My take on Bon Appetit's Baking School Birthday Cake
This sponge is delicious, the icing is creamy and not too sweet and overall a pretty cake in its fun simplicity. I hope you bake this and let me know how it turns out.
Classic Yellow Sponge
- 2 cups Caster Sugar
- 226g Butter
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- 6 large egg yolks
- 3 large eggs
- 4 cups Cake Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- 1 1/2 tsp fine Salt
- 1 1/2 cups Buttermilk
- 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1. Preheat oven to 180ºC, making sure that oven racks are arranged in the middle of the oven. Butter three 9 inch round pans, lining the bottom with parchment paper.
2. Combine caster sugar, butter, light brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in the vanilla powder and cream together using the paddle attachment until light and fluffy for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add yolks and eggs one at a time, beating after each addition and scraping down the sides to ensure everything is incorporated.
4. Continue to beat, until the mixture has almost doubled in volume, scraping the sides of the bowl for 5-6 minutes. The mixture should be light, airy, and pale yellow in color.
5. In a separate large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt.
6. In a jug, whisk in buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract.
7. With the mixer on low, add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
8. Divide the batter equally between the three pans (Tip: weigh the stand mixer bowl and subtract that from the total weight of the bowl and the mixture to calculate the weight to be divided between pans)
9. Bake the cakes for 35 minutes, rotating the cakes halfway through. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a cake tester, there should be a few moist crumbs attached.
Vanilla Milk Soak
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 Tbs caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp fine salt
1. Combine milk, caster sugar, vanilla extract and salt, and heat gently, until the sugar dissolves.
2. Cool to room temperature.
Whipped Chocolate Ganache
- 114g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 8 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 tsp instant coffee powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cup cream
1. Combine chocolate, 6 tablespoons cocoa powder, instant coffee powder, vanilla extract and salt in a heatproof bowl.
2. Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over low heat.
3. Pour cream over the chocolate mixture and allow chocolate to melt.
4. Once the mixture is homogenous, let it cool.
5. In a stand mixer, whip the ganache until light and fluffy. If the mixture begins to curdle, sift in 2 tablespoons cocoa powder and whip until smooth.
Chocolate Swiss Meringue Butter Cream
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
5 large egg whites
255g bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1. Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a heatproof mixing bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water; whisk until sugar dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
2. In a stand mixer, whisk the meringue mixture on high for 7 to 10 minutes.
3. Using a paddle attachment, on medium speed, add room temperature butter in teaspoon increments.
4. If the mixture begins to curdle, increase the speed, and continue whipping, there may be a temperature gradient that needs to normalize.
5. Beat in melted chocolate.
- 3 Layers Yellow Cake
- Vanilla Milk Soak
- Whipped Chocolate Ganache
- Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Hundreds and Thousands
1. Transfer cakes to wire racks and let it cool. Invert the cakes and peel off the baking paper, sit on top of the baking paper, and sit on the rack to cool completely.
2. Using a long serrated knife, remove the top dome, smoothing the cake, until it is level.
3. On a cake board, spoon a little chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream and place a layer of cake on top.
4. Brush over a few tablespoons of the vanilla milk soak.
5. Pipe a boundary of chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream and then spoon over and spread the whipped chocolate ganache filling and top with the next layer of sponge, repeating the process.
6. Continue until all the layers form part of the stacked cake.
7. Spread remaining Swiss meringue buttercream over the top and sides of the cake.
8. Line a countertop with newspaper and place the iced cake on top.
9. Take a handful of hundreds and thousands and carefully place along the sides of the cake.
10. Collect any fallen sprinkles and continue to place along the cake sides.