mardi gras king cake

king cake 1

We celebrated Shrove Tuesday with our Dutch Baby from Baked Occasions. Here in the U-S-of-A this day is called “Mardi Gras” – aka: Fat Tuesday and is celebrated by eating our faces off in preparation for Lent, or ya know, just because we can.

Down in Louisiana, and many other parts of the country, people celebrate with King Cake. Not to be confused with the French Galette de Rois, which celebrates a similar occasion but consists of almond-filled puff pastry.

Louisiana’s King Cake is generally filled with either cinnamon or cream cheese, then shaped into a ring or spiral, and topped with a simple glaze and colored sprinkles. Both cakes (the French and American versions) have a “feve” hidden within, whether in the form of a piece of fruit, nut, or a tiny figurine. I generally try to stay away from putting non-edible things in my food, though, because… nothing is safe when I’m in “eating” mode.

To call this a ‘cake’ is a bit of a misnomer, as it’s actually much more of a bread than a cake. What once began as a dry French bread filled with a sweet filling has since evolved into an enriched sweet dough, or even something akin to brioche in some areas. I adapted this recipe from King Arthur Flour, whose dough much more closely resembles one you might use for cinnamon rolls.

I struggled with what to use for filling, as they can vary from anything as simple as a cinnamon swirl to pastry cream or pie fillings. In the end, I ended up sticking with the more traditional cream cheese filling, with a nod to its French cousin, the galette de rois, by adding a bit of almond flavor. The result was absolutely divine.

This cake is best eaten the day its made. If you would like to make it in advance, I recommend freezing the cake once it cools and icing it after thawing. Roll more tightly than I did to avoid getting a bubble.

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king cake

Ingredients

    For the dough
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, white reserved
  • 3 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup nonfat powdered milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • For the filling
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose Flour
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • For the icing
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 to 2 teaspoons milk, enough to make a thick but pourable glaze

Instructions

    For the dough
  1. Combine warm milk, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of stand mixer. Let sit 5 minutes while yeeast blooms.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 3 cups of the flour (reserving 1/2 cup for later), powdered milk, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. Once the yeast mixture is foamy, add the eggs, melted butter, and flour mixture.
  4. Knead the ingredients with the dough hook until it forms a smooth, silky dough. Using your hands is not advised, as the dough can be very sticky and soft.
  5. Once the dough comes together, form it into a ball and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 hour until it becomes puffy.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface and roll or stretch the dough into a 24" x 8" rectangle.
  7. Cove the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest while you make the filling.
  8. For the filling:
  9. Quickly clean and dry the mixing bowl and beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and flour until smooth.
  10. Scrape down the bowl, add the extracts, and beat to combine.
  11. Pour the filling down the center of the long strip of dough. (If desired, select a nut, piece of chocolate, or dried fruit and press into the cream cheese to hide).
  12. Tightly fold the bottom half over the filling, then the top half, stretching to seal the edge. Gently lift (an extra set of hands is useful here) onto a parchment-lined half sheet pan and bend into a rough oval or circle shape, tucking one end into the other and pinching to seal.
  13. Cover the dough with your kitchen towel and let rise for about an hour, until slightly poofed. Preheat the oven to 350°F while the dough rises.
  14. Baking
  15. Whisk the reserved egg white with 1 tablespoon water, and brush it over the risen cake.
  16. Bake for 20 minutes, then tent it lightly with aluminum foil and continue baking for an additional 30 minutes until it's golden brown on the outside and baked through.
  17. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet about 15 minutes. Then, transfer the cake to a rack to finish cooling.
  18. For the icing:
  19. Once the cake has completely cooled, make the icing.
  20. Put powdered sugar into a small bowl or 2-cup measuring cup.
  21. Add vanilla and 2 tablespoons of the milk, beating to combine. Add remaining teaspoons of milk, a half teaspoon at a time, until the icing is thick but pourable.
  22. Pour the icing over the completely cooled cake. While it's still sticky, sprinkle with alternating bands of yellow, purple, and green sugars.
http://wee-eats.com/2016/02/09/mardi-gras-king-cake/

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

Baked, Occasionally – Kitchen Sink Dutch Baby

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2016 is a new year and a new collaboration with Shannon over at A Periodic Table. Last year, we spun our way through the Jeni’s books and this year we have something new in store. We will be baking our way through the Baked Occasions book month by month in our new series Baked, Occasionally. Each month we will select one recipe (the same recipe) from the book and bake it together word-for-word from the book. Then, we’ll compare our results and, if we see room for improvement, we’ll tweak the recipe and make it again until it’s just right!

