White Chocolate and Raspberry Nostalgia Cake

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves:

    16

    cake lovers or 32 smaller eaters

Appears in

The decign for this cake was inspired by an old-fashioned bedspread. It has an embroidered quality that is easy, though time-consuming, to accomplish. Because it is so unmistakably a feminine cake, I think it is ideal for Mother’s Day. Pristine white rolled fondant encases tender, velvety white chocolate cake layers, filled with tart, silky smooth raspberry buttercream.

Start preparing at least 3 days up to 4 days ahead
Preheat the oven to: 350°F. Baking time: 40 to 45 minutes

*Available at cake-decorating supply stores such as Maid of Scandinavia (800-328-6722) and The Chocolate Gallery (212-675-2253).

FINISHED HEIGHT: inches

STORE: In a cool dry place; do not refrigerate.
INGREDIENTS MEASURE WEIGHT
room temperature volume ounces/pounds grams
Rolled Fondant (double the ingredients and make 2 batches)
lemon juice, freshly squeezed 2 tablespoons
water 1 tablespoon
powdered gelatin 1 tablespoon 0.35 ounce 10 grams
corn syrup ½ liquid cup 5.75 ounces 164 grams
glycerine* 1 tablespoon 18 grams
solid vegetable shortening 2 tablespoons 0.75 ounce 24 grams
powdered sugar 8 cups (lightly spooned into the cup) 2 pounds 920 grams
White Chocolate Cake
white chocolate, preferably Lindt’s Confectionery Bar, coarsely chopped 3⅓ 3-ounce bars 10 ounces 284 grams
8 large egg whites 1 liquid cup 8.5 ounces 240 grams
milk, divided 1⅓ liquid cups
pure vanilla extract teaspoons
sifted cake flour 5 cups (sifted into the cup and leveled off) 17.5 ounces 500 grams
superfine sugar 2 cups 14 ounces 400 grams
baking powder 2 tablespoons + ½ teaspoon 1 ounce 32 grams
salt teaspoons 8 grams
unsalted butter (must be softened) 15 tablespoons 7.5 ounces 212 grams
Raspberry Neoclassic Buttercream Raspberry Purée
raspberries, frozen with no sugar added 1 12-ounce bag 12 ounces 340 grams
lemon juice, freshly squeezed 1 teaspoon
sugar cup 2.33 ounces 66 grams

*Available in cake-decorating supply stores such as Maid of Scandinavia (800-328-6722) and The Chocolate Gallery (212-675-2253).

INGREDIENTS MEASURE WEIGHT
room temperature volume ounces/pounds grams
BUTTERCREAM
6 large egg yolks fluid ounces 4 ounces 112 grams
sugar ¾ cup 5.25 ounces 150 grams
corn syrup ½ liquid cup 5.75 ounces 164 grams
unsalted butter 2 cups 1 pound 454 grams
OPTIONAL: raspberry liqueur 2 tablespoons
red liquid food color 4 to 6 drops
Forget-me-nots
reserved Rolled Fondant
violet paste food color*
blue liquid food color
30 silver dragées*
Royal Icing
meringue powder 2 tablespoons 0.5 ounce 16 grams
water ¾ liquid cup
powdered sugar 2⅔ cups (lightly spooned into the cup) 10.5 ounces 300 grams
moss green paste food color*
red and yellow liquid food color

*Available at cake-decorating supply stores such as Maid of Scandinavia (800-328-6722) and The Chocolate Gallery (212-675-2253).

2 large egg whites (¼ liquid cup 2 ounces/60 grams) can be used in place of the meringue powder and water.

Prepare the fondant, the cake and the raspberry purée 2 days before decorating.
Make the buttercream, assemble the cake and cover it with fondant and make the forget-me-nots 1 day before decorating.

Method

Rolled Fondant (Make 2 Batches)

In a 2-cup glass measuring cup, combine the lemon juice and water. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top of the mixture and let the gelatin soften for at least 3 minutes. Place the measuring cup in a small saucepan of simmering water and stir the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes or until the gelatin is completely dissolved. (This can also be done in a few seconds in a microwave on high power.) Stir in the corn syrup and glycerine, then add the shortening and stir until almost completely melted. Remove from the heat.

Place the powdered sugar in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the gelatin mixture and stir with a lightly greased wooden spoon until blended. Mix with lightly greased hands and then knead vigorously in the bowl until most of the sugar is incorporated.

Turn out onto a lightly greased smooth surface such as Formica or marble and knead until smooth and satiny. If the fondant seems dry, add several drops of water and knead well. If it seems too sticky, knead in more powdered sugar. The fondant will resemble a smooth, well-shaped stone. When dropped, it should spread very slightly but retain its shape. It should be malleable like clay, soft but not sticky.

