ELINOR KLIVANS' STRAWBERRY, ORANGE AND WHITE CHOCOLATE CAKE
Elinor Klivans is the author of many cookbooks, including CHOCOLATE CAKES.
Strawberry, Orange, and White Chocolate Cake
You can make these orange and white chocolate cake layers and freeze them to have ready for finishing on the 4th of July. They are filled with strawberry whip cream, frosted with white chocolate whipped cream, and topped with big whole strawberries and white chocolate curls, and start celebrating. It's your own fireworks show for the 4th.
Makes 12 servings
Mixing time 20 minutes for cake, filling, and frosting
Baking 350 degrees F. for about 35 minutes for cake layers
White Chocolate Cake Layers
Two 9-inch cake layers
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of two 9-inch diameter layer pans with 1 3/4-inch to 2-inch high sides. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper and butter the paper.
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, butter, and white chocolate over low heat. Use a large spoon to stir constantly until the butter and white chocolate are melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
Make the cake. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl and using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until thickened and lightened to a cream color, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Mix in the vanilla and orange zest. On low speed, mix in the flour mixture until it is incorporated. Slowly add the hot milk mixture and continue mixing for about 30 seconds, until the batter is smooth. The batter will be thin. Pour the batter into the prepared pans, dividing it evenly.
Bake the cakes just until the tops feel firm if lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool the cakes for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack.
Use a small sharp knife to loosen the cake from the sides of each pan. Place a wire rack on the top of each cake and invert it onto it. Carefully remove the paper lining the cake bottom and replace the paper loosely on each cake. Let the cakes cool thoroughly; then discard the paper liners.
Filling and Frosting
2 cups cleaned, stemmed, and chopped strawberries, plus 12 large strawberries, cleaned and stemmed for topping
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
8 ounces white chocolate chopped
4 cups cold heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups white chocolate curls, optional
Make the filling and frosting. In a large bowl, stir the chopped strawberries and granulated sugar together. Let sit for 15 minutes.
Put the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler and place it over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water (or the bottom of the double boiler); the water should not touch the bowl. Stir constantly until the white chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream, powdered sugar, orange zest, and vanilla until firm peaks form. Drain any juice from the reserved chopped strawberries and use a rubber spatula to fold 4 cups of the whipped cream into the strawberries Set the remaining whipped cream aside.
Place a serving plate on the bottom of 1 cake layer and invert the cake onto it. The top side will be up. Tuck waxed paper strips just an inch or so under the bottom of the cake all the way around to keep the plate clean. Use a long serrated knife to cut the cake layer horizontally into two even layers. Use the removable bottom of a tart pan or the bottom of a springform pan to lift up the top half of the cake layer and move it to the side. Leaving a 1/2-inch plain edge, spread about 1/3 of the strawberry filling over the cake. Slide the top half of the cake layer carefully over the strawberry filling, centering it over the bottom layer, and spread it with another 1/3 of the strawberry filling. Invert the second layer onto a plate so it is top side up and cut it horizontally into two even layers. Slide the top half of the cake layer carefully over the filling and spread over the remaining filling. Slide the remaining cake layer, centering it carefully. Refrigerate the cake while you assemble the white chocolate whipped cream.
Put the melted white chocolate into a medium bowl. Whisk about 1 cup of the whipped cream into the melted white chocolate. Use a rubber spatula to fold the remaining whip cream into the white chocolate mixture. Use a thin metal spatula to spread the white chocolate whipped cream over the top and sides of the cake. Leaving about a 3/4 cup plain edge, arrange the whole strawberries around the top of the cake. Spoon the white chocolate curls into the center of the cake, if desired. Remove the wax paper strips and discard them. Use a large knife to slice the cake. The cake can be covered and refrigerated overnight.
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