All criminal history aside, Martha Stewart is amazing. I wish I had the encyclopedia of all things crafty, delicious and beautiful that is her brain. It doesn't even matter when she runs out of ideas now because I'm sure there is a whole team that comes up with even more (not that they get any of the credit). Instead, I just try to read Real Simple and pretend that level of organization and craftiness is achievable in my life.

This cake is a masterpiece. The raspberry jam in between layers makes the whole thing moist and flavorful..and the icing. Oh lord. My mom is a huge meringue fan so she is the one who initially picked this cake out for Easter Sunday. The icing is like a meringue and frosting hybrid. It spreads on smooth, but peaks out and tastes like meringue. My granddad called me the next day to tell me how much he liked this cake. While he would never say he didn't like something I made, the extra phone call says it all. There's nothing like having an appreciative audience!

The cake is perfect for any sort of event. It's not one of those "middle of the week, I think I'll bake a cake!" cakes (yes, I realize some people don't find that normal behavior). It is beautiful, and it deserves a crowd. I somehow lose cake pans all the time, and so I had to make do with two 9-inch pans instead of three 8-inch. I swear there is a ghost in my house who likes to steal things. Cake pans, sifters, one half of my double broiler...they are all among the long list of odd bakeware disappearances in my house. As if baking wasn't already an expensive enough hobby.

Also, I'm sorry for being m.i.a. these past two weeks. I had a big advertising competition on Friday and now that it's over I have my life back. Woohoo! Just in time to enjoy the last week of my senior year of college. And to enjoy all of the delicious food that comes along with graduation parties. Get excited.


Ingredients

Vegetable-oil cooking spray
2 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar (1/2 cup plus 1/2 cup)
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 1/2 cups raspberries (8 ounces)
2/3 cup raspberry jam
1/2 cup large-flake dried unsweetened coconut (I just used bakers unsweetened and toasted it)

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat three 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray, line bottoms with parchment, and coat again. Whisk together flour, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar. In a separate bowl, beat together cream, milk, baking powder, and egg whites until mixture thickens. Whisk in vanilla, almond extract, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar.

Fold in flour mixture. Fold in raspberries, then divide among pans. Bake until golden and top springs back when touched, about 25 minutes. Let cool in pans 30 minutes. Remove; let cool completely on a wire rack.

Spread half the jam over top of 1 cake layer, and sandwich with another layer. Repeat with remaining jam and layer. Swirl frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle top with coconut.

Meringue Frosting

1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
5 large egg whites, room temperature

Directions

Bring 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, the corn syrup, and 3 tablespoons water to a boil, stirring. Wash down side of pan with a wet pastry brush, and cook sugar syrup, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 230 degrees.

Meanwhile, beat egg whites with a mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.

Add sugar syrup in a slow, steady stream down side of bowl. Beat on high speed until thick, fluffy, and cool, about 7 minutes.




3 comments

Rebecca said... @ February 1, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Hi Sarah, what do you think the difference would be if I substituted the heavy cream for sour cream?

Rebecca said... @ February 1, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Oh, and why do you add 1/2 the sugar after mixing the other ingredients, instead of adding all the sugar at once?

Thanks!

Sarah said... @ February 1, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Hi Rebecca, I wouldn't recommend substituting heavy cream for sour cream. Among other things, the consistencies are too different. You could, however, probably get by with substituting greek yogurt or some other yogurt for sour cream. Here's an article for different substitutions: http://homecooking.about.com/od/foodequivalents/a/sourcreamequivs.htm

As for the sugar, the order in which things are added makes all the difference in baking. I don't know much about the exact changes brought on by different substitutions or ordering of ingredients, but I'd suggest sticking with the recipe order as is. The difference in this recipe is that some of the sugar goes in with the dry ingredients. That's something I usually don't come across when baking, but the result is definitely good!

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