Wrap each batch of fondant tightly with plastic wrap (preferably Saran brand) and place in an airtight container. It will firm slightly on standing.

White Chocolate Cake

Position one rack in the top third and another in the bottom third of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a double boiler, melt the white chocolate over hot, not simmering, water, stirring frequently. (The water in the bottom container should not touch the upper container.) Remove the upper container and allow the chocolate to cool until tepid.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg whites, cup of the milk and the vanilla.

In a large mixing bowl, preferably with the spade beater of a heavy-duty mixer, combine the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and the remaining 1 cup of milk. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (high speed if using a hand-held mixer) and beat for 1½ minutes to aerate and develop the cake’s structure. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the egg white mixture in three batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides. Add the melted chocolate and beat to incorporate.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with a spatula. (The pans will be about half full.) Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. Halfway through the baking, switch the position of the cake layers for even baking. The cakes should start to shrink from the sides of the pans only after removal from the oven.

Let the cakes cool in the pans on racks for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a small metal spatula and invert onto greased wire racks. To prevent splitting reinvert onto greased wire racks so that the tops are up and cool completely before wrapping airtight in plastic wrap.

Raspberry Purée

In a strainer suspended over a deep bowl, thaw the raspberries completely. This will take several hours. (To speed thawing, place in an oven with a pilot light.) Press the berries to force out all the juice. There should be a scant ½ cup.

In a saucepan, boil the juice until it is reduced to 2 tablespoons. (Or reduce the juice in a microwave on high power.) Pour the syrup into a lightly oiled heatproof cup.

*If using a microwave, place the juice in a 4-cup heatproof glass measure or bowl to allow for bubbling.

Purée the raspberries and strain them through a food mill fitted with the fine disc. Or use a fine strainer to remove all the seeds. You should have a scant ½ liquid cup of purée. Stir in the raspberry syrup and lemon juice. You should have 9 tablespoons (4.5 fluid ounces). Add the sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

If you have less than 9 tablespoons raspberry purée, decrease the sugar, using teaspoons for each tablespoon of purée.

Raspberry Neoclassic Buttercream

Have ready a greased 1-cup heatproof glass measure near the range.

In a medium bowl, beat the yolks with the whisk beater of an electric mixer until light in color.

Combine the sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan (preferably with a nonstick lining) and heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a rolling boil. The entire surface will be covered with large bubbles. (If using a stand mixer, you can heat the sugar syrup while the yolks are beating.) Immediately transfer the syrup to the glass measure to stop the cooking.

If using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the syrup into the yolks in a steady stream. Don’t allow any syrup to fall on the beaters or they will spin it onto the sides of the bowl. If using a stand mixer, pour a small amount of syrup over the yolks with the mixer turned off. Then immediately beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Stop the mixer and add a larger amount of syrup. Beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Continue with the remaining syrup. For the last addition, use a rubber scraper to remove the syrup clinging to the glass measure. Continue beating until cool. Be sure the mixture is completely cool before adding the butter because if the butter starts to melt, the buttercream will no longer firm correctly.

Gradually beat in the butter and ½ cup of the raspberry purée. (Any remaining purée may be frozen for several months and used for another purpose, such as a sauce.) Beat in the optional raspberry liqueur and the red food coloring.

Assembling the Cake

Unwrap the cake layers and remove the parchment paper from the bottom ot the layers. If necessary, using a long serrated knife, trim the tops of the cake layers so that they are level. Slice each cake horizontally into 2 layers of equal thickness, making 4 layers. Using a metal cake spatula, spread a small amount of buttercream in the center of the 10-inch cardboard cake round and set the bottom layer of one of the cakes on top. Spread cups of the buttercream over the layer. Place the second cake layer on top of the filling. Spread cups of the buttercream over the layer. Place the third cake layer on top of the filling. Spread cups of the buttercream over the layer. Top with the fourth cake layer, and press the layer gently into place.

Using a serrated knife, trim the top edge of the cake slightly. This will prevent the sharp edge of the cake from piercing the rolled fondant.

Cover the top and sides of the cake with a very thin layer of the remaining buttercream. Finish the top of the cake by holding the metal cake spatula at a slight angle and with several strokes, smooth the raised rim of buttercream around the edge toward the center of the cake until the top is completely smooth. Refrigerate the cake for 20 minutes while you prepare the rolled fondant.

Unwrap the two packages of fondant. Reserve one quarter of one of the two batches of fondant for making the forget-me-not flowers. Wrap the reserved fondant in a paper towel that has been rubbed with enough shortening to coat it well and then in plastic. Knead the remaining 2 pieces of fondant together into a ball. Continue to knead the fondant until it is malleable enough to roll. Form the fondant into a flat disc.