This month’s recipe was the Kitchen Sink Dutch Baby.

Round 1 yielded tasty results, but we saw some room for improvement.

Pros: 

  • Very easy to make
  • Comes together quickly
  • Great for breakfast or dessert

Cons: 

  • Not much fluff
  • Not enough stuff
  • Flavor needs a boost

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Issue #1: WHERE’S THE FLUFF? 

My usual dutch baby recipe has lots of floof with peaks and valley and all sorts of poof. This one fell a bit, well, flat. I chalked this up to the fact that my pan was a bit larger than their recommended size (11.25″ vs the recommended 10″), but Shannon used a 10-inch skillet and still did not have the expected poof. That being said, even the pictures in their book were pretty flat.

We decided to try to remedy this by pouring the batter directly into a screaming-hot pan instead of letting the pan cool for 5 minutes. This corrected Shannon’s lack of floof but mine remained pretty flat. I think I would need an extra egg to reconcile the larger pan, and by the time we add an extra egg we need extra flour, etc, and we’d have a whole new recipe, which is not what we wanted here.

Issue #2: WHERE’S THE BEEF STUFF? 

Now, if I was naming this I probably would have called it a “banana dutch baby” because the term “kitchen sink” makes it sound like you throw in, ya know, “everything but the kitchen sink”. While you certainly could do this, their recipe calls for bananas, chocolate chips, and optional nuts. Nothing about this was very “kitchen sink-y” if you ask me, but nobody asked me.

However, Shannon and I both agreed that there should at least be enough banana to cover the majority of the bottom of the pan. We added one (or two) more bananas to fix this issue. Also, a “scant 1/4 cup” of chocolate chips isn’t basically how much I eat when I’m making a recipe that includes chocolate chips, so we we upped this from 1 1/2 ounces to easily 2 – 2.5 ounces. Think a very generous 1/4 cup scoop, maybe even closer to 1/3 cup.

Issue #3: Flavor enhancement.

While delicious, Shannon and I both had the feeling that it could use a little “oomph” – We resolved to throw a half teaspoon of cinnamon in for round two to take it a bit closer to that “banana bread” flavor, but not so much cinnamon that it would turn into a “cinnamon roll” type thing. We both loved the extra warmth it added to the dish.

Forever the tinkerers (and naturally heavy-handed with vanilla) we both really wanted to up the vanilla in this recipe. The batter on its own doesn’t have a whole lot going on and definitely benefited from the boost of an extra dash of vanilla.

Lastly, The recipe called for plain toasted nuts and I only had raw. Since I was going to have to give them a quick toast in the oven anyway, I let myself tinker a bit because plain nuts are boring and nobody likes boring nuts. Knowing they were heading for a breakfasty dutch baby, I added a healthy amount of maple syrup and nice dash of salt to them.

This caused issues only because it was hard to photograph the finished dish without eating all of the nuts… Oops? When I shared this modification with Shannon she jumped for joy and decided to make the same adjustment for round 2. You may want to make extras of these because they really are a delightful treat.

You can check out Shannon’s post right here!

Below you will find our round 2 recipe, which is the Baked recipe including our adjustments. If you’re interested in joining us for March, on the first Monday in March we will be posting the Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting. I hijacked this choice because March is my birthday month. And because chocolate and peanut butter. I mean, you know there’s no way we weren’t going to make that.

Feel free to bake along and share your results with us on our Instagram Accounts (hers & mine) or Facebook by tagging us!

