Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Creamsicle Cake For Mother

I am on a blogging roll! My latest creation is a creamsicle cake for my mother's birthday (Alexis Stewart [Martha's daughter] had it on her WhateverGirls blog [and she made it for Martha's birthday]). Here's the recipe adapted from The Cake Book:

The Cake:
1 c. sifted pastry flour
1/8 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
1 tsp. vanilla
4 tsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Sift together the pastry flour and salt into a small bowl. In the bowl of a mixer, whisk together the eggs and sugar and heat over a pan of simmering water (be sure water level is below the bottom of the bowl) until 'warm' (I'd say about hand-hot...the recipe wasn't very specific). In an electric mixer (with the whisk attachment), whip on high until tripled in volume. Then, with the mixer on low, stir in the vanilla and orange zest. By hand, sift in 1/3 the flour mixture into egg yolk mixture and fold; add the rest in two more additions. Put the butter in a small bowl and stir in 3/4 c. of the batter. Fold this mixture back into the rest of the batter. Pour into a buttered and floured 9-inch spring form baking pan (the recipe wasn't too specific about pan-type, but later on you need the spring form, so why not use the same one? If you do decide to venture out and use a regular cake pan, be sure to line the bottom with buttered, floured parchment because you don't want it to get stuck!). Bake at 350F for 18-22 minutes until it springs back to the touch and tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then unmold and let cool on a rack (with the spring form, even when buttered and floured, I had to loosen the bottom with my offset spatula...just fyi..)

The Syrup:
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. orange juice (freshly squeezed)
2 tbs. Grand Marnier or Cointreau (optional)

In a small saucepan, simmer sugar, water and orange juice until sugar is dissolved. Stir in liqueur, if using, and set aside to cool.

1/4 c. water
2 tsp gelatin
1 1/2 tbs. orange zest
3/4 c. orange juice
1/3 c. lemon juice
3/4 c. granulated sugar
6 large egg yolks
2 tbs. Grand Marnier or Cointreau (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. heavy cream

In a medium saucepan, stir water and gelatin together and let sit for 5 minutes. Then, add orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice, sugar and yolks and heat over medium heat, whisking continuously until slightly thickened and at 180F. Take off heat, and pour through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl set over ice water. Stir in liqueur and vanilla and stir the mixture occasionally until cool (about 10 minutes). Meanwhile, whip up the heavy cream to stiff peaks. When the cake is all cool and everything else is ready, fold the orange juice mixture into the whipped cream until well blended. (it might seem like the liquidy orange juice mixture won't mix with the cream, but it will...just keep folding! And use immediately!)

With a long, serrated knife, slice the cake in half. Center one piece, cut side up, on the bottom of your 9-inch spring form pan (there will only be about half a centimeter of space around the cake, but it should be all good for the mousse to get down and around the sides of the cake).

Soak this half with half of the syrup and then pour half of the mousse over the cake. Use a spatula (small and offset, if you have it) to spread the mousse around and down into that gap on the sides. Then center the other cake half into the pan and soak with syrup (stupid me, I forgot to soak my second half...oh well...). Then pour the rest of the mousse over the cake and spread as you did before. Smooth the top and put into the refrigerator for 3 hours, until set.

(this is a looonnng recipe....)

To unmold, dip a thin flexible knife in a container of hot water, wipe and run around the edge of the pan, re-dipping and wiping as needed. If not serving immediately, return cake to the refrigerator (it melts rather quickly because of the cream).

(Clearly, I didn't spread/push the mouse down far enough...alas, mine isn't as perfect as Alexis's)

the original recipe makes candied orange peel for garnish when serving, but I didn't feel like making it.
Other notes:
-my unsoaked layer didn't seem to miss the syrup, so no harm was done.
-I went to Daiso and bought a cake box for storage within my refrigerator--only 1.50! Or go to your local Sur La Table or bakery and get one

The cake was perfect for a hot summer day, and surprisingly didn't take as long as I expected (and no need for a piping bag!).

Happy birthday, Mother!


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