Friday, September 9, 2011

Baking: White Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Another birthday, another cake. Darn, I'm really behind on my cake making. I might have to extend my year of cake baking for yet ANOTHER year. I just don't think I've mastered any part of it yet. Anyway, I reference my favorite cake book again, Rose's Heavenly Cakes, and decided to make a white cake with chocolate frosting.

I prepped my wet and dry ingredients separately first. Here is some vanilla, egg whites, and milk.

Over a double boiler, I melted some white chocolate. I've come across a good tip with white chocolate. Always use the kind with cocoa butter in it and not palm oil (read the ingredient list on the back of the package). The melting, flavor, and ease of work is a huge difference between the two. And honestly, I think it separates the real chocolate from the the fake.
In a stand-up mixer, I mixed the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. To that, I added butter and some milk. Scrape down the sides to get everything mixed in. Then slowly add in the egg mixture in 3 parts until fully incorporated. Lastly, add the melted white chocolate and mix. Fill into 2 prepared cake pans and into the oven at 350oF until baked through. I like to use a tester in the middle of the cake. A toothpick or thin dowel works well. If something sticks, it's not done. Back in the oven you go!
While the cake finished baking, I prepped the icing/frosting. I don't know what is the difference. Anyone else know? Anyway, my frosting on the inside is white chocolate with strawberry rhubarb jam. Make sure it's pretty thick or else it'll just run.
When the cakes are done and completely cooled on a rack, trim off the hard parts (usually the edges). Also, try to flatten out the top too.
Here's my cake cut in half. White, fluffy, sweet, delicious.
This is the frosting added to the middle. Not very thick at all. The hot, humid weather was not being kind to me this day. Unfortunately, I couldn't save the middle frosting, but I did save the outside frosting.
Which was chocolate! This was chocolate ganache at one point but it just wouldn't set due to the weather. I added more chocolate and more powdered sugar and nothing worked. I was desperate and raided the internet for help. Most advice was already tried. However, when Crisco came up I was intrigued. I took a small scoop out and added the shortening. It instantly worked. Finally! My cake was saved. I added the rest to the failed icing and it was creamy and still delicious. It didn't really change the flavor at all. It just tasted greasier. However, when paired with the cake, it's hardly noticeable.
I am so incredibly happy to have found this frosting secret. So many cakes were ruined because of the weather. Now, I'll always have Crisco stocked in my pantry.

As for the cake, it was a big hit. The frosting was sweet but the mild cake paired well with it. The cake was smooth and delicious and the chocolate not cloying. Unfortunately the strawberry rhubarb frosting inside completely melted and became non-existent by the time we cut into it. You couldn't taste it but at least it kept the cake very moist.

Below, please find the recipe for the actual cake. The icing were creations of my own. However, I wasn't fully happy with them so I won't post those recipes. The cake, however, was divine as usual thanks to Rose Beranbaum.

Recipe Adapted from Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum
Also author of The Cake Bible
For more about Rose, please go to Real Baking with Rose

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cake

Ingredients for Batter:
8 oz white chocolate
6 large egg whites, at room temp
1 1/3 cups milk
1 Tbsp vanilla
4 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
5 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter

1. Preheat oven to 350oF
2. Heat the chocolate until melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
3. Whisk egg whites, 1/3 cup milk, and vanilla until combined.
4. In a mixer with flat beater attached, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Add butter and remaining milk. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise speed to medium and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl.
5. Starting on medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture to the batter in three parts, beating on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides.Add the melted white chocolate and beat to incorporate it, about 10 seconds.
6. Divide the batter into the prepared cake pans (buttered, parchment, buttered again, and flour).
7. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown, a wire cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, and cakes spring back when pressed lightly in the centers. The cakes should start to shrink from the sides of the pans only after removal from the oven.
7. Let the cakes cool in the pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove and cool on wire racks. Cool completely.

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