Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February 8, 2011: Valentine Dessert - White Chocolate Raspberry Cake

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When it comes to the potluck part of our church Valentine’s Day celebration, Kathy is in charge of the food. She suggested that everyone bring a hot dish with a meat in a crock pot (we don’t have a kitchen at the church so keeping food hot is a challenge).

As usual, I am in charge of bringing the bread (I’m best known for my homemade bread; everyone regularly requests my rolls and focaccia). This year I’ve decided to make loaves of crusty French bread slathered in garlic butter (I’ll wrap them in foil and put them on top of the heater to keep them warm) and I also volunteered to make a dessert.

I’ve been dying to make this recipe for some time now and Valentine’s Day seems like an appropriate occasion. As long as I can find the white chocolate (pretty iffy as I have only one grocery store to shop at in addition to a Super Wal-Mart), my dessert for the church Valentine’s Day potluck will be:

White Chocolate Fantasy Cake (courtesy Better Homes & Gardens, 1994)

4 egg whites (room temperature)
1 ¾ c. all purpose flour
1 T. finely shredded lemon peel
2 t. baking powder
¼ t. salt
3 oz. white baking bar, chopped
¾ c. half and half or light cream
1/3 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
4 egg yolks
1 c. raspberries
3 T. raspberry liqueur
1 recipe white chocolate frosting
1/3 c. seedless raspberry jam
White chocolate curls (optional) – use a vegetable peeler on a bar of room temperature white chocolate
½ c. fresh raspberries (optional)
Powdered sugar (optional)

In a small mixing bowl, stir together flour, lemon peel, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Melt the chunks of white baking bar with ¼ c. of the cream in a small saucepan over very low heat, stirring constantly until it starts to melt. Remove from heat and continue stirring until all the chocolate is melted. Stir in remaining cream; cool.

In large mixing bowl, beat the butter with electric mixer about 30 seconds or until softened. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until combined. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating until combined. Alternately add the flour mixture and the white chocolate mixture, beating on low to medium speed after each addition just until combined.

Wash beaters. Beat the egg whites with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Spread batter in 2 greased and lightly floured 8 x 1 ½ inch round cake pans.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes (test with toothpick). Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans and continue cooling.

In a small bowl combine the 1 cup raspberries and liqueur; set aside.

Prepare white chocolate frosting:

4 oz. white baking bar, chopped
1 ½ c. whipping cream
1 T. cold water
½ t. unflavored gelatin
3 T. sugar

Chill mixing bowl and beaters.

Melt white chocolate baking bar as described above, using ¼ cup of the cream.

Combine cold water and gelatin; let stand for 2 minutes in a glass measuring cup. Place cup in saucepan of boiling water. Heat and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved.

In the chilled mixing bowl, beat the remaining 1 ¼ cups cream and sugar on medium speed while gradually drizzling gelatin over the whipping cream mixture. Beat until soft peaks form. Continue beating, gradually adding cooled baking bar mixture until stiff peaks form.

To assemble cake:

Place one cake layer on plate. Drain liqueur from berries and drizzle liqueur over cake layer. Stir jam to soften and spread across the top. Top with one third frosting. Spoon 1 cup berries on top.

Place the second cake layer on top. Frost top and sides of cake. Decorate with white chocolate curls (if using). Just before serving sprinkle cake with ½ cup berries and sift powdered sugar lightly over the cake. Serves 10.

Per serving: 532 calories, 29 g. fat (15 g. saturated fat), 141 mg. cholesterol, 193 mg. sodium, 62 g. carbohydrates, 1 g. fiber, 7 g. protein.

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