium bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat until whites stand in stiff beaks. Gradually add egg whites to cake batter, folding gently only until blended.
Pour batter into ungreased pan. Bake at 375° F about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Invert pan and let cake cool completely in pan, about 2 hours.
In small saucepan, combine the remaining 1 cup sugar, the remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup cold water, the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon zest and gelatin. Over medium-high heat, cook 3 to 5 minutes, until gelatin dissolves, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Cool mixture in an ice-water bath, stirring constantly about 5 to 8 minutes, or until mixture is consistency of corn syrup. Set aside.
Remove cake from pan. To hollow out a three-sides tunnel in cake, use a large serrated knife to cut off the top 1 inch of cake. Set top aside. Cut and remove center of cake so a 1 inch base and 1 inch inner and outer wall of cake remain. Save inside of cake for another use.
In small bowl, beat together Mascarpone and almond extract. Fold Mascarpone into lemon mixture, beating until well combined. Spoon lemon-almond spread into hollow cake tunnel. Replace top of cake. Chill cake and remaining Mascarpone mixture 4 hours. Serve each cake slice topped with a dollop of lemon-almond Mascarpone, strawberry sauce and a sprinkle of almonds.
Note: A ready made angel food cake may be substituted for chiffon cake.