Saturday, August 20, 2005

A Romantic Cake with Raspberries

What motivated me to make this cake was a memory. I wanted to make a raspberry cake that looked and tasted like the
Frambuaz of Divan Patisserie in Turkey. In particular, I was after that pink raspberry glaze to cover the cake. The result was not what I had hoped for, but nevertheless a beautiful--if overly romantic--cake with a distinctive raspberry taste. However, my pursuit is by no means over; I still crave for that seamless-looking pink glaze and I do have a few other ideas to achieve it.

I tried something new with this cake. I used two different frostings (on top of each other) between the layers. I don't know if this is something done, or if I am the first person to try it, but I must say that it really worked well. The first frosting was a white chocolate and cream cheese buttercream. I spread it thin and stood the raspberries on it. I then filled in between the berries with slightly sweetened whipped cream. There was a visual contrast between the creaminess of the buttercream and the whiteness of the whipped cream; subtle but still there for the careful observer. On the other hand, there was no missing the tartness of the cream cheese buttercream against the sweetness of the whipped cream. Add to that the juicy raspberries and the golden sponge layers, and you have got yourself a dessert with a memorably complex taste. I do not think that it would be the same had I just mixed the two frostings.

Cut the cooled sponge layer into 4 13"x4.5" strips. (You will only need 3 of these; wrap and freeze the 4th.) Put one strip on a serving plate. Spoon some raspberry sauce to cover. Top with a thin layer of white chocolate cream cheese buttercream. Stand half of the raspberries on the buttercream layer. Add 2 tbs sugar and 1 tsp vanilla to 1 1/4 c cream and whip until fairly thick. Use half of the whipped cream to fill in between the raspberries. The whipped cream layer should be flush with the tops of the raspberries. Now top this with the second sponge strip and press down gently to level layers and fill up empty spaces with frosting. Repeat with buttercream, raspberries and whipped cream. Place the last sponge strip on top. Once again, press to level the cake and use whatever is left of the buttercream to crumb-coat the cake. (This thin layer of buttercream will provide a smooth, crumb-free surface for the final glaze/frosting.) Refrigerate as you prepare the Raspberry Ganache.

(From this point on, my instructions get a little sketchy as I added a little bit of this and a little bit of that without precisely measuring. But as I said before, I will work more on this and I promise to rewrite this part when I am really happy with the results. This first try turned out to be a frosting rather than a glaze. Also, it was a little too sweet for my taste, probably because the amount of raspberry sauce to tint it a light pink was not enough to offset the sweetness of the white chocolate.)

Whip 1/2 c of cream until thick. Add spoonfuls of raspberry ganache to the whipped cream until you obtain the desired shade of pink. Make sure, on the other hand, that your mixture is not too thin to spread on the cake. Use this to frost the outside of the cake. Pipe designs on the cake with the remaining raspberry ganache. Refrigerate at least for a few hours before you serve.

Raspberry Ganache

You may have leftovers from this. The Ganache becomes much thicker on standing.

Heat the cream and raspberry sauce until bubbly. Turn off the heat. Put the white chocolate pieces in the cream and stir until melted. Cool.