Peg’s 75th Birthday Cake

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Peg's 75th Birthday Cake

  • Servings: Eight
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White Chocolate Mirror Glaze
Raspberry Mousse
Lemon Curd
Mascarpone Ganache
Orange Blossom Cake
Raspberry Gelee
Lemon Curd
Mascarpone Ganache
Orange Blossom Cake

Orange Blossom Cake

For a three-layer 8-inch cake:            
1-1/4 cups (150 g) cake flour, sifted before measuring            
1 cup (200 g) sugar       
1 T. baking powder        
3/8 tsp. salt      
4 egg yolks (72 g)      
1/2 cup (110 g) sunflower oil or other light oil       
1/3 cup (89 ml) cold water            
Zest of two lemons, finely minced          
1/4 cup (59 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice        
3 T (44 ml) orange-flower water        
1 tsp. orange extract     
6 egg whites (180 g)
1/4 cup (48 g) sugar (for egg whites)         
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
2 cups (240 g) firm fresh raspberries      

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Grease three 8-inch cake pans and dust with flour.

Sift the flour, the 200 g sugar, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, oil, water, lemon zest, lemon juice, orange-flower water and orange extract. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, whip the egg whites on medium speed until frothy, about one minute. Slowly add the cream of tartar and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar while continuing to whip. Turn the mixer to high and whip until the whites form stiff peaks. Set aside.

Gradually sift the sifted dry ingredients over the wet ingredients while folding continuously. When all of the dry ingredients have been incorporated, gently fold the egg whites into the batter.

Divide the batter equally among the three cake pans. Bake at 375 F. for five minutes. Turn the oven down to 350 F and bake for approximately 15 minutes longer, or until the center of the cake springs back when you touch it. Let cool in the pans for five minutes and then invert onto cooling racks.

Mascarpone Whipped Ganache
Time: 30 minutes plus resting overnight

2-1/2 tsp (8 g) unflavored powdered gelatin
40 g cold water
1-3/4 cups (415 g) heavy cream
1-1/2 cups (380 g) mascarpone cheese
2-1/4 T (50 g) honey
155 g white chocolate, finely chopped

Combine the gelatin and cold water in a small bowl and stir until the gelatin has dissolved.

Combine the cream, mascarpone and honey in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture until incorporated.

Place the white chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Without stirring, slowly pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate. Let stand for 30 seconds then whisk until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Cover with plastic (pressed directly against the surface of the ganache to prevent a skin from forming). Refrigerate overnight.

At this point, the unwhipped ganache can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days. Whip just before using.

Whip the ganache: When you’re ready to frost the cake, transfer the chilled ganache to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and immediately whip on high speed until light fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes. (It’s important that the ganache is cold. If it’s at room temperature, it won’t whip up). Use immediately.

Lemon Curd
7/8 cup (173 g) sugar
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) (170 g) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (118 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
Five egg yolks (90 g)*
1 whole large egg (55 g)

Put the sugar, butter and lemon juice into a heavy-bottomed, stainless steel saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and remove from the heat.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk the five egg yolks and whole egg. *Note: the fresher the egg, the brighter the yellow color! Whisk one third of the hot butter-and-lemon mixture into the eggs and pour back into the pan. Cook slowly, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens, approximately five minutes. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Raspberry Gelee
4 tsp (20 g) cold water
1-1/3 tsp (4 g) unflavored powdered gelatin
185 g raspberry puree
2-1/2 T (30 g) granulated sugar

Combine the cold water and gelatin in a small bowl and stir with a spoon until the gelatin has dissolved.

In a medium saucepan, bring the raspberry puree to a simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally. Add the sugar and the gelatin mixture and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly to make sure ther eare no lumps and cook for two minutes. Remove from the heat.

(You won’t see any visual changes in the consistency, boiling just melts the gelatin).

Pour the gelee into an 8-inch round silicone mold. (Alternatively line a sheet pan with a silicone baking mat, set an 8-inch cake ring on the mat and pour the gelee into the cake ring. Freeze the gelee until firm, at least five hours or overnight. To unmold, gently lift the cake ring while pressing down on the edges of the gelee.

Raspberry Mousse
3/4 cup raspberry puree (restaurant supply stores have this)
Make your own:
12 oz or 340 g bag of frozen raspberries
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T Knox unflavored gelatin
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 T powdered sugar

To make your own raspberry puree:
Place frozen raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook on a gentle simmer until sugar has dissolved, the raspberries have released their juice and sauce has thickened slightly.

