Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Raspberry Cream White Chocolate Cake

White Chocolate Cake

4 egg whites
1 and ¾ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 oz. white chocolate, chopped or in chip form
¾ cup half-and-half, light cream, or milk
1/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 and ½ teaspoons vanilla
4 egg yolks

Filling and Frosting

Wild raspberry jam, courtesy of my own Mother Johnson
One and a half times normal recipe of Basic Cream Filling (recipe here)
Grated/chopped semisweet chocolate (You can just finely chop some chocolate chips in the food processor or blender.)
One recipe Fluffy Flour Frosting (recipe below)

6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips, melted for shape-making
Additional finely grated semisweet chocolate

1. In a mixing bowl allow egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Grease and lightly flour two 8 ½ inch round cake pans. Stir together flour, baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt; set aside.

2. In a small pan (or in microwave), melt the white chocolate with ¼ cup of the half-and-half, cream, or milk over very low heat, stirring constantly until chocolate begins to melt. Remove from heat and stir until the baking bar completely melts and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the remaining half-and-half, cream, or milk and cool.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter on med.-high speed for about 30 seconds. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until combined. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well until combined. Add the dry mixture and the white chocolate mixture alternately to the beaten mixture, beating on low to medium speed after each addition just until combined.

4. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into the cake batter. Spread batter in cake pans.

5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pans. Prepare filling and frosting while cakes cool completely.

After the cakes are completely cooled, cut each layer in half lengthwise to make four thin layers. Place one cake layer on platter and spread with a thin layer of raspberry jam. Then spread on a third of the basic cream filling mixture and sprinkle with desired amount of semisweet grated chocolate. Repeat this layering with the second and third cake layers. Top the cake with the last cake layer and frost the top and sides liberally with Fluffy Flour frosting.

Garnish the top and sides with additional grated chocolate, and then make Chocolate Spikes. (For chocolate spikes, carefully melt 6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips in microwave, stir until completely melted and smooth, and, using a spatula, spread melted chocolate onto a large piece of wax paper. Once the chocolate has firmed up, you can cut it into shapes to garnish the cake. I made jagged, porcupine spikes that stuck up all over the top like a crown, and then I lined the sides with a row of chocolate rectangles. A crown-wearing porcupine cake.)

Fluffy Flour Frosting

This is one of my favorite frostings, and its name is a bit misleading as it only has 4 tbsp. of flour in it. It’s fluffy like whipped cream with a delicate sweetness that’s not overpowering—perfect for almost any cake. Plus, this is more stable than whipped cream and can sit out without becoming runny or needing refrigeration. (Just watch out for super-hot days! Like any frosting, this, too, will melt if faced with a sweltering temperature.)

1. Mix one cup cold milk and 4 tablespoons flour until well-combined. Cook over med.-low heat until thick, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. (Cook the mixture to the point at which it's a very thick paste. You should be able to tell when it's reached the point of maximum thickness, because it won't continue to noticeably thicken as you cook and stir. Upon cooling, it will thicken a bit more.) Refrigerate to cool completely.

2. Meanwhile, beat together ½ cup softened margarine and ½ cup shortening. Beat for four minutes.

3. Add 1 cup powdered sugar. Beat four more minutes.

4. Add the thoroughly cooled flour mixture and two teaspoons vanilla. Beat until combined and light and fluffy.