Spray a rolling pin and a clean, smooth work surface with nonstick vegetable spray. Roll the fondant into an 18-inch by ¼-inch circle, lifting up and rotating the fondant every two or three rolls to ensure that it is not sticking. If necessary, respray the work surface. Work quickly to keep the fondant from drying. If it takes more than 3 or 4 minutes to roll out, cover the fondant with a sheet of plastic wrap to keep it from drying.

Remove the cake from the refrigerator. Slip your fists palm side down under the circle of fondant, being careful not to stretch or tear it. Lift the fondant onto the cake, covering it as evenly as possible. Using the palm of your hand, quickly smooth the top with a circular motion, starting from the center, to eliminate air bubbles. (Bubbles can be pierced with a needle and smoothed out if necessary.) Smooth the fondant gently against the sides, working from the top down with a semicircular motion using both hands. The oil from your hands will give it a lustrous glow. With a pizza cutter or sharp knife, trim the bottom edge of the cake to remove the excess fondant. Form the trimmings into a ball and wrap them in plastic.

Transfer the cake to a serving plate. Roll about cup of the reserve fondant trimmings into two 16-inch coils that are about ½ inch thick. Wrap the coils around the base of the cake and pinch the ends together with your fingers. Let the cake stand overnight at room temperature in a cool, dry place.

Forget-me-nots

Unwrap the fondant reserved for the forget-me-nots, and place it on a fresf piece of plastic wrap. Using the tip of a toothpick, place a small amouni of the violet paste food color on the fondant. Squeeze a small amount ol the blue liquid food color onto the fondant. Using the plastic wrap as a shield to prevent your fingers from getting stained by the food color, knead the color into the fondant. Add more paste or liquid color if necessary to make the fondant a violet-blue color.

Lightly spray a clean, smooth work surface with nonstick vegetable spray. Roll the piece of colored fondant into a 7-inch by 8-inch rectangle, 1/16 inch thick. Using the ½-inch five-petaled gum paste cutter, cut out 30 flowers (Fig. 1).

Using the pointed tip of a chopstick or a knitting needle, widen the flower petals by lightly pressing the center of each petal (Fig. 2).

One at a time, place a flower on the piece of soft foam. Using the rounded end of a chopstick, crochet needle, or a cotton swab, press gently into the center of each flower, forcing the petals to curve upward (Fig. 3). Press a silver dragée into the center of each flower. Let the forget-me-nots dry overnight in a cool, dry place.

Royal Icing

In a large, grease-free mixer bowl, preferably with the whisk beater of a heavy-duty mixer, beat the meringue powder and water on low speed until mixed. Add the powdered sugar and beat for 30 seconds or until the sugar is moistened. Increase the speed to medium high and continue beating for 5 to 8 minutes, until the icing forms stiff, glossy peaks when the beater is lifted. (The tips of the peaks should curve slightly.)

Divide the icing among four small grease-free bowls. Cover the bowls with damp cloths to keep the icing from drying.

Reserve one bowl of icing for making the white dots. Using the tip of a toothpick, place a small amount of the moss green paste food color into one of the bowls of royal icing. Using a small metal cake spatula, stir until the color is evenly blended to create a pale green icing. Squeeze a couple drops of red liquid food color into another bowl of icing. Stir until the color is evenly blended to create a pale pink icing. Squeeze a couple drops of the yellow liquid food color into another bowl of icing. Stir until the color is evenly blended to create a pale yellow icing. Keep all the bowls of icing covered with damp cloths to keep them from drying.

Let the icing sit for 2 hours before using. The icing will darken as it sits. If any becomes too dark after sitting, stir in a little of the white icing.

Decorating the Cake

Using the tip of a toothpick, outline an evenly spaced dotted scroll pattern on the top and sides of the cake. There is no specific scroll pattern to follow; but you should work out your own pattern before you start to mark the cake.

Fit a pastry bag with coupler or a disposable pastry bag with a Number 2 small round tube. Using a small metal cake spatula, fill the bag with the white icing. Pipe tiny white dots onto the marked outline of the scroll design (Fig. 1).

Pipe a small dot of the white icing on the back of each forget-me-not and affix it inside each scrolled area of the cake. Repeat using the remaining forget-me-nots, evenly spacing them around the bottom edge of the cake.

Fit another disposable pastry bag with a Number 1 small round tube and fill the bag with the green icing. Pipe green stems starting at the base of each forget-me-not (Fig. 2).

Fit another disposable pastry bag with a Number 2 small round tube and fill it with yellow icing. Pipe tiny five-petaled flowers (Fig. 3) on the top and sides of the cake, leaving space for pink flowers. Fit another pastry bag with a Number 2 round tube and fill it with the pink icing. Pipe tiny five-petaled pink flowers between the yellow flowers.

Serve the cake within 24 hours.

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