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Baked Occasions Kitchen Sink Dutch Baby

Ingredients

    For the nuts
  • 2 cups assorted nuts (I used walnuts and pecans)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted) or other neutral oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup (enough to coat the nuts)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
  • For the dutch baby
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 to 3 ripe medium bananas, sliced 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (can use regular, if desired)
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 ounces chocolate chips (a generous 1/4 cup)
  • 2 Tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • maple syrup

Instructions

    Toast the nuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Toss the nuts with the oil, syrup, sugar, and salt.
  3. Spread in an even layer and toast for about 5-10 minutes, tossing halfway through.
  4. Remove and set aside to cool. (Can be made a day or two in advance)
  5. Make the dutch baby
  6. Preheat oven to 425F, place your 10-inch oven-proof skillet (I used cast iron) in the oven while it preheats.
  7. While oven is preheating, add the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract to a blender. Blend on high for about 45 seconds until foamy.
  8. Add the sugar, flours, salt, and cinnamon and blend mixture for another 30 seconds until frothy. Set aside.
  9. When oven is preheated, add the butter and allow to melt.
  10. Once the butter is completely melted, add the sliced bananas and stir to coat. Return to oven for a minute or two to soften and brown just ever so slightly on the bottom.
  11. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and pour the batter into the skillet, on top of the banana slices. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and return the pan to the oven.
  12. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes until the pancake is slightly puffed and browned on top.
http://wee-eats.com/2016/02/01/baked-occasionally-kitchen-sink-dutch-baby/

halloween candy cheesecake brownies

kit kat brownieIt’s about that time of year where our houses are filled with candy and we need to figure out what exactly to do with all of it. Well, fear not, I am here to help you out! A couple weeks ago I showed you how to turn our leftover candy into ice cream, last year we made a Halloween candy bark, and now, we take it one step further by shoving that delicious candy into brownies.

You’re welcome.

I found this original recipe in a “Kit Kat” version on Bakerella’s gorgeous blog, though I modified the technique a bit per this article on Epicurious. I did make some with Kit Kats, but also some with toffee and some with Oreos, too… You know, for science.

I think the Oreos were my favorite version, but all of them were surprisingly delicious. Feel free to wedge whatever candy your heart desires between your brownie and cream cheese layers, though I would personally stay away from the fruity stuff. That’s just weird.

kit kat brownie 4

halloween candy cheesecake brownies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 30 brownies (depending on cutting size)

Ingredients

    For the brownie layer:
  • 3/4 cup All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Candy of choice: Kit Kat bars (9 ounces, broken into individual sticks), Oreos (24 cookies), or whatever other candy/cookie your heart desires or any combination thereof
  • For the cheesecake layer:
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a 9 by 13-inch pan with foil and parchment; spray with baking spray or brush with butter.
  2. Make the brownie layer
  3. Stir flour, salt, and baking flour together in a small bowl; set aside.
  4. Melt the butter in a large bowl and set aside to cool slightly.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until the eggs are very pale yellow and reach the 'ribbon' stage.
  6. Whisk the cocoa powder into the butter until homogeneous. Then fold the egg mixture into the butter mixture until combined. Gently fold the flour-mixture into the egg-butter mixture until no flour streaks remain.
  7. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and press candy and/or cookies into the top of the brownie layer.
  8. Make the cheesecake layer
  9. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and salt with the whisk attachment until smooth.
  10. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Then add the vanilla extract and beat to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  11. Gradually add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  12. Once combined, pour the cheesecake batter over the brownie layer and spread with an offset spatula to ensure the entire top of the brownies are covered.
  13. Place pan into the oven and bake for 50 - 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The top will turn a golden brown, if it begins to brown too much you can cover the top with aluminum foil for the final 15 minutes or so of baking.
  14. Remove from oven and cool in their pan on a wire rack before cutting. *I find that all brownies cut much cleaner after they hang out in the fridge for a few hours.
  15. Store leftover brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

*I find that all brownies cut much cleaner after they hang out in the fridge for a few hours.

*Store leftover brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

*Kit Kats, Reeses, Oreos, and pretty much any other candy bar you can think of are great for these brownies - feel free to experiment to your heart's content!

http://wee-eats.com/2015/10/15/halloween-candy-cheesecake-brownies/

[ Recipe adapted from Bakerella ]

pavlova with whipped cream and strawberries

wee eats strawberry pavlova

After making October’s candy custard, I was left with an abundance of unused egg whites. Of course I could have done a few things with them… egg white omelets, macarons or meringues… but I decided to try something I’d never had before: Pavlovas.

