Cakes drove me to a love of baking and finding a wonderful life partner in The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. I'm no expert on decorating - I'm more concerned with the taste and texture of the cake and frosting.
This was the Golden Luxury Butter Cake (p. 48) made with a bit of white chocolate in the cake batter to help increase that "melt in your mouth" feature. I made the classic buttercream (p. 230) from the cookbook - and followed the chocolate directions using white chocolate again instead of dark. I then followed the recipe for a raspberry puree and sauce (p. 337) for a filling.
The raspberry puree was the most fun - and newest attempt - for me. It started with frozen raspberries sitting in a mesh colander overnight to thaw and drip the juices into a bowl. I set a small shotglass under the colander to ensure that the berries were not sitting in their juices - but that there was room for it to drip. The juice that dripped out makes about 1.25 cups and is cooked down to about .25 cups. Then, the berries are smashed through the mesh colander to extract the berries while leaving the seeds behind. This took some time and elbow grease - but wasn't difficult. I was able to extract the prescribed cup of puree.
The cooked-down juice and puree were combined with a bit of sugar and lemon juice - and was ready to go.
To ensure that the puree didn't leek into the cake - I covered the bottom layer with a crumb coat of buttercream and made a bit of a buttercream dam around the edge to help keep the puree inside. Once that was firmed up (15 minutes in the fridge) - I spooned on half of my raspberry puree and finished frosting the cake.
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