Thursday, May 7, 2015

Raspberry Cream Cake

Berries with everything! Time for local food!


Okay, maybe not quite yet. This photo is in my raspberry patch, but obviously those are not my berries. Soon I'll have tons of very local fruit. But right now all I have is a yard full of glorious potential.

Cherries

Strawberries


Blueberries


Gooseberries

Soon the truce between me and the squirrels will come to an end - it will be fighting season again in Roland Park. For now, I am still buying grocery store raspberries from whoknowswhere.


For the raspberry curd, however, I suggest using berries from the freezer.  First, because they're cheaper. And second, because freezing and thawing ruptures the berries' cell walls so the juice comes right out. You can use fresh berries, but you'll need to heat them for a few minutes in a saucepan. Either way, the color and flavor will be fantastic. The recipe as written only makes enough for the cake, so you should probably double (or triple) it. I find regular lemon curd pretty dull, but the raspberry recipe is floral and complex - worth the calories.


The cake is a pale, fluffy one from the amazing Sweetapolita blog, made using the reverse creaming method. It may seem counterintuitive to beat the butter into the dry ingredients and then add the eggs and milk, but it does produce a finer texture. Sweetapolita specifies that all ingredients should be at room temperature, but she lives in Canada. In my sunny Baltimore kitchen, everything is tepid by the time I finish separating the eggs. If you live in a place with national health insurance, adjust your recipe accordingly.


Raspberry Cream Cake

For the Raspberry Curd:
3/4 cup frozen raspberries, thawed
juice of one lemon
2 large egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the Vanilla Cake:
1 cup milk
4 egg whites (130g)
2 whole eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups + 6 tablespoons (284g) cake flour
1 1/2 cup (300g) sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons (16g) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (4g) table salt
1 stick (115g) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c (56g) vegetable shortening

For the Whipped Cream Frosting:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup (35g) powdered sugar

Raspberry Curd

  1. With a stick blender or in a small food processor, puree the berries. Press berries through a fine sieve to remove seeds and pulp, and place the juice in a large, microwave-safe bowl. 
  2. Whisk in lemon juice, egg and yolks, sugar, and diced butter. 
  3. Microwave on high in 45 second intervals, whisking between each, until curd is thick. Refrigerate until needed for cake.
Vanilla Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚ (325˚ convection). In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons milk, eggs, whites, and vanilla. 
  2. Place, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large mixer bowl. On low speed, use the whisk attachment to aerate dry ingredients for 60 seconds. Add the butter and shortening, and beat for 30 seconds at low speed to incorporate. 
  3. Add reserved milk, and beat for 90 seconds. Scrape down the bowl, then add the egg mixture in three batches, beating just until incorporated. 
  4. Use baking spray with flour to grease three 7-8" round pans, and divide the batter evenly. 
  5. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until center is just set and resists when you gently touch it. Cool for five minutes in pan before inverting onto a rack.
Frosting and Assembly
  1. Using whisk attachment, beat cream for two minutes on medium speed before adding sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat on high until cream is stiff enough to frost cake.
  2. Using a serrated knife, level cake layers. 
  3. Put half the curd on the bottom cake, then top with a thin layer of whipped cream. Repeat with the middle cake, then top with the third layer and frost with cream. Arrange berries on top and sides. Take copious photos.