I just finished watching Jiro Dreams of Sushi, and am feeling so inspired by this phenomenal chef as well as his incredible discipline and utmost dedication to his job. Have you seen this documentary?
One of my favorite quote from the film:
“In order to make delicious food, you must eat delicious food.” – Jiro
Here I go with another post about cake. I hope to improve the techniques of frosting, leveling, and decorating, and the only way to achieve that is to make lots of them 🙂
Over the weekend my husband and I hosted a joint birthday party for our dear friends. It was a potluck and we had quite a feast. I put together a simple mimosa bar station completed with juices and purees of blood orange, strawberry, and mango. I also took the responsibility of providing the cake. The weather has been so nice and Spring-like, I was inspired and wanted to make something colorful and fruity. I had the orange and chocolate combination in mind but didn’t want to make a heavy chocolate cake, then I found this wonderful recipe from Food & Wine and was very happy how it turned out! Yes of course I cut down the sugar from the cake but the buttercream was very sweet, it paired very nicely with black coffee though. I’m not a big fan of white chocolate, and I wonder if I can get unsweetened white chocolate? That would just be cacao butter right?
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar (I used a little over 1 cup)
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk
8 ounces white chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons orange marmalade, very finely chopped if chunky
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar (I did not use this)
~2 cups White Chocolate Buttercream, recipe below
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
- Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter at low speed until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla. At low speed, alternately beat in the dry ingredients and the milk in 2 additions. Add the melted white chocolate and beat just until incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pans and smooth the surfaces.
- Bake the cakes in the center of the oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert them onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
- In a small bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the orange marmalade and the confectioners’ sugar into 1 cup of the white chocolate buttercream. (Note: I did not add confectioners’ sugar as the marmalade and the buttercream were plenty sweet.)
- Set 1 cake layer on a cake plate, right side up, and spread the filling on top. Cover with the second cake layer. Frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining white chocolate buttercream. Garnish with the white chocolate–dipped candied orange peels and serve.
White Chocolate Buttercream
12 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Beat in the melted white chocolate. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat at low speed, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, until light and fluffy.
As you can see, I didn’t dip the candied orange peels in white chocolate. Simply diced them up and scatter them on top of the cake. I had some leftover dark chocolate curls so I thought that would pair nicely with the cake.
The crumb-looking thing on the side is a mixture of white chocolate and orange zest. It was an experiment went wrong but turned out to be alright! The concept was to add orange zest into melted white chocolate, wait for it to cool and shave it into curls. But of course the chocolate seized up after adding the zest! (I’m infamous for doing this…it’s time to take a chocolate class and learn more!) Anyway, once it cooled down and solidified, it was impossible to shave as the texture is now crumbly (think feta cheese) and had a subtle crunch to it. I actually really liked it so I crumbled the whole block of chocolate and padded the crumbs onto the sides of the cake.
I usually make cakes for others and don’t always get to taste it. Well, I taste the scraps and sometimes use the remaining ingredients and make a mini cake trifle for moi to enjoy. But this time I finally had the chance to taste a proper slice and was able to snap a picture of it!
Have a great weekend!