Thursday, February 18

Chocolate & Vanilla Sponge Cake with Strawberry Buttercream

Yet another mouthful, ha.

After a string of unsuccessful submissions to foodgawker and tastespotting, I wanted to make something that was visually stunning. (and not impossible to execute, haha) Stumbling through the food blogosphere (oh how I hate that term, haha), I came upon this cake.
I made some changes, and had to improvise (as English isn't the blogger's native language, and some things weren't entirely clear)

Anyway, it's really pretty, but there's too much frosting between the layers for me, so I'd either put less in between each (which would make the frosting less visible :( ), or make the layers thicker and just have 4 instead of 8 (which is also less pretty). But if you're a big frosting fan (and it IS good), then just go ahead and use as much as you want.

I definitely think one of the keys to the beauty of the cake is the clean lines, so definitely try to bake the layers evenly, and to trim the sides of the cake.

Sponge cake recipe:
Adapted from Cafe Chocolada

6 eggs, separated.
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 395 degrees Fahrenheit (Yup!)
Line a pan or two (I only had one -___-)with parchment paper, and lightly spray with nonstick spray. I used a half sheet pan (so I could just cut the one layer into 4 pieces), but you can use any sort of pan you want, and just split the layers in half.
Beat the eggs whites until stiff. While that's happening, whisk together the yolks and the sugar, until thick and lighter in color. Whisk the yolks into the whites.
Then add in the oil, vanilla, milk, flour, and baking powder and mix until totally combined (the oil is tough, but whisking helps instead of just using a spoon or spatula).
Put half of the batter (don't freak out if it's all bubbly and rising) into the pan, making sure to level it really well. While that's baking (for about 10-15 minutes), put 2 tsps of cocoa powder into the remaining batter. Make sure there's no clumps or it's really hard to incorporate.
Bake that cake.

Once the cakes cool, peel off the parchment paper and cut them in whatever desired shape. I wrapped them up and stuck them in the freezer while I made the frosting.

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting: (not my swiss stuff! haha)
1 cup milk
1/4 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1/3 c strawberry puree (I used the juice from some frozen strawberries)
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened.

Combine 1/2 cup of the milk with the flour, and heat slightly over medium heat, whisking. When it starts to thicken a little, take it off the heat. Bring the rest of the milk to a boil, with the sugar and the strawberry puree. Turn the heat to medium-low, and add in the flour/milk mixture. Whisk it continuously, cooking it until it's thick.
Take it off the heat and let it cook completely.
Then, beat in the butter.

My cake assembly:
I cut each cake into 4 equal pieces and stuck them in the freezer while I made the frosting. After layering the cake + frosting, I set the cake in the fridge overnight, and then trimmed off the edges to make a nice rectangle.
Bring it to room temperature before serving. :)


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