Thursday, November 17, 2011
Strawberry Sponge Ruffle Layer Cake (Gluten Free)
I am a total sucker for all things girly. When I was in the middle of wedding planning a couple of years ago, I saw ruffle cakes like this one EVERYWHERE and I was smitten. Not only because the all over ruffles create such a pretty, feminine effect, but because the cake struck me as being inspired by the fashion of the season also. Ruffles are still very in, but they were REALLY in a few seasons ago. This fact inspires me to create a cake with a sequined effect as an homage to the current season (post to come).
This particular cake is a strawberry sponge cake filled with cream cheese strawberry frosting and covered in vanilla swiss meringue buttercream. The cake turned out DELICIOUS. It's wonderfully moist and has Nestle Strawberry Milk powder to create the strawberry flavor.
For the Strawberry Sponge Cake
*Makes four 7-inch round layer cakes
2/3 cup superfine sweet white rice flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup, plus 1 1/2 tbsp potato starch
1/4 cup corn starch
2 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup milk (you may also use another non-dairy milk)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup powdered strawberry milk
1/2 tsp Salt
Butter and flour pans and line bottoms with circles of parchment paper. Set aside. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flours, starches, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer, beat eggs until foamy. In the meantime, heat milk and butter together on stovetop until milk is hot and butter is melted. Turn off stove.
Add sugar to eggs and continue beating for 5-6 minutes until batter becomes creamy and fluffy. Add vanilla extract.
Add milk and melted butter and beat until combined. Add flour mixture 1/4 cup at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Once batter is fully combined, pour equal amounts into each pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees. Insert a toothpick and gently press the tops of the cakes to check when
Allow cakes to cool in pans for about 15 minutes.
NOTE: Due to my limited oven space and the fact that I only have two 7-inch cake pans, I mixed and baked two sets of 2 cakes separately. It wasn't too much more work this way since this is a pretty easy and quick cake to mix up.
For the Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
2 sticks unsalted butter
2/3 block of cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup of strawberries, diced
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Place sliced, washed strawberries in food processor and chop using short pulses until strawberries are diced into very small pieces, but NOT pureed. Set aside. Cream butter and cream cheese together until well combined. Add powdered sugar and mix until fully incorporated. Add vanilla. Add strawberries and mix until just combined.
For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
4 egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 sticks butter, unsalted
2 tsp vanilla extract
Slice butter into small pieces and set aside. Combine egg whites and sugar in metal mixing bowl. Create a double boiler by placing over an appropriately sized saucepan filled with simmering water (stove should be kept on). Whisk egg whites by hand on stove top (do not allow water to enter the mixing bowl) until temperature registers 160 degrees, or until all of the sugar is melted and egg whites are foamy. Place mixing bowl on stand mixer and beat using whisk attachment until mixture is a thick meringue and is fully cooled. Once mixture is cool, add butter in piece by piece and slowly until all is incorporated (mixture may appear curdled, but it will whip up nicely, don't worry). Once butter is incorporated, use paddle attachment to beat for another 2-3 minutes.
Add vanilla and pink food coloring- mix until fully incorporated.
To assemble/decorate the cake:
Place one cake layer on a round cake board, or cake stand. Spread about 1/3 cup of the strawberry cream cheese frosting on top. Place another cake layer on top of the first later and repeat with remaining layers/frosting until all four layers are stacked.
Spread a thin layer of swiss meringue buttercream all over the cake until covered, but very thinly (the cake does not need to be perfectly covered because the ruffle layer will also be added).
Fit a large pastry bag with a #103 Ateco tip. Fill pastry bag with remaining swiss meringue buttercream. With the narrow part of the tip facing you, point pastry bag and tip straight down, making left to right motions to create ruffles. Continue around the entire side surface of the cake.