Recently I received "The Baking Bible" by Rose Levy Beranbaum as a birthday gift from my sister and I tell you I couldn't wait to dig in. I already own one of her other famous tomes, "The Cake Bible" and I knew her latest publication would be equally fantastic.
The first recipe that caught my attention was for Cream Cheese Butter Cake. The accompanying photo in the book looked so simple and inviting - a small square piece of white cake frosted with lemon curd buttercream. No one does a white cake better than Rose. She uses a reverse creaming method which produces a fine, moist and tender crumb that tastes surprisingly light.
Unfortunately I didn't have much success with the lemon curd buttercream included in the recipe. It didn't quite set up to the firm texture that I was hoping for. Probably because I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have when I was making the recipe. Oh well, I'll definitely need to revisit it another time. But luckily I had some leftover vanilla buttercream that I embellished with fresh raspberry puree to frost the cake with. All it needed was a fresh raspberry on top and I had the perfect snack cake.
Makes one 8-inch square cake
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut in to 6 pieces
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons cream cheese, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350.
Coat the bottom of an 8 x 2 inch square cake pan with shortening, line with parchment paper and then coat with a baking spray with flour. Set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk the egg yolks, 2 tablespoons of the sour cream and the vanilla until just until lightly combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and the salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter, cream cheese, and the remaining sour cream. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 90 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Starting on medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture to the batter in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a large silicone spatula, scrape the batter in the prepared ban and smooth the surface evenly witha small offset spatula.
Bake the cake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown, a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. Let the cake cook in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a small metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the cake and invert the cake onto a wire rack that has been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray. Cool completely upside down. Once cooled, frost with raspberry buttercream and top with fresh raspberries.
Raspberry Buttercream Frosting (adapted slightly from Cook's Country)
Makes ~ 2 1/2 cups of frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature and cut in to 16 pieces
1/8 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup raspberry puree
Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip butter, cream, vanilla, and salt on medium-low speed until combined.
Slowly add sugar and continue to mix until smooth, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and whip frosting until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add raspberry puree and whip until combined.