When in Doubt…Leave it at 350

baking, cooking, and other adventures

Happy Birthday March 28, 2009

100_2059I made this cake for my friend, KW, this past week.  I thought I wasn’t going to finish it in time, but I put the final decorations on it 1 hour before she even picked it up.  It is a yellow buttermilk cake (Dorie Greenspan’s recipe) filled with White Chocolate Mousse (Florilège Gourmand ) and fresh raspberries, and iced with my go to Vanilla Italian Buttercream recipe (CIA).  I also made 3 fondant roses to decorate the cake with.  As you can see I was trying to make dots on the cake, but the icing was alittle soft and it ended up looking like spikes which I thought looked cool.  So I left it that way.  I haven’t heard the verdict from KW yet, but I had some left over filling and cake and I thought it was perfect.  If you eat the white chocolate mousse by itself it can be a little much, but together with the cake and fresh raspberries it was perfect.

100_2057Yellow Buttermilk Cake

Source: Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, page 258

2 cups cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 sticks (10 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Butter two 9 x 2 inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment or wax paper.

Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the buttom on medium speed until soft and creamy.  Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes.  Add the eggs one by one, and then the yolk, beating for 1 minutes after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla; don’t be concered if the mixture looks curdled.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter.  Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 28 minutes, rotating the pans at the midway point.  When fulling baked, the cakes with be golden and springy to the touch and a thin kinfe inserted into the cernters will come out clean.  Transfer the cakes to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, the unmold, remove the paper, and invert to cool to room temperature right side up on a rack.

Dark Chocolate Mousse

Source: Flore of Florilège Gourmand

2.5 sheets gelatin or 5g / 1 + 1/4 tsp powdered gelatin
1.5 oz (3 Tbsp / 40g) granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp (10g) glucose or thick corn syrup
0.5 oz (15g) water
50g egg yolks (about 3 medium)
6.2 oz (175g) white chocolate coarsely chopped
1.5 cups (350g) heavy cream (35% fat content)

1. Soften the gelatin in cold water. (If using powdered gelatin, follow the directions on the package.)
2. Make a Pate a Bombe: Beat the egg yolks until very light in colour (approximately 5 minutes until almost white).
2a. Cook the sugar, glucose syrup and water on medium heat for approximately 3 minutes (if you have a candy thermometer, the mixture should reach 244°F (118°C). If you do not have a candy thermometer, test the sugar temperature by dipping the tip of a knife into the syrup then into a bowl of ice water, if it forms a soft ball in the water then you have reached the correct temperature.
2b. Add the sugar syrup to the beaten yolks carefully by pouring it into the mixture in a thin stream while continuing to beat the yolks. You can do this by hand but it’s easier to do this with an electric mixer.
2c. Continue beating until cool (approximately 5 minutes). The batter should become thick and foamy.
3. In a double boiler or equivalent, heat 2 tablespoons (30g) of cream to boiling. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.
4. Whip the remainder of the cream until stiff.
5. Pour the melted chocolate over the softened gelatin, mixing well. Let the gelatin and chocolate cool slightly and then stir in ½ cup (100g) of WHIPPED cream to temper. Add the Pate a Bombe.
6. Add in the rest of the WHIPPED cream (220g) mixing gently with a spatula.

Italian Buttercream

Source: Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft by The Culinary Institute of America

Makes 3 lb 4 oz/1.47 kg

1 lb/454 g Sugar

4 fl oz/120 mL Water

8 oz/227 g Egg Whites

2 lb/907 g Unsalted Butter, cut into medium chunks, soft

1 tbsp/15 mL Vanilla Extract

Combine 12 oz/340 g of the sugar with the water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Continue cooking, without stirring, to the soft ball stage (240°F/116°C).

Meanwhile, place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the wire whip attachment.

when the sugar syrup has reached approximately 230°F/110°C, whip the egg whites on medium speed until frothy.  Gradually add the remaining 4 oz/113 g sugar and beat the meringue to medium peaks.

When the sugar syrup reaches 240°F/116°C, add it to the meringue in a slow, steady stream while whipping on medium speed.  Whip on high speed until the meringue had cooled to room temperature.

Add the soft butter gradually, mixing until fully incorporated after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Blend in the vanilla.  The buttercream is ready to use or may be tightly covered and stored under refrigeration.


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