Happy Birthday to me, again. Again, I pick a vanilla cake with jam and buttercream. Last year, I made Dorie Greenspans Perfect Party Cake. This year, I made a Raspberry Ripple Cake. I found it on Nikki’s blog Cookies Cakes and Bakes. The actual recipe was on another blog, but it was in metric units and there were some typos, so rather than link you to it, I have recreated it below as I made it.
My daughter asked me why I was making my own birthday cake. I told her because I like making cakes. I think my cakes are better than any I would buy in a bakery. And I am always looking for an excuse to make one.
I started by measuring out all the ingredients. Since I was converting from metric, I needed my scale and computer to help me. The one ingredient I was clueless about was caster sugar. It is a very fine sugar used to make cakes and frostings, among other things. I found one bag of it at a specialty kitchen store. Since I did not have enough, I saved the caster sugar for the frosting and used superfine sugar for the cake.
The recipe has you creaming the sugar and butter and then adding in the eggs and sifted flour mix. The flour stayed lumpy even when mixed in my Kitchen Aid mixer. And adding in the milk / cream mixture thinned out the batter, but only a little. So not only was the batter lumpy, but it was thick. An odd thing.
Then separately I whisked egg whites and sugar until it formed stiff peaks. This was folded into the cake batter, gently. The batter loosened a little. Then I portioned out the batter into 3 greased and lined 8″ cake pans. I kept weighing the filled pans to make sure the weights were the same. Then, as I was moving the third pan back to the counter, I dropped it. Face down onto the kitchen floor. I was surprised that most of the batter stayed in the pan, sticking to the bottom. I did lose some to the floor, and I also had to clean off the edge of the cake pan, but it was still ok, so I baked it.
I put all three cake pans on the same shelf in the oven, but I rotated them a few times to make sure they got evenly colored. They were done when the cakes pulled away from their pans.
As the cakes were cooling, I made the buttercream. I have made buttercream before, but never this way. First, I put the caster sugar and water into the pan on the stove and heated it until it got to 240 degrees Fahrenheit.
Then I started the whisking egg whites in my Kitchen Aid mixer. When the sugar mixture got to 248 degrees Fahrenheit, I removed the pan from the stove and brought it over to the mixer where I poured it into the egg whites. Then I let the mixer run until the bowl cooled down to room temperature. This took about 15 minutes.
The final part to the frosting was splitting it into two bowls and adding melted white chocolate to one bowl and red raspberry jam to the other bowl. Each of these I blended thoroughly.
Next, I put 3 wax paper strips around the edges of my cake plate, so that I could easily remove them and any frosting drippings from the plate. Then I started layering the cake with the white chocolate frosting.
Finally, the entire cake was covered with the raspberry frosting. I added a little of the white chocolate frosting to the center top of the cake. I added pink and orange colored sparkling sugar to the top to make it sparkle.
This is a really beautiful, very feminine (pink!) cake. Cut, the cake is picture perfect. Three pretty layers with white frosting between and pink frosting around.
A sweet cake with a firm crumb and rich frosting. One of my best party cakes. If you have something special to celebrate, try celebrating with this cake. Yum, yum!
Raspberry Ripple Cake (Recipe adapted from The Boy Who Bakes by Edd Kimberly)
Serves 10-12 people
3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups superfine sugar (or you can use caster sugar)
6 eggs, separated
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
¾ cups whole milk (I used 2/3 cup non-fat and ¼ cup minus 1 tbsp heavy cream)
½ cup seedless red raspberry jam (more if you want to add it to the cake layers)
¾ cup white chocolate, melted
1 cup caster sugar (or you can use superfine sugar)
4 large egg whites
3 sticks plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
To make the cake:
Grease and line the bottom of three 8” cake tins. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farhenheit.
Whisk the butter and 1 ½ cups of the superfine sugar together for at least 5-7 minutes in a stand mixer until extremely pale, ﬂuffy and all the sugar has dissolved into the butter.
In the meantime, sift the ﬂour, baking powder, and salt together twice in a medium bowl.
Into the butter/sugar mixture, beat in the vanilla plus 3 of the egg yolks plus half of the ﬂour mixture until just blended. Repeat with the remaining egg yolks and ﬂour, pouring the milk into the batter, and mixing the ingredients until the flour just disappears.
In a separate bowl, whisk the 6 eggs whites until they form soft peaks, then whisk in the remaining of sugar very gradually until stiff glossy peaks form. Fold this gently into the cake batter, then gently divide the mixture between the cake pans equally.
Bake for approx 30-35 minutes on the middle rack in the oven, until the cakes are pale golden brown and pull away from the edge of their pans. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from their pans to ﬁnish cooling on racks.
To make the frosting:
Put the caster sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan with 2/3 cup of water and using a candy thermometer, bring it to a boil. When the temperature reaches 240 degrees F, start whisking the egg whites on medium-high speed.
When the temperature reaches 248 degrees F, (it will be bubbling and caramel brown), remove the pan from the heat and very, very carefully pour the sugar mixture onto the egg whites, continuing to whisk at high speed. (Avoid the whisk or the sugar will solidify on it). Continue whisking on high speed until the bowl had cooled to room temperature. This could take up to 15 minutes.
Turn the mixer down to low-medium speed and spoon in the butter a spoon at a time until it is incorporated. Don’t worry if it somewhat deﬂates, just turn the speed up one more time and whisk until thick again.
Divide the frosting between two bowls – mix the melted chocolate into one and half the jam into the other.
To assemble the cake:
Place three strips of wax paper around the edge of a cake plate. Place the first layer on top of the paper. Spread with half the white chocolate buttercream, and then if you have additional red raspberry jam, you can spread that on top of the buttercream.
Place the second layer on top and repeat, ﬁnishing with the third layer. (Keep a little of the white chocolate buttercream to use to swirl into the ﬁnished cake design if you like).
Use the jam buttercream and an icing spatula to completely cover the cake. The buttercream can be smoothed or left swirly, depending on your preference. And if you have left over jam and white chocolate buttercream, you can use those to decorate. Finally, sprinkle on pink sparkling sugar to decorate the top.
Store the cake in the refrigerator and take it out 30 minutes before serving.