Saturday, July 31, 2010

French Vanilla Cake with Raspberry Filling

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It's been a really hectic past couple of days in my kitchen, hence the lack of recipe posts lately. However I will be posting an explosion of recipes within the next couple of days, if not weeks to make up for it! For one, my sister and her family are driving in from Virginia and staying the week, so I've got some great meals planned during their visit. But before that, I've been working on a special baby shower cake for my friends Suzanne and Josh. They're expecting their first child, a baby girl, which they'll name Lily Grace. Suzanne and Josh had a baby shower today and I made their shower cake for the celebration. I was left to decide what flavor to make and chose a French Vanilla Cake with Raspberry Filling. It was a three tiered cake that was a hit with her friends and family that attended the shower, with enough leftover to share with their grandmother who couldn't attend...

In deciding on a cake flavor to make, I wanted to do something that everyone would enjoy. That being said, vanilla is a popular choice. To kick it up a notch, I made a French Vanilla cake which I thought had more flavor that the usual vanilla, white or yellow cake. The cake had a tender crumb that was perfect - not too dry, not too moist... just right. For the filling, I took a hint from Suzanne when she mentioned Josh was a fan of raspberries. I made a raspberry filling that was delicious and allowed me to take advantage of the fresh raspberries in season too. The cake was covered with a traditional buttercream frosting. For the decor, I used their shower invitation as inspiration and mimicked the alphabet theme onto the cake. The alphabet letters were made by making a homemade marshmallow fondant and using small alphabet cookie cutters especially made to use with fondant. I colored the fondant with color gels to get the right color to go with the invitation and cake toppers. The cake toppers were the only inedible part of the cake and were chosen by Josh. This cake definitely was a hit at the party and compliments were given all around. If you're looking for a show stopper cake, this is one I'd definitely recommend.


French Vanilla Cake with Raspberry Filling
cake recipe from Vanilla Garlic

Cake:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups of sugar or vanilla sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 egg yolks, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup of cream
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your cake pans by greasing & flouring them; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on high until soft for 30 seconds then add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy. Continue to add eggs and egg yolks one at a time, beating for 30 seconds between each.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

Measure out milk, cream and vanilla extract in 2 cup measuring cup. Cut open the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds and add them to the milk mixture.

Add the flour mixture to the stand mixer bowl, then the milk mixture; alternating between the two and ending with the flour. Mix throughly.

Pour the batter into your prepared pans and divide evenly between the 2. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Raspberry Filling
recipe from Good Things Catered

2 pint containers of fresh raspberries (or frozen fresh)
1 3/4 cup water, divided
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons cornstarch


In a small bowl, place 1/2 cup of fresh raspberries and set aside (if using frozen berries, skip this step).

In a large saucepan, place the remaining raspberries along with 1 1/4 cup of water, sugar and lemon juice. Bring it to a boil and allow to cook, stirring the berries occasionally. They'll eventually break down in about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the berry mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Place the mixture back into the saucepan over medium low heat.

In a small bowl, prepare a slurry by combining the remaining 1/2 cup of water and the vanilla with the cornstarch. Pour this slurry into the saucepan with the strained raspberry mixture. Mix well over medium low heat until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.


Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
recipe from Gale Gand

3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream
In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.

To assemble:
Split each cake in half crosswise. Place a dollop of buttercream frosting on the center of your serving platter and top with one cake half. (This keeps the cake in place and prevents it from sliding.) Pipe buttercream frosting on the edge of the cake. Fill the center of the cake with the raspberry filling and then top with the other cake half. Frost the entire cake lightly for the 'crumb coat' which seals everything in. It doesn't have to be perfect and crumbs are completely fine, as the cake will be frosting a second time for a final finish. After the crumb coat, frost again liberally as desired. Repeat with the other cake. Decorate the cake as you wish.


Rhonda's Ultimate Marshmallow Fondant
recipe from Cake Central

15 oz. mini marshmallows
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
2 teaspoons light corn syrup (helps w/ pliability)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
2 lbs (approx 7 cups) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/2 cup Crisco or vegetable shortening

Grease microwave proof bowl w/ Crisco. Also grease wooden or heat proof spoon. Pour marshmallows and water into bowl. Microwave for approximately 2 minutes stopping and stirring at 40 second intervals. Mixture should be soupy.

Take out of microwave and immediately add corn syrup, lemon juice, salt and extracts. Stir well. Sift confectioner’s sugar into mixture, one cup at a time. After approximately 5 cups, grease your hands well with Crisco and knead the mixture in the bowl. Add the sixth cup and continue to knead. Now grease your work surface well and turn mixture out of bowl onto counter. Sift remaining sugar, regrease hands, and knead well. If mixture seems soft, add one additional cup of powdered sugar.

Shape into a mound and put a coating of crisco on outside. Double wrap in cling wrap and insert into ziplock bag. Press air out of bag and seal. Allow to rest overnight, but, can be used after sitting for a few hours.


6 comments:

Memória said...

*APPLAUSE* Wow. The cake looks wonderful!! You did a fantastic job.

Shaymk said...

This is such a cute and very creative cake. I love the toppers. =)

Jen M said...

Adorable!

cake recipe said...

That cake is simply amazing, looks like a professional's doing, :)
I love baking, too, but I think it'll take some time before I can pull off something like this. You did a really good job. Now I can't wait to get my hands on fondant icing, :)

Joy said...

Great cake!

Ambika said...

Aww!!! Look at your cakes...gorgeous!!!!

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