Thursday, September 17, 2009

Vanilla Bean Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream

My grandma called a few weeks ago and asked if I could make her a cake for a function she was attending at Methodist Hospital. She said since everything I bake is always so good, she thought she would see if I had the time. Well how could I say no to that?

The last cake I made for her was chocolate so this time I wanted to do something vanilla. And when I saw the Vanilla Bean Recipe in Sky High, I knew I had to make it!

Remember I won all of those yummy vanilla beans from My Baking Addiction's giveaway! This was a perfect time to dip into them. They are from Beanilla, and they are awesome. This time I used the Tahitian Vanilla Bean. It smelled amazing. After using the seeds for the cake, I put the pod in a tupperware with sugar, and made vanilla sugar.

Vanilla Bean Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream from Sky High
(makes an 8 inch triple layer cake, I used 2 9 inch cakes and had enough to fill a 6 inch square pan as well)

3 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise(I used Tahitian Vanilla Bean from Beanilla)
2 sticks, plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp
1 1/3 cups milk
5 egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom of pans. Line each with a round of parchment paper, butter the paper.

Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the mixer on low speed, blend well. With the tip of a small knife, scrape out the seeds from inside the vanilla bean into the bowl. Add the butter and 1 cup of milk and mix to blend. Raise the mixer speed to medium and beat until batter is light and fluffy, about 2 mins. In a mixing bowl, whisk egg whites with the vanilla extract and the remaining 1/3 cup of milk. Add this to the batter in 2 to 3 additions, scraping down the bowl well and mixing only to incorporate. Divide among your pans.

Bake for about 30 mins. Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto wire racks. Remove the paper and cool completely, about an hour.

White Chocolate Buttercream from Sky High
3 egg whites
4 ounces good quality white chocolate
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp

Put the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. Melt the white chocolate about halfway in a double boiler. Remove from heat , stir until smooth , and set aside to cool.

Combine the sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan. Set over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil and cook without stirring, until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage 238 degree F on a candy thermometer.

Immediately start beating the egg whites on medium low speed. Slowly add the syrup in a thin stream, taking care not to hit the beaters. Continue to whip until the mixture is body temperature and stuff meringue has formed.

Reduced the speed to low and add the butter 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time. When the butter is incorporated, beat on medium speed until the frosting appears to curdle. Continue to whip and it will suddenly come together. Add the white chocolate and mix well.

To add some color, I decorated with chocolate shavings! It looked so delicious it was hard to hand it off and not know how it tasted. Soo....

I had a little extra batter left over from the cake and baked it in a 6 inch square cake pan. I cut it diagonally and layered the 2 triangles. I took this part to work for my co-workers to try, and I might have tasted some too! ( I thought I got a photo of it, but apparently I took it on my blackberry and its not the greatest photo.)

This cake was fabulous! I got some many compliments on the frosting, I am really excited to try it again on something else. The cake had a tender crumb and was very moist!

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  1. That cake looks gorgeous! Great job.

  2. I love that book! Everything just looks so stunning. You did a great job with this cake. Your grandma must have been proud to serve this beauty.

  3. What a fantastically gorgeous cake! Sounds delicious!

  4. I've made that frosting but not the cake. I bet the two were perfect together. I just love this cookbook!

  5. Your cake looks fabulous - I bet your Grandma loved it too! I have never used vanilla beans before, but have been wanting to give them a try. I'll have to check out Beanilla. Happy Saturday :)

  6. Yum, this sounds and looks fantastic! My guys are not fans of chocolate but love white chocolate and would be all over the frosting!

  7. This cake looks awesome. I have the book at home and have been wanting to try this recipe. After seeing how gorgeous your came out, I will definitely have to try it for myself :)

  8. i love vanilla bean in cake and frosting! i love the little speckles! this frosting is one i am definatly giong to try!!