Pavlovas may seem intimidating at first, but are actually quite simple to make. If you can whip egg whites, then you can make a pavlova. You simply whip egg whites to a stiff peak with a bit of sugar and a dash of vanilla, spread it into several small or one large round on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and pop it in the oven to bake away!

As with all egg white recipes, it is imperative that your bowl and beaters are free of any fat or debris prior to whipping, or your egg whites will not reach their light and fluffy potential. We help the egg whites along in this recipe with a touch of cream of tartar and a smidge of corn starch. Start slow at first, until the egg whites become foamy, then turn it up to medium to start adding some real volume to the eggs. To achieve the magical “crispy on the outside while soft of the inside” texture, you will want to beat the eggs to soft peaks before adding your sugar. We then put them in a very low-temperature oven to just slightly “bake” the exterior of the pavlovas while keeping the inside nice and chewy.

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Once baked, allow your pavlovas to cool for a few hours in the oven. Once cooled, your pavlovas will emerge with a crisp, exterior shell surrounding a chewy, marshmallowy interior. Once topped with freshly-whipped cream and fruit, the dessert becomes almost ethereal. Because the pavlova and berries are already sweet, I just very slightly sweeten the whipped cream so it still provides a touch of contrast between the layers. If you like, you may add more sugar than what is called for. If you don’t have powdered sugar, regular granulated sugar is fine, too.

These are a great candidate for dinner parties and gatherings not only because they look absolutely gorgeous, but their super easy to throw together, they can they be made ahead of time, and can even become an interactive dessert if you let your guests choose their own toppings.

wee eats strawberry pavlova 2

pavlova with whipped cream and strawberries

Ingredients

    For the pavlova
  • 5 large egg whites (about 165 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the berries
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, depending on preference
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • For the whipped cream
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

    Make pavlova shells
  1. Place oven racks in top and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat oven to 200F degrees and line two half-sheet baking pans with parchment.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and corn starch.
  3. Using beaters or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-low speed until they become foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue mixing, increasing the speed to medium-high until the egg whites become thick and white, reaching the soft-peak stage. At this point, if you were to scoop some of the egg whites out with a spatula they would still flow off of the spatula. Any "peaks" You make would fall over and not keep their point.
  4. Slowly add 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar mixture and continue beating until incorporated. Add remaining sugar in a slow stream and add the vanilla extract. Continue beating until the egg whites thicken and reach stiff peaks. At this point, if you were to scoop some egg whites out with a spatula, the egg whites would stay on the spatula and hold their shape and any peaks would stay pointy.
  5. Mound the egg white mixture into 8 equal-sized rounds, 4 on each baking sheet, leaving about 4 inches in between each mound.
  6. Spread out slightly, making a slight indent in the center of each for the toppings to "sit" in, and leaving about 1 to 2 inches between each. They will stay in whatever shape they are in when you put them in the oven, so don't expect the mixture to spread or settle much (though it may slightly poof a bit).
  7. Bake pavlovas for 1 1/2 hours, rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time. The meringues should have smooth, dry, slightly shiny exteriors. Turn off the oven and allow the pavlova to cool in the oven for a hour or two, then remove to finish cooling on the counter. You can leave them in the oven to cool completely, but I usually need my oven back by then.
  8. This can be done up to 2 days ahead of time (they technically last longer, but they aren't as good as time goes on).
  9. For the fruit
  10. Mix the sliced berries with sugar and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (can be done up to 1 day ahead of time).
  11. For the whipped cream
  12. Beat cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer until the cream thickens and the beaters start to leave a trail in the cream. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue beating until the cream this thick and almost doubled in volume, until it reaches a soft-peak stage.
  13. Refrigerate until ready to use. This can be made up to one day ahead of time, but is better to make the day of.
  14. Assemble pavlova:
  15. Pavlovas should be assembled right before eating. If the toppings hang out for too long on top of the meringue shell, it will ruin the structure of the pavlova.
  16. Right before serving, top meringues with whipped cream and berries (or any other toppings your heart desires).

Notes

Make sure your bowl and beater(s) are free of any fat/residue prior to whipping your egg whites!

