White Chocolate Raspberry Cake

“Happy Anniversary” White Chocolate Raspberry Cake

I made this cake for my friend Jill’s parent’s 40th Wedding Anniversary. The cake is a tender white cake flavored with almond and vanilla, paired with homemade raspberry filling and white chocolate buttercream frosting. I love the combination of white chocolate and raspberry. Raspberries are in season right now so I always love to use what’s in season. I like to buy fresh raspberries when they are on sale, then I wash and dry them and  lay them out on a sheet pan in the freezer; after they have frozen solid, then I repack them up for another trip to the freezer in ziplock freezer bags.  Even if you buy frozen fruit remember; buy when that fruit is at the peak of season, and you know you are getting the best quality.  For the recipe below I have made it easy for everyone and you can buy a 12 oz. bag of frozen raspberries.

The cake recipe is from King Arthur Flour company www.kingarthurflour.com  and I was dying to try out the recipe as they have a new cake flour blend and the recipe is actually on the back of the box. Thier flours are very high quality and this new cake flour blend  is my new favorite of cake flours; it’s a bit pricey, but it is worth the extra money.  It is made without any chemicals and unbleached, and I seriously think it’s one of the best white cake recipes I’ve had; it’s very moist and tender just like the name implies. And believe me, I’ve tried quite a few of white cake recipes in my day.

“Tender White Cake”  {recipe from King Arthur Flour}

Yield: 2  layer cake with (8 or 9 inch rounds), one  9 x 13 pan, or 20-24 cupcakes.

Note: If you are making a party cake like I did; I double the recipe (so I can fill and have a 2 layer cake) and make 2 of the 9 x 13. A 9 x 13 will feed 15-21 people nicely.

Ingredients:

2 3/4  C  King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour Blend

1 2/3  C  Sugar; superfine is best – {See my tip below}*

1 Tablespoon baking powder

3/4 tsp.  salt

3/4 C unsalted butter; softened to room temp

4 large egg whites plus 1 whole egg

1 C full-fat vanilla yogurt OR 1 C whole milk {I used whole milk and it came out divine}

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. almond extract

* Suzie tip: Don’t buy superfine sugar in the store; they jack up the price and all you need to do is put good old regular white sugar in your food processor and whiz it for a few seconds with the metal blade to turn it into superfine. I buy sugar in huge quantities;  [shocking, I know] to save money 🙂  and what I do is have 2 separate containers for my sugar; one labeled “superfine” and when I have a chance I just whiz some  in the food processor and pour it into my container.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 ° F

Mix all of the dry ingredients for 2 minutes on slow speed, to blend and aerate the flour. This is actually part of the back of the box instructions but telling you; [DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!] this is my own personal two cents here. This helps ensure a loftier cake. Add the soft butter and mix into a paste; (my two cents again;  it will actually look more like wet sand). Add the egg whites, then the whole egg, beating after each addition to begin building the structure of the cake. Scrap down the sides and bottom of the bowl periodically.

In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt (or milk), with the vanilla and almond extracts. Add that mixture, 1/3 at a time, to the egg mixture. Bet 1-2 minutes after each addition, until fluffy, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl. Pour batter into greased and floured or parchment-lined pans (two 8″ or 9″ round, one 9″ x 13″, or 20 to 24 cupcakes).

Bake the cake(s) in a preheated 350º F oven for 25-30 minutes or (see below) time tips from King Arthur.

For 8-9 inch pans ~ 25-30  minutes

For 9 x 13 inch pan ~ 23-26 minutes

For cupcakes ~ 20 minutes.

The cake I did was a 9 x 13 and mine took 29 minutes; so there ya go; but everyone’s oven is different.

Raspberry Filling: This recipe is a bit time-consuming; but it’s worth the effort. {Note; this is not only a filling but great on scones, blended into ice cream for a milk shake, spread on pancakes, Hell→ straight out of the bowl} 🙂  I’m just sayin’…

I will sometimes double or triple this recipe because it  freezes very nicely; so it saves you time when the urge strikes you to make a cake!

1 bag of frozen unsweetened raspberries (12 oz.) {thawed for 30 minutes}

1/4  C water

1/3 C Sugar

1/4 C  orange juice

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

3 Tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 Tablespoons cold water to make a “slurry”

Directions:

In  a 3 quart pot; place the entire bag of raspberries; including any juice that has collected in the bag;  heat the raspberries, water, sugar, orange juice and cinnamon until mixture has boiled and berries  have broken down to where they do not look whole anymore. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and push  and press the mixture with a spatula several times through the strainer to encourage the puree to collect on  the underside of the strainer ; and  with the spatula scrape the puree that  clings to the underside and let fall/collect in the bowl. Keep doing this until you can no longer collect any puree from the underside of the strainer and it looks like all you have left are raspberry seeds. Discard seeds. Pour your collected mass of puree/juices back into the pot and add your slurry of cornstarch and water. Bring the mixture back to a boil; whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until mixture is cool. Before I place the mixture in the fridge…

* Suzie tip: I like to taste the mixture and see if it is sweet enough; If it’s not quite sweet enough for your taste; at this point I add a Tablespoon of light corn syrup or more if you need to adjust the sweetness and mix with a spoon. Let the mixture cool completely before attempting to fill the cake.

White Chocolate Buttercream

Ingredients:

2 sticks unsalted butter

3 C  confectioners sugar

pinch of salt

4 oz. white chocolate (melted & cooled)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

4 Tablespoons  half and half

Directions:

In a medium bowl; sift the sugar and add in the pinch of salt to mix. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment;  beat the butter and confectioners sugar until very fluffy; start slow so the sugar does not go flying. Stop the mixer to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as you go. Add in the vanilla and mix. Add in the chocolate that has been cooled; make sure it is totally cooled before adding. Beat the mixture on high for about 3 minutes.

Madeira simple syrup:

In a small saucepan boil 1/2 C water and 1/2 C water until the sugar dissolves. Add in one Tablespoon of Madeira. If you don’t have Madeira; don’t sweat it. Matter of fact you can skip this step all together. It’s a cheffy thing; we like to brush our cakes with simple syrup.

Cake assembly:

Let the cakes cool completely. I shave off a very thin layer of the tops of the cakes to create a nice flat surface. Brush each layer with the Madeira syrup.

Pipe a ring of buttercream damn around the perimeter of one cake layer; this will ensure the filling does not seep out. I use a piping bag with a large round tip but if you don’t have one; simply use a large ziplock bag; fill your bag with the buttercream and cut a corner off of the bag so you can “pipe” your ring of buttercream damn. Fill in with the raspberry filling and level off the filling so that it is flat. Place the next cake layer on top and brush with syrup. Cover the top and sides with the buttercream.

Enjoy

Happy Baking!

Suzie



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