Tomorrow night, our daughter, Erin, her husband, Michael, and I will travel to Taiwan to bring home their daughter, Madison. She's now 14 months old and the anticipation of finally getting to hold our new granddaughter is almost too much to imagine. So, for this ocassion, I Baked A Cake!
Vanilla Butter Layer Cake with Chocolate Buttercream was chosen from a special "Holiday Baking Issue" of fine Cooking magazine, called Sweet Cakes. If you're not scared off my the calories, this is a wonderful celebration cake to make for those special events in your life.
Begin by preheating oven to 350F-degrees. Lightly coat two 9x2-inch cake pans with a nonstick spray (I used Bak Klene) and line the bottoms with parchement paper. I also used Magic Cake Baking Strips. You simply soak the strips in cold water and wrap them around your cake pans to keep your cakes rising level (no more "mountains in the middle.")
2 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
Mix completely then add:
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, one tablespoon at a time.
The mixture will look a little lumpy. Next add:
3/4 cup whole or low-fat milk, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Mix on medium speed for 1 minute to thoroughly blend the ingredients.
Add: 4 large eggs, at room temperature, one at a time, mixing well between additions.
Divide the batter equally between the two cake pans. (I used a kitchen scale to ensure the batter was equal). Tap pans on the counter before baking.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes. The cakes are golden brown and the tops feel firm, but spring back a little when tapped lightely with a finger. Use a toothpick to check the center for doneness.
Set the pans on a rack, run a table knife around the outer edge and let cool for 30 minutes. Invert cakes onto the rack.
This recipe called for slicing the layers in half to create 4 layers. I used by handy cake slicer that gives me an uniform cut through the center.
For the underneath of the layer(s) Mix: 3/4 cup Raspberry Jam with 3 Tablespoons Grand Marnier (you could use orange juice)
Melt 12 ounces of bittersweet chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Set aside.
Beat 4 egg whites, on high speed until foamy.
Sprinkle 6 Tablespoons of sugar, one at a time, into the egg whites and whisk at high speed until the whites are smooth, full, and shiny.
Combine: 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar with 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons of light corn syrup in a medium pan. Stir briefly while heating over medium-high heat. Continue to cook just until the mixture comes to a rolling boil.
Immediately remove the syrup from the heat and with the mixer running, add the syrup in a steady stream, being careful not to let the syrup hit the whisk.
Reduce the speed to medium and continue whisking until the whites are barely warm, 5 to 7 minutes. (Feel the underneath of the bowl).
Add 2 1/2 cups (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, one tablespoon at a time.
Add melted bittersweet chocolate and continue beating until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
To put the cake together: Set a split layer on serving plate.Spread chocolate buttercream on the top of the layer. Next, spread one-third of the raspberry mixture on the underneath side of the next layer and place on top of the buttercream layer. Continue spreading butter cream to the top of each layer and raspberry mixture to the underneath side of the next layer. Frost the tops and sides with remaining buttercream. Enjoy!