Need help telling if your eggs have reached the proper consistency? Click Here! or check out this video

Feel free to get creative with toppings - mixing some cocoa, coffee, or berry into the whipped cream would be a great place to start. A drizzle of chocolate sauce or caramel wouldn't be a bad idea on, either!

http://wee-eats.com/2015/10/12/pavlova-with-whipped-cream-and-strawberries/

wee hacks her wedding cake – white cake with berries and whipped cream frosting

wed cake 2 1117It’s official! Mr. Eats and I have officially survived our first year of marriage and, as far as I can tell, neither of us has murdered the other yet! Go us! In fact, I could even say that I like him more now than ever, but don’t tell him that. I don’t want him to get a big ego.

wedding

They say that the tradition for your first year anniversary is “Paper.” I did try to think of something cool and romantic that was made of paper, but most of the stuff on the internet was like “Pay $50 for something you can draw with a marker!” so then I saw that the modern equivalent is “Clocks” How they went from paper to clocks, I have no idea. I found a really cool clock online, but apparently it doesn’t exist yet so I could hardly buy him that. So then my brain went where it usually goes after I spend too much time thinking about something… to cake!

On account of the special occasion, I decided that I would try to re-create our wedding cake. We were married in sunny San Diego and picked up a regular 10-inch “Frasier” cake from one of their local bakeries. Their cake has layers of pillowy white cake, bathed in kirsch and filled with layers of raspberry buttercream, whipped cream, and berries. Then topped with more whipped cream and fresh berries and a coating of shaved white chocolate. It’s truly a beautiful cake.

cake 6984

As you can see my cake is not nearly as ornate as theirs… I’m not that skilled with frosting, in fact I am remarkably UN-skilled in the area of cake-frosting. Once I completed frosting the cake with whipped cream I debated whether the bakery may actually cheat and have a layer of whipped buttercream on the outside… but by then it was too late. And I couldn’t drive back to San Diego to find out, so I just ran with it.

The result was actually very tasty (though notably less pretty). I think I may need to invest in one of those spinny thingies to make cake-frosting much easier. If I’m going to keep at this whole “cake-making” thing I should probably also get one of these guys too, as my layers were, uh, less than even. That would be the kind way to say it.

wed cake 1120

But, as luck would have it, You can cover up a lot of those mistakes with frosting (or whipped cream, in my case). Is your cake too thin on one side? Just add some extra frosting between those layers to even it out. Nobody will be any the wiser. Also, and this is very important, if you ensure that you position your cake just-so while photographing, nobody will ever know that it slopes slightly upward to one side. Suckers!

For the cake, I used the Whiteout Cake from the Baked cookbook. For the frosting I used a raspberry buttercream and a whipped cream. Then I filled the cake with chopped strawberries and raspberries. I did not use kirsch when making this because I didn’t have any. I was going to substitute some chambord liquer but then I forgot, which happens sometimes when it’s 9:00 pm and you’re still assembling your cake. It’s ok. Next time I will plan ahead and order some online.frasier cake 1129

This is another long recipe, but like everything else I do it can be broken up into separate parts. You could make the cake as far in advance as you like, just slice, soak with kirsch, wrap, and freeze until needed. You can make the whipped cream an hour or a day ahead of time, depending on how you feel. Chop up the berries a day ahead too, if you feel so inclined. Save making the raspberry buttercream until just before you need it, though.

Oh, and those cake toppers? They’re still married and living the dream, too.

cake toppers

wee hacks her wedding cake

Ingredients

    For the Cake Layers:
  • 2½ cups of cake flour
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1½ cups ice cold water
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • For the whipped cream frosting
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For the raspberry buttercream
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup raspberry puree (from about 1 pint of raspberries)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • For assembly
  • Kirsch* (optional - can substitute anything from another liquer to apple juice or simple syrup)
  • About 1 cup of chopped fresh berries (I used strawberries and raspberries)
  • 8 whole berries (raspberry or strawberry)

