Second of all, her birthday (and this cake) happened a while ago. But between going out of town, Passover, and then some very annoying internet connection problems, I wasn’t able to post it until now.
Since Ella’s and Tova’s birthdays are pretty close together, and I knew that Ella’s cake was going to be an incredibly rich chocolate cake, I wanted Tova’s cake to be very different from that. I chose to do a fruity strawberry cake, filled and frosted with a smooth white chocolate frosting, and topped with a white chocolate glaze. Well, it was supposed to be a glaze. But I let it sit a bit too long before pouring it on the cake and it ended up being more of a thick, spreadable ganache type of thing. But no biggie. Maybe it didn’t look quite as pretty that way, but it still tasted fantastic!
Strawberry & White Chocolate Cake
Strawberry Layer Cake
1 3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar
1 (85 g) package strawberry flavored gelatin
1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups (300 g) sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon (15 g) baking powder
3/4 teaspoon (5 g) salt
1 cup (240 ml) whole milk, at room temperature
1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup strawberry puree, at room temperature (made from slightly thawed frozen strawberries pureed in the food processor until smooth)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter, line with parchment, and flour three 8-inch round cake pans, tapping out the excess flour.
2. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine the milk, strawberry puree, and vanilla extract, and stir well. Set aside.
3. Sift and whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set Aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar, gelatin, and butter on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
6. Alternate adding the dry & wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing just enough to incorporate each addition. Be careful not to over-mix.
7. Divide that batter between the 3 prepared cake pans (if you have a kitchen scale you can use it to ensure 3 even layers), and use an offset spatula to spread evenly.
8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto greased racks (turning so the tops of the cakes are facing up) to cool completely.
*Recipe from Sweetapolita
White Chocolate Frosting
6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but still cool, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Using a double boiler or a microwave oven, melt the white chocolate and it aside to cool.
2. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 20 minutes.
3. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
4. Add the vanilla extract and white chocolate, and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, put the bowl in the fridge to chill slightly, then beat again until it is the proper consistency. If the frosting is too firm, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and beat with a wooden spoon until it is the proper consistency.
*Recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, by Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito
White Chocolate Glaze
Note: Make the glaze after the whole cake is assembled and fully frosted and chilled.
4 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
Soft pink gel food coloring
1. Combine the white chocolate and the butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, being careful not to get any water into the mixture. Stir until melted and smooth.
2. Remove from heat, and add a couple drops of food coloring (as little or as much as you want, depending on how intense you want the color to be), and mix well. Set aside to cool and thicken slightly.
1. Place one cake layer onto a cake board or serving platter. Spread evenly with 1 1/4 cups frosting. Add the next cake layer, and top that evenly with another 1 1/4 cups frosting. Top with the third layer, and cover the top and sides of the cake with a very thin layer of frosting to crumb-coat it. Place the cake in the fridge for about 15 minutes to firm up the frosting. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting, getting it as even and smooth as possible. Place the cake back into the fridge to firm up while you make the glaze.
2. Once the glaze is ready, remove the cake from the fridge. Slowly pour the glaze over the cake, letting it drip down the sides (I like to use a spoon or small ladle to control how much goes on at once). You my not need to use all the glaze, but that’s up to you (depending on how much glaze you want on the cake). Return the cake to the fridge for about 15 to firm up the glaze.