Sunday, July 1, 2018

Pink Champagne Cake

We are all aware of the guest etiquette when it comes to servings of food. No one wants to be the one that takes the last few servings. I guess it stems from trying to avoid the feedback that occurs when the serving plate is empty. The comments range from, "I wanted some of that last piece" or "I did not have a chance to try it before it was gone."

This is not only when it comes to food, but drink as well. I have a cabinet full of liqueur and wine, but there is more bottles than actual liquids. The bottles get to a point where they only have a few ounces in them and consumption stops. Too bad that they cannot be consolidated.

There is a solution to the problem- it is incorporating those last few ounces of liqueur or wine into a recipe. This is a sure fire way to use up the liqueur in the bottom of the bottle while ending up with a tasty dessert.

After toasts are made and the celebration is over, grab some of that remaining champagne and create this amazing cake.  Or better yet, set some aside so you can serve this cake at the celebration. The champagne flavored layers make a great canvas for the cherry coconut filling. The white coating, or icing, is a classic buttercream that also includes of champagne. A sprinkling of crushed chocolate coated cherries ( I used Dove brand) on top sets if off, giving each slice a subtle hint of chocolate.

This cake is at home on the table during any celebration. However, even if you just want something special on an ordinary day, this is the recipe to try.

Pink Champagne Cake
adapted from Food52

2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
5 egg whites
1 cup pink champagne
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups cake flour
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
pink food coloring (optional)

Ingredients/Filling (doubled recipe from here)
2 cups chopped glace cherries
4 tsp cherry brandy
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter

1 1/4 cup butter
6 cups powdered sugar
3 tbs pink champagne
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
pink food coloring (optional)
10 finely chopped chocolate coated cherries (optional/I used Dove brand)

Prepare three 8 inch layer pans by greasing the interior and lining the bottom with parchment paper. Grease the face up side of the parchment once placed in the pan. Dust the inside of all three pans with flour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth. Scrape down sides occassionally at intervals. The correct consistency should be achieved after 4 minutes of beating. Then the wet and dry mixtures are to be created.

In one bowl, whisk the eggs, champagne, vanilla extract and oil together. The second bowl is to be filled with a sifted blend of flour, salt and baking powder.  Each mixture is to be added to the butter/sugar batter, the sifted in 1/3 increments with 1/2 increments of the champagne blend in between. The order should be 1/3 dry, 1/2 wet, 1/2 remaining dry, remaining wet and last of dry. Use a wooden spoon to blend after each addition. If using, blend the coloring in the batter at the end.

Divide cake batter into thirds, adding each measurement of batter to a pan. Smooth the surface of the pan. Place pans in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Then rotate pans and bake until tester comes out clean, about 12 more minutes.

Remove pans and place on cooling rack. After cooling the cakes for 10 minutes, run a knife around the interior edge between the pan and the cake. Invert onto cooling rack. Remove parchment paper and let sit another 10 minutes then invert the cakes again. Let cool completely before assembly.

As the cakes cool, prepare the filling component. Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until glossy and smooth. Sift the powdered sugar into the butter and mix with a spoon until the sugar is more cohesive with the butter. Then beat until it has a fluffy light consistency. Add the cherry brandy and the optional food coloring and blend. Then, using a wooden spoon, fold in the cherries and the coconut.

Choose a cake layer for the bottom and place on a round cake board. Spoon 1/2 of the filling on top of the layer. Using a spatula, smooth out the filling to cover the layer, leaving a 1/4 inch border along the edges. Top with the second layer and repeat with the filling. Lastly stack the third layer on top. Set aside while the frosting is made.

For the frosting, beat the butter in a stand mixer until creamy and smooth. Sift in 4 cups of powdered sugar, champagne and vanilla. Beat on low and then gradually increase speed as mixture becomes more cohesive. Once all is blended, beat in additional powdered sugar to acheive your preferred consistency. If using coloring, add it and beat until evenly distributed into the batter with no remaining color streaks.

Prepare a piping bag with a round tip that has a 1/2 inch opening. Add the frosting and pipe in between the layers, filling the 1/4 inch cake border left on the inside edges of the layers. Then frost and decorate entire cake as desired. If using, sprinkle the chopped chocolate-cherry candy pieces on top of the cake.

Tips and Notes:
1. The cake is very fragile, so be careful when inverting.

2. You can skip the fancy filling and use just the buttercream by increasing the frosting recipe. You can also brush the layers with cherry brandy before frosting.

3. If you go to far on the thickness of the filling, just mix in water to dilute.

                             **LAST YEAR: Orange Meltaways**