Monday, September 24, 2007

You are my sunshine

If you could concentrate sunshine and infuse it into a delicate crumb, you would end up with the cake I made this weekend. This isn't the light fluffy sunshine of spring that you would find in a chiffon cake, but rather the stronger stuff of later summer/early fall. I think this might very well be a strong contender for *the one.* I combined and tweaked a couple of recipes to get exactly what I wanted.

Fall Sunshine Cake

Cake
3 C sifted cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 C butter, room temperature
3 1/2 C sifted powdered sugar
6 large eggs, separated
2 tsp grated orange peel (whatever, I used 1 plus T)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp orange extract
1 C whole milk
1/4 C plain yogurt

Filling
2 packages frozen raspberries
2 T sugar
1 tsp lemon juice

Frosting
1 8oz package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 C butter, room temperature
3 1/4 C powdered sugar
2 T frozen orange juice concentrate
2 tsp grated orange peel
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until creamy. Gradually add sugar; beat until light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Add egg yolks 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in orange peel, vanilla extract and orange extract. Whisk milk and yogurt in small bowl to blend. Add dry ingredients to yolk mixture in 3 additions alternately with milk mixture in 2 additions, beating well after each addition.

Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/3 of whites into batter, then fold in remaining whites. Divide batter between pans. Smooth tops.
Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on rack 15 minutes. Run small knife around sides of pans to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out onto racks and cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in plastic and store at room temperature.)

Filling:
Combine berries, sugar, and lemon juice in heavy small saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil until mixture is reduced to 3/4 cup, stirring occasionally and mashing berries coarsely with fork, about 8 minutes. I also added a couple of tsp cornstarch to make sure it set. Chill filling uncovered until cold, about 30 minutes.

Frosting:
Beat cream cheese and butter in bowl to blend. Beat in powdered sugar in 4 additions, then orange concentrate, peel, and vanilla. Chill until firm but spreadable, about 30 minutes.

Cut around cakes to loosen. Turn cakes out. Place 1 layer, flat side up, on platter. Spread filling to within 1/2 inch of edges. Chill 5 minutes. Top with second layer, flat side down. Spread 1/2 cup frosting thinly all over cake to seal. Spread remaining frosting over cake. (Can be made 1 day ahead; chill. Serve at room temperature.)

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