I don't care if it was created by Hallmark, I love Valentine's Day. I loved it even when I didn't have anybody to love, and I would merely hope that on that day, some romantic boy would do something crazy or romantic or unexpected to declare his adoration for me. That would have been so fun...
Sadly, after 4 years of marriage, it still hasn't happened. Ryan and I celebrated our first Valentine's Day together 3 weeks after we were married. Ryan celebrated by falling asleep for an all-night "nap" immediately after devouring the delicious meal I toiled over all afternoon for him. I celebrated by doing the dishes then watching TV. So much for the "honeymoon phase".
Valentine's Day has never really lived up to my expectations, but I still love it, so I wanted to share a few ideas for your Valentine's Day treats. Here's the first one!
When I saw this cake, by Peabody, I knew I couldn't resist making it. It is just so pretty and so PINK! Of course, hers was much prettier than mine so you should really check out her post. It is a white chocolate mousse cake with cranberry frosting.
I loved the cake- it got rave reviews all around. It was very moist, and kind of dense but still somewhat soft and springy. The taste was delicious and the white chocolate was detectable, but not too much. The cakes were very thin, so even with three layers and frosting it was not a tall cake.
The frosting. I loved the cranberry. The little, tart, juicy bits were perfect to offset the sweet white chocolate cake. But herein lies the catch. Check out the recipe. It is not a typo. It calls for 6 sticks of butter IN THE FROSTING! So, though delicious, it was pretty greasy. Not to mention that each (small) slice of cake I served contained 1/2 stick of butter (44 grams of fat and 400 calories!) in the frosting alone. Even I, The Glutton, could not stomach that. But I could stomach some of that- so I scraped off only half of the frosting and enjoyed the rest of the cranberry butter...er...frosting.
Next time I will experiment with the frosting- I think we could cut out a few sticks and still have a decent frosting on our hands. I'll let you know.
White Chocolate Cranberry Cake
White Chocolate Mousse Cake
4 TBSP unsalted butter, cut into 1 TBSP pieces, plus 1 TBSP melted
12 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
10 large egg yolks
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup all-purpose flour
6 large egg whites
Preheat oven to 325F
Lightly coat three 9 x 1 ½- inch round cake pans
with some of the 1 TBSP melted butter. Line the bottoms with parchment paper, then lightly coat the paper with more melted butter.
Melt the chocolate and butter on top of a double
Place egg yolks, ½ cup sugar, and vanilla in the
bowl of a standard mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on high until lemon-colored and slightly thickened, about 4 minutes.
Add the melted white chocolate and beat on medium-high until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Use a rubber spatula to fold the flour. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and set aside.
Place the egg whites in the clean bowl of a stand electric mixer fitted with a balloon whip. Whisk on high for 45 seconds until soft peaks form, then add the remaining ¼ cup sugar and continue to whisk on high until stiff peaks form, about 45 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add about a third of the egg whites to the egg yolk mixture and fold to incorporate, using a rubber spatula. Add the remaining egg whites and fold until the mixture is uniform in color. Immediately divide the batter into prepared pans, spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula.
Bake on the top and center racks of the oven until a toothpick comes out clean , about 21-22 minutes. Halfway through rotate the pans 180 degrees and switch racks. Remove cake from oven and let cool
for 30 minutes. Invert the cake layers onto cake plates. Carefully peel away the parchment paper. Refrigerate the cake layers uncovered.
1 ½ cups fresh whole cranberries
1 ½ lbs(6 sticks…yes 6) unsalted butter, cut into
1-TBSP pieces, softened
2 ½ cups powder sugar, sifted
Place cranberries on a baking sheet and bake in a 325F oven for 8 minutes, until they start to burst. Then put them in a bowl and place in fridge.
Place butter in the bowl of a stand electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low for 1 minutes, then increase
speed to medium and beat for 1 minute. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides. Add the cranberries and mix on low speed for 15 seconds, increase to medium speed and mix for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl.
Gradually add the powder sugar while mixing on the lowest speed until combined, about 1 ½ minutes. Scrape down again. Beat on
medium-high for 1 minute until very soft and fluffy. Remove bowl from mixer, and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the icing until thoroughly combined.
To assemble the cake:
Remove the cake layers from fridge. Fit a pastry bag with a large star tip. Transfer 1 cup of the icing to the pastry bag and set aside at room temperature. Use an icing spatula to evenly spread 1 cup of the remaining icing over the top of one of the cake layers, to the edge. Use a wide utility turner to remove the second layer from the cake plate and place it on the icing. Spread another cup of icing over
that layer to the edge. Top with the last layer. Gently press the layers into place. Using a sharp knife to trim away any rough edges around the cake. Spread the remaining icing evenly over the top and sides of the cake.Using the pastry bag, pipe a ring of 8 to 10 evenly spaced cranberry icing stars along the outside edge of the top of the cake. Refrigerate cake for at least 1 hour before cutting and serving.Heat blade of a knife under hot water and wipe dry before
cutting each slice. Slice the cake while still cold, then keep slices at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
*Source: Adapted from I’m Dreaming of a Chocolate
Christmas by Marcel Desaulniers