Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Return of the Whipped Cream Cake!!!

I adore Halloween and all the decorations, goodies, and the whole spirit of the thing.  More, I love all the adorable baked goods that are themed to the season.  All of which has been distracting me from some much needed retooling of one of the recipes I've recently discovered.  Whipped Cream Cake appears in a 1925 cookbook, An American Woman's Cookbook, edited by Ruth Berolzheimer.  I posted about it once before, but while it tasted good, the gluten-free conversion had some textural issues.  I adore this cake both for its delightful flavor and the unusual recipe.  It has no butter, and no oil, and bases it's tender crumb on the whipping cream.  Too much fun!
Then, whilst surfing around, I found these adorable Vampire Cupcakes, by Nicole Weston.  Inspiration struck!  There was no reason not to be able to do both!

Return of the Whipped Cream Cake!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 2 9" round baking pans, place a parchment paper round in each one, grease the paper, then dust with sweet rice flour.
1 3/4 cups whipping cream
2 c. sugar
4 eggs + 1 egg white
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
3 tsp. xanthan gum
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

I've said it before, and I will reiterate.  Mise. En. Place.  
Sift the dry ingredients together into a bowl.  Measure the sugar into another bowl.  Place the whipping cream into the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and whip until it holds it's shape.
While that's whipping, beat the eggs and white with a hand mixer until light and frothy.  Pour in the eggs and continue to beat until large, foamy bubbles appear.
Add the sugar and flavorings, then beat until combined.  Turn mixer on low and gradually add the dry ingredients, again beating until combined.  Divide the batter between the two pans.
Smooth with a spatula and place on the center rack of oven.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out dry.  (My cakes were not completely even in size - I should have used a scale.  So one wasn't QUITE done enough when I pulled them and fell a little in the center.  No big - more room for filling!!!)

Blood (er... Raspberry Filling)

2 10-oz containers frozen raspberries in sugar
1/4 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
tiny bit of xanthan gum

Place the raspberries in a saucepan and heat until thoroughly broken down.  Pass through a sieve to remove seeds.  Reserve 2 Tbsp of the resultant juice.  Return the rest to the saucepan.  In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch (if you use fresh or unsweetened frozen raspberries, adjust sugar to taste).  Whisk this mixture into the raspberry juice and cook until thickened and bubbly.  Set aside to cool.
To the reserved juice add a tiny bit of xanthan gum - less than an 1/8th of a tsp. - and whisk together.  Set aside to thicken.

Frosting


Now, the frosting for this cake is my new favorite:  Brave Tart's German Buttercream.  It's fabulous, divine, and much easier for me to manage when I may have a little one in the kitchen with me than trying to get a sugar syrup to exactly 238 degrees.  So go visit her site and make a batch, then come back.  Actually, a half batch is plenty for this cake.  (Warning:  do not make my mistake and get lazy.  I didn't want to defrost MORE unsalted butter, so I used ONE stick of salted with the 3 sticks of unsalted.  To me, this resulted in a product that bordered on unpalatability.  When she says unsalted, listen.)  

Assembly

Place one layer on your plate, and very thinly coat it with a little buttercream.  Then pipe a "dam" around the edge to hold the filling.
Pour in the cooled raspberry filling.  Chill the cake for 15 minutes or so to let both filling and frosting firm up.  Don't skip this step or all the filling will squish out when you place the second layer on top.  Take the second layer and very thinly coat one surface with more buttercream.  Place this layer, frosting side down, on top of the filled layer.  One of the very nicest things about this cake is that it has a smooth crust and is fairly firm and tolerant of handling.  Really.  Be gentle, but it will be OK.  Coat the entire cake thoroughly with buttercream.  Then (taking a leaf from Nicole Weston's blog) make pairs of holes with a skewer to look like fang marks.  Place them as desired on the surface of the cake.  Pour the reserved raspberry juice mixture into a zipper bag and trim one small corner out of it.  Use this to pipe the juice into the holes and dribble it onto the cake.
I was going to try to get one more picture of the cake with more slices out of it - but I was too slow on the draw and it was gone.  You can see where my bottom layer had fallen slightly, as it was a bit underbaked.  But overall this cake itself is light and tender with a richness of flavor imparted by the cream.

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