Skip to main content

White/Marbled Cake with Chocolate Truffle Buttercream



My dad's birthday falls within days of Christmas and we typically celebrate it on New Year's Day.  I was happy to accept the task of making his birthday dessert this year and asked him what he'd like; he requested a white/marbled cake with raspberry filling and chocolate frosting.  I wanted it to be special and delicious because I think that generally people with birthdays near major holidays get the short end of the stick when it comes to celebrations. 

I must have analyzed a dozen recipes before settling on a white cake to make.  Two problems seemed to plague a great number of them--the cakes turned out too dry, or too dense.  White cake should be moist, light and airy, delicately flavored, and WHITE.  Reviews seemed unanimously favorable regarding the Cook's Illustrated White Layer Cake, so that's what I went with, cutting down on the sugar slightly.

I learned something about this cake though.  When I was assembling it everything seemed good, but the night of the party--when we cut into it--I was dismayed to find the texture on the dry and crumbly side, despite having excellent flavor.  We all enjoyed it anyway, but it wasn't the transcendent white cake experience I was going for, and I'm about 99% sure that's because I stored the cake out in the cold overnight, and it was cool when we ate it.  Rookie mistake.  The cake loses its fine, tender crumb when chilled, as I should have known based on the recipe I followed.  At room temp, or slightly warm, it's marvelous (I discovered with a leftover slice).





White (or Marble) Cake (adapted from Cook's Illustrated with some tweaks by The Way The Cookie Crumbles)

2 1/4 c. cake flour
1 c. + 2 T. whole milk at room temperature
6 large egg whites at room temperature
1 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. + 2 T. granulated sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
12 T. unsalted butter, soft but still cool
2 heaping T. unsweetened cocoa powder if you want some marbling

Center a rack in oven.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 3 9" cake pans with parchment circles, then spray pans and parchment with cooking spray and dust with flour, removing the excess, or just use a butter-flavored baking spray with the flour mixed in.   
Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into a 2-cup glass measure and mix with a fork until blended. 
Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer at slow speed.  Add butter, continue beating on low setting until mixture resembles moist crumbs.
Add all but 1/2 c. of the milk mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes.  Add remaining milk and beat 30 seconds more.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat 20 seconds longer.
Divide batter evenly between 3 pans, reserving about 1/2 c. of the batter IF you want a chocolate marble.    Spread the cake batter to the edges of the pan and smooth the tops. If you want some marbling, mix the cocoa powder into the reserved batter and drizzle on top of the layers.  Don't overdo it--less is more. :) 
Bake the cake layers for 18-20 minutes (if you just want a normal 2-layer cake, you can use 2 pans and bake for 23-25 minutes instead).  A tester should come out clean.  Let the cakes rest in the pans for 3 minutes, then loosen the sides with a knife if necessary and invert on wire racks or plates to cool.  Allow to cool completely before filling and frosting.



I used raspberry preserves to fill my cake, about 1/2 c. warmed slightly in the microwave to a spreadable consistency.



I frosted with the following.




Chocolate Truffle Buttercream

8 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate (NOT cocoa)
4 c. confectioners' sugar
12 T. unsalted butter, soft but cool
6-8 T. whole milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt

Melt unsweetened chocolate in the microwave on 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds or so.  Allow to cool to room temp. 
In a bowl, beat cooled chocolate and butter together until smooth and glossy.  Beat in salt and vanilla.  Beat in confectioners' sugar a cup at a time, adding milk as needed to keep consistency smooth and spreadable.  You may like more sugar for a sweeter frosting, or more milk for a smoother one.  Use immediately to frost cake.

This frosting has a rich chocolate flavor and does very well piped.  It's like a truffle center.  I think my husband even used the word "phenomenal."  :)


MAKE SURE TO SERVE THE CAKE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE!  :)

Linking up with Made By You Monday, of course.

Comments

Sounds wonderful. I am a new follower. Pat

Popular posts from this blog

Clay Cookie Craft

Though school is out for the summer there are a few things my little lass and I are still trying to work on consistently--reading, piano, and art.  Now, I have some fine art background but I don't consider myself very crafty, at least when in comes to coming up with fun projects for kids.  I loved this project from The Little Hands Art Book because it combined some great elements of cooking, sculpture, and painting.  I like crafts that actually teach something.  The bonus here is that we ended up with some great looking little cookies for my daughter's play kitchen.  Here's the salt dough recipe you need to get started (click on the photo to see it full size):


We left out the alum and baked the cookies.  We also halved the recipe.  I had my daughter (who is 4) pour the ingredients into a bowl and after I got the mixing started, I taught her how to knead the dough like bread.


The dough becomes smooth and pliable.


I split it into two sections to make it more manageable and l…

Quadro: The Coolest Toy You've Never Heard Of

Usually the content of my blog falls under either parenting, homemaking, or food.  Sometimes you get a poem or some thoughts as I meditate on what God is teaching me through his Word.  Usually my goal is to encourage, inspire, and perhaps amuse.  Today, my aim is not so noble--I just want to share a unique thing my family has been enjoying. 


This is Quadro--modular building toy, a prop for imaginative play, and active play equipment. 

Winters are always rather intense in our neck of the woods, but this one has been particularly frigid.  Nevertheless, my son asks to go outside to play pretty much every day.  I've had to say no a lot, or risk little frostbitten fingers or losing short stuff in a snow bank.  How's a little guy to burn off energy when running circles through the living and dining rooms gets old and his best playmate (his older sister) is busy with school?  This was one of our considerations as my husband and I discussed Christmas gifts for the kids this past yea…

My Unexpected Love for Cloth Diapers

I like to write about things I am very interested in and excited about.  Presently, I'm pretty excited about cloth diapers. 


We've been full time cloth diapering for several weeks now and I like it a lot more than I ever expected to.  In fact, I feel pretty stupid for not switching sooner.  I know it will change some when we introduce solid foods, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.  Right now, I'm just thrilled at how easy it is, how cute and colorful everything is, how much less garbage I have to walk out of the house every day, and that I got to cancel all my Amazon diaper subscriptions.

Shortly before making the switch to cloth I saw this image in a Facebook community.  It's from a display at The Giggling Green Bean, via DirtyDiaperLaundry.



I wouldn't call myself a tree-hugger, though I do believe it's our responsibility to steward God's creation well.  But this image made me feel a little sick, and it's just an illustration of one …