Instructions

  1. Make the Cake
  2. Preheat the over the 325 degrees F and prepare three 8-inch round cake pans with parchment and butter. Dust with flour, knocking out the excess flour. (or use "Pam for Baking" spray with flour in it)
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening on medium speed until creamy, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Reduce speed to low and add the sugar and vanilla, increase speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes more.
  6. Scrape down the bowl, add the whole egg, beating until just combined.
  7. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture, alternating with the ice water, in three separate additions, (1/3 flour- 1/2 water-1/3 flour-1/2 water-1/3 flour). Scrape down the bowl, then mix on low speed for a few more seconds to ensure everything is combined.
  8. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar with a hand mixer until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat.
  9. Stir about 1/4 of the egg whites into the cake batter. Gently fold the remaining egg whites into the batter, being careful not to overmix.
  10. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes** SEE NOTES **, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  11. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, and let cool completely.
  12. Make the whipped cream (Can be made ahead of time)
  13. Place bowl and whisk in refrigerator to cool.
  14. In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of whipping cream with 1/4 cup powdered sugar and heat over medium heat stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and almost reaches a boil.
  15. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl; set aside to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. (I put mine in the fridge and stirred it every five minutes or so for about 20 minutes. I am bad at planning ahead.)
  16. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the remaining heavy cream on medium-high speed until it begins to thicken and the beaters leave a trail in the cream. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.
  17. Slowly add the powdered-sugar/cream mixture and beat again until incorporated.
  18. Taste and adjust as needed, adding up to an additional 1/4 cup of powdered sugar until the frosting is as sweet as you want it.
  19. Make the raspberry buttercream
  20. Puree the raspberries and push the juice and pulp through a sieve into a small bowl; set aside.
  21. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine butter and salt and beat at medium speed until pale and creamy.
  22. Add powdered sugar and continue beating until the mixture almost doubles in size and is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  23. Turn mixer to low and stream in 1/4 cup of the raspberry puree. Return mixer to medium speed and beat just a few moments longer to fully incorporate the raspberry puree.
  24. Assemble the cake.
  25. Before assembling the cake ensure your cake layers are completely cooled. I made mine into a 3-layer cake, which means I had an extra whole 8-inch cake and an extra cake layer from the cakes I baked. My extra cake parts were wrapped in saran and foil and placed into the freezer for a future cake.
  26. Wash and roughly chop the berries that you have chosen to fill your cake with, set aside.
  27. Your raspberry buttercream should be freshly made and your whipped cream frosting should be cool.
  28. Place the first cake layer cut-side up and brush with kirsch (if using). Spread 1/3 of the raspberry buttercream over the top of the layer and place in the refrigerator to firm up the buttercream.
  29. Repeat this with the additional 2 layers. Use the bottom of one of your cakes for the top layer of the tiered cake, frosting the un-cut side to ensure you have a nice flat top for your cake.
  30. After about 10 or 15 minutes, remove the cake layers from the refrigerator.
  31. Place the bottom layer of your cake on your serving platter with the buttercream side up. Top with a generous helping of whipped cream, spreading to the edges. Sprinkle with half of your chopped fruit and top with second layer of cake. Repeat the steps with the second layer of cake.
  32. Top with the last layer of cake and spread with whipped cream frosting. Spread the frosting over the sides of the cake as well for full coverage. Top with whole berries and set in refrigerator to firm up and let flavors mingle.

Notes

* My cakes took closer to 30-35 minutes to bake completely.

*I only own 2 8-inch rounds (and only need two for the cake) so I poured the remaining batter into a 9-inch round cake pan and baked it once the 8-inch cakes finished baking. You could also make the remaining batter into cupcakes or anything else your heart desires.

*I made mine into a 3-layer cake, which means I had an extra whole 8-inch cake and an extra cake layer from the cakes I baked. So I could have doubled my filling ingredients and made two 3-tier 8-inch cakes, added an extra tier to my current cake, or any number of things. My extra cake parts were wrapped in saran and foil and placed into the freezer for a future cake.

*I did not use kirsch when making this because I didn't have any. I was going to substitute some chambord liquer but then I forgot.

*If your frosting skills are about as good as mine, feel free to throw some shaved white chocolate or sprinkled onto the side of your cake to hide your awesome, uh, skills...

http://wee-eats.com/2015/09/14/wee-hacks-her-wedding-cake-white-cake-with-berries-and-whipped-cream-frosting/

[Cake recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking]

[Whipped cream recipe adapted from Food52]