Monday 6 April 2015

Frostbitten Raspberry Cake

Easter has come! I can consume sugar once more!

Maybe not in such intense proportions as just prior to Lent, but I can certainly have a slice of this baby:

I figured to get my sugar kick this Easter I should make a bit of an effort, so went for a recipe I spotted on Pinterest, found here. Mine sure isn't as pretty, but it is the first time I've ever used marscapone and the first time I ever made a white chocolate buttercream AND the first time I've made a "Russian Sponge", something which is nearly meringue in texture by first appearance as there is no fat in it at all - no butter, no yolks, nothin'.

The whole thing is a bit of a faff, something you'll see if you look at the recipe, and I was too busy checking the recipe to take photos at the same time (as I usually use a tablet device to take them, the same tablet that had the recipe on it) so it's just the finished item that you get to see. Poor you.

I did improvise somewhat:

  • I baked two layers rather than three and just slicing one in half to make three layers. It seemed to work well enough for us. 
  • I boiled off the booze in the liquer syrup (had to use cherry brandy rather than raspberry liquer) so that social services wouldn't come round and ask why I was drugging my 2 year old.
  • I used lemon juice rather than water in the raspberry compote, because that's what I do with raspberry coulis
  • I added even more fresh raspberries than the recipe requested, because there was room to do so and I had them
  • I didn't use gelatin in the mascarpone filling
  • I didn't manage to pipe much of the mascarpone filling as mine was too stiff - I burst the ziplock piping bag and ended up using a variety of kitchen utensils to get the darned stuff on the cake. 

Also, the decorations...
"Is that...rosemary...on the cake?!!" my husband asked.

"Yes," I answered, trying to sound like I knew what I was doing. I mean, technically it is edible. "You do get rosemary in cakes, you know," I said, bluffing. Thankfully, my son had my back.

"Yes, you do!" he nodded as he scarfed down his slice.

"Um...ok..." was all my husband could say.

So yeah, maybe leave it off if you make this.

Oh, and when I asked him to look at my creation in the fridge, he said "um, did you know a bunch of them fell off the side?"

"They are artfully placed there, I'll have you know" I answered. Hmph. 

When I had it on Easter day I wasn't too crazy about it, as it was fridge cold and hard to slice. But today I had another sampling at a more pleasant springtime room temperature, and it was much improved. Nice and light and real refreshing. 

If you do make this, wait for a special occasion. As you can see, there are a LOT of directions: 

Frostbitten Raspberry Cake
Author: Julia Frey of Vikalinka
For the Cake
Eggs, room temperature 5 large
Sugar 1 cup
Vanilla 2 tsp.
Flour 1 cup
For the Syrup (for soaking the sponge layers)
Raspberry liqueur ¼ cup
Simple syrup 1/4 cup
For the Mascarpone Cream
Mascarpone 250 gr/ 1 cup
Whipping Cream 250 ml/ 1 cup
Icing Sugar ¼ cup
Vanilla 2 tsp.
For the Raspberry Compote
Raspberries, fresh or frozen (I used frozen)1½ cups
Sugar ½ cup
Lemon juice 2 tbsp.
Fresh Raspberries 1 cup
For the White Chocolate Buttercream
White Chocolate, chopped (not chocolate chips) 5 oz/150 gr
Whipping/Double Cream ¼ cup
Unsalted Butter, softened 4 tbsp.
For decoration
Rosemary sprig1
Raspberries ¼ cup
Icing sugar for dusting
For the Cake
1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
2. Grease 3 8" cake pans and line them with parchment paper. (Russian sponge is very delicate so it's important to
use parchment paper for easy removal.)
3. Crack 5 eggs at room temperature to a bowl of a stand mixer and add sugar and vanilla, beat at high speed for 5
minutes until the mixture is pale and triples in volume.
4. Fold in flour through a sifter in 56 additions blending it in gently after each addition. Your goal is to keep the
volume of the egg mixture so be very careful in this step of the process.
5. Divide your cake batter among 3 pans and bake for 2530 minutes until cake tester or tooth pick comes out
clean and the cakes have risen to the top of the pan. (I baked 2 layers and then 1 later).
6. Cool for 10 minutes and then run a knife around the edges of your pans to release the cakes and flip them over
on a wire rack to cool completely.
7. (After your cakes have cooled you can individually wrap them in plastic wrap for later use. You can bake you
sponge layers a day ahead.)

For Raspberry Compote
1. Combine 1½ cups of raspberries and sugar with water in a small saucepan and cook on low heat until thick and
mixture coats the back of a spoon. It will take about 15 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and process in a food processor or a blender until smooth.
3. Push through a fine sieve to get rid of the seeds.
4. Combine the compote with fresh raspberries and set aside.
For the Mascarpone Cream

1. Combine mascarpone, whipping cream, sugar and vanilla 
2. Whip until you can pipe it. 

For the Syrup
1. Combine raspberry liqueur with simple syrup (water and sugar mixed in equal parts).
2. Drizzle over the cake layers. (Russian sponge really benefits from being drizzled with a flavoured syrup since
there is no fat mixed into the batter and it can taste on the dry side without the syrup.)
How to assemble the cake
1. Load your mascarpone cream in a large piping bag with a plain round tip.
2. Pipe a border around the first drizzled with syrup layer, it will keep your raspberry compote from leaking out of
the sides.
3. Fill with half of your raspberry compote. ( It won't cover the entire layer, the berries will be spread sparsely.)
4. Then pipe in the mascarpone cream in the empty spaces and smooth it out with a spatula. You shouldn't have
any gaps.
5. Top with another layer and repeat the process.
6. Finish with the third layer.
For the White Chocolate Buttercream
1. Heat ¼ cream in a saucepan until it just simmers but not boiling.
2. Take off the heat and pour over chopped white chocolate in a medium sized bowl.
3. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and then stir until chocolate is melted into the cream.
4. Cool for 10 minutes and then start whipping in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer. (Hand mixer works better
here because of the small amount).
5. Mix for 10 minutes until light and fluffy, then start adding softened butter by a tablespoon, mix well until entirely
incorporated into the frosting after each addition. (You will have enough frosting for a thin layer around the cake.
If you like more frosting on your cake simply double the recipe but it will make a very sweet cake.)
6. Spread ½ of the buttercream over the cake and let it chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
7. Coat your chilled cake with the other half of the frosting and decorate with rosemary and raspberries.

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