Whether you make your own puree or buy it that way, you’ll want to strain the raspberry sauce through a fine mesh sieve at this point, pressing the raspberries down to extract as much juice as possible. Don’t worry if a few seeds get through!

Pour the juice back into the saucepan. Whisk in the 2 T of fresh lemon juice and the unflavored gelatin and put back over low heat just until the gelatin is dissolved into the raspberry sauce. Refrigerate the raspberry sauce until it’s room temperature (around 70°F / 21°C). Be careful not to leave it in the fridge too long as the gelatin will start to set quickly.

Whip the heavy whipping cream to soft peaks. Add powdered sugar and continue beating until firm peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Once the raspberry sauce is cooled to room temperature, fold the raspberry sauce into the whipped cream, a little at a time.

White Chocolate Mirror Glaze

Assembly: Preparing Cake for Freezer
Place one 8” layer in the center of a 10” cardboard cake round. Using an icing spatula, spread a half inch of the chocolate mousse evenly over it. Top with the second cake and repeat with another half inch of mousse.

Place a 9” spring form pan ring (or a 9” cake ring which doesn’t have a bottom) around the cake so that the cake sits in the center of it. There should be a 1/2″ space between the sides of the cake and the inner edge of the 9″ cake ring. Using a piping bag or a spoon, fill this space all around the cake with more mousse.

Using a long knife, scrape along the top of the ring so it is totally even. Top it loosely with plastic wrap and place the cake and ring in the freezer overnight. It is important for the cake to be frozen completely solid before pouring on the mirror glaze, so plan accordingly.

The next day, remove the cake and remove the springform ring or cake ring (whichever you’ve used). (Heating the sides for a few seconds with a culinary torch makes for easy release).

If adding the stabilizer whipped cream layer, evenly add a half inch layer on both the top and sides and return to the freezer for a few hours.

Smooth out the top and sides and if there are any gaps or holes fill them in as much as possible. (Clean warm fingers work great for fixing small blemishes).

Remove the cake from its cardboard bottom and set it on a 6” cake pan (or on a large can or container that is smaller than 8” round). Center both on a clean sheet pan. (This will catch the drips when you pour on the mirror glaze. Make sure the pan is clean because you can reuse extra glaze).

Pour the mirror glaze over your frozen cake in a smooth, continuous pour over the top of the cake until it starts running down the sides. You have to be fast with any touch ups!! Have a toothpick ready to pop any bubbles before they set.

Galaxy Mirror Glaze
1 T + 2 tsp (15 g) gelatin powder (I use Knox brand)
1-1/2 T cold water

1/2 cup (113 g) water
2 tsp (8 g) vanilla extract
1/2 cup (150 g) sweetened condensed milk
1-1/8 cup (225 g) granulated white sugar
1-1/2 cups (263 g) white chocolate, chopped fine
Food gels (I used blue, purple and red but feel free to experiment!)

Chop the white chocolate and set it aside in a bowl.

Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and stir to moisten. Set it aside while you heat the liquids.

In a small pot, bring the water, sugar, condensed milk and vanilla to a gentle simmer. Turn off the heat and stir the bloomed gelatin into the mixture until fully dissolved. Pass this mixture through a sieve.

Pour this mixture over the white chocolate, stirring gently until it melts and is smooth and uniform. Do NOT whisk. It may take up to five minutes to fully melt.

The target temperature for the mirror glaze is 92°F, or anywhere between 90°F and 94°F. While it cools, stir the chocolate periodically to prevent a thick layer from forming on the top.

For a galaxy glaze or for a marbled look with any color combination, divide the glaze into separate containers and add 3-5 drops of food gels in your color choice. Mix well.

Right before pouring the glaze on the cake pour the colors into the same container and swirl gently.

When the glaze is between 90°F and 94°F, it is ready to pour over the frozen cake.

Once the mirror glaze has set, gently use a knife or spatula to scrape off the excess glaze dripping from the bottom edge. Place the cake on a larger cake board or platter.

Do not freeze once the glaze has been put on. Do keep it chilled in the fridge for a few hours so that it defrosts before slicing and serving.

Some great special effects:
Have luster dust ready on a basting brush and flick it on the top before it dries. (Not pictured). It’s available in many different colors both online and at any store that carries cake decorating supplies.

Pour a second color mirror glaze right over the top of the first and then immediately scrape it with a spatula (creates a spider vein effect).

Adapted from a recipe from the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts.

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