Adventures of a Cake Diva

A Blog About Adventures in Baking and Cake Decorating

The 39 List + White Chocolate Cake with Blueberry Curd 09/19/2012

   My birthday was last week.  I love celebrating everyone else’s birthday.  When it comes to my own?  Meh.  In a little less than one year, I’ll say goodbye to my thirties.  I’ve got a hang-up about it.  I need to get over it.  So, I’m taking a cue from Mike, who blogs at Made by Mike.  He created (and posted!) a list of 39 things for him to do the year before he turns forty.  I’ve made my own 39 List, and I’ve dedicated a page on my blog just for this project.  Click HERE to see the what I’ve set out to do in the next year.  I’ll update this page each time I cross off something from my list, too. 

    My brother-in-law’s birthday is just a few days before mine, so we had a little family get-together to celebrate both of our birthdays.  Inspired by some oh-so-lovely blueberries that I scored from the Farmer’s Market, I baked for him this White Chocolate Cake with Blueberry Curd and White Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

   This cake is pretty deceptive.  Just looking at it, you wouldn’t guess that it is packed with so many flavors and textures that blend together beautifully.  The cake is moist with a tender crumb and a distinct, yet delicate, white chocolate flavor.  Each bite is delightfully balanced by the smooth blueberry curd and the white chocolate buttercream.

   Oh, my.  The buttercream.  If you’ve tried Swiss Meringue Buttercream before and felt like you were eating a stick of butter, you really should give this recipe a try.  It uses less butter than most recipes (three sticks instead of four), which makes a big difference.  The butter compliments, and does not overpower, the sweet meringue, vanilla, and white chocolate.

    After my brother-in-law took his first bite of cake, he smiled and said, “Oooooh.  This is gooood.”   He’s right.  In fact, I’m planning to make this cake again before blueberries are out of season.  It really is that good.

   Just a ReminderDon’t forget to enter into my very first giveaway, if you haven’t already.  It closes this Saturday, September 22nd at 11:59pm, EST.  Click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the post for all the details. {Giveaway is now closed.}

White Chocolate Cake

Inspired by: The Whimsical Bakehouse

Yield: 2-8” layers or 3-7” layers

1 ½ sticks butter, unsalted

14 ounces (2 cups) ultrafine granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

17 ounces (3 1/4 cups) cake flour

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon cream of tartar

1 1/3 cup milk

3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

6 egg whites (large eggs)

2 ounces of white chocolate bar, chopped and melted

   Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.  Prepare pans by spraying them with non-stick baking spray.  In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and cream of tartar.  Set aside.  In a large measuring cup, stir together milk and vanilla extract.  Set aside.  Next, in a separate bowl, beat together the butter, 12 ounces (1 ½ cups) of sugar (reserve 4 ounces or ½ cup), and salt until light and fluffy.  Add the sifted dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternately with the milk mixture.

   In a separate bowl, beat together the egg whites until foamy.  Then, continue beating the egg whites and add 4 ounces (½ cup) of sugar.  When stiff peaks form, use a rubber spatula to completely fold the egg whites into the cake batter.  Then, gently fold in the melted white chocolate until combined.  Pour the batter into the cake pans.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.  Cool on wire cake rack.

   Note:  When the cake has cooled, the top of each cake will have a raised or sort of bubbled crust.  (That’s the best way I can describe it.  I’ll have to take a pic.) It’s kind of weird, but this is completely normal, at least for this recipe.  Simply level the top of your cake and you’ll find a lovely, moist cake beneath. 

Lovely, Lovely Blueberry Curd – Click HERE for recipe.

Simple Syrup

1 cup water

8 ounces (1 cup) ultrafine granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

   Put the water, sugar, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved.  Using a pastry brush, liberally brush the top of each cake with the simple syrup.  This will help keep your cakes moist.  You should use a simple syrup on every scratch cake, not just this recipe.  It just occurred to me that, for prior recipes, I hadn’t mentioned this, but it’s really important.   

White Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

From Anonymous on Cake Central

12 ounces (3 sticks) of unsalted butter, room temperature

5 egg whites

7 ounces (one cup) ultrafine granulated sugar

2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

1.5 ounces of white chocolate bar, chopped and melted

   Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heat-proof bowl that will fit your stand mixer, and place the bowl over a pot of boiling water on your stove.  Stir continuously until this mixture reaches 160 degrees (use a candy thermometer) and the sugar has dissolved.  Remove from heat and place the bowl under your stand mixer with the whisk attachment in place.  Beat the mixture on high speed until it holds stiff peaks.  Continue beating the mixture until it is fluffy.  Then, remove the whisk attachment and place the paddle attachment onto your mixer.

   Start your mixer on medium-low speed (4 on your Kitchen Aid), and add several butter tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition.  After all of the butter has been added, the frosting will appear to separate.  Bump up the speed on your mixer to a medium high speed (6 on your Kitchen Aid), and keep beating for about 3-4 minutes.  It will come together beautifully. Then, add the melted white chocolate and reduce your mixer speed to the lowest setting (2 on your Kitchen Aid) until combined.  Finally, stir with a spatula until the frosting is smooth.

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4 Responses to “The 39 List + White Chocolate Cake with Blueberry Curd”

  1. That cake is stunning! I totally agree that simple syrup is a must on any cake and even cupcakes. Blueberry curd sounds wonderful. I love Italian meringue buttercream but have always had trouble with Swiss meringue. I’ll have to give it another shot 🙂

    • acakediva Says:

      Welcome, Laura! I put a simple syrup on most of my cupcakes, too. The only cake that, as a rule, I don’t use a simple syrup for is my chocolate cake. My “go to” recipe is so doggone moist on its own that it doesn’t need the extra moisture. Otherwise, a simple syrup is a must with scratch baking.

      What troubles are you having with Swiss Meringue Buttercream? I think the three biggest things to remember are: 1) make sure your meringue’s peaks are stiff, 2) only use butter that is at room temperature, and 3) be super duper patient and keep mixing through the curdling stage. I’ve had fussy batches that have taken up to 15 minutes of paddle mixing to come together. Also, I have a cake buddy who, once she switches to the paddle, only uses the lowest speed on her Kitchen Aid. She swears by it. You might want to give that a try, too. Good luck! 🙂

  2. radhika25 Says:

    Thank you for visiting my blog. How did you find it?
    I love the sound of this cake of yours and am going to try it out soon! Yummy!


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