Remember when I said how much I dislike white chocolate? (No?) That's good. Because I may be eating my words, literally...
There is absolutely no reason why I should like this cake. It's extremely sweet, and there isn't a single drop of lemon, or a hint of dark chocolate. Yet I'm absolutely smitten, I'm over the moon...I'm irrevocably in love, with this exquisite white confection.
Perhaps I should give Brussels sprouts another try? (Don't hold your breath on that one.)
When Jaclyn, of Celebrations asked if I would like to be part of a virtual Memorial Day potluck, I jumped at the chance! (I've never been to an actual potluck, and I'm always looking for a valid excuse to bake an over-the-top dessert.) Thank you, Jaclyn!
Before I get to the flowery cake description, please take a look at the entire Celebrations Memorial Day menu, brought to you by some talented, tasty food bloggers!
(Hopefully not everyone eats dessert first.) *innocent whistle*
Jaclyn, of Celebrations, Buffalo Dip
Beth, of Hungry Happenings, Patriotic Biscuits
Erin, of Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts, Quinoa Salad with Veggies and Lime/Garlic Cilantro Dressing
Rowena, of Apron and Sneakers, Speck Skewers with Herb Mayonnaise and Grilled Mediterranean Aubergine Bundles with Provola
Elle, of Elle's New England Kitchen, Boneless Pork Ribs with Woodchuck Summer Cider Blueberry BBQ Sauce
Tara, of Smells Like Home, Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Curd Filling and Lemon Buttercream
Katrina, of In Katrina's Kitchen, Picnic Tablecloth Cookies
All the recipes will also be featured on Celebration's Pinterest board. (As well as some other amazing menu ideas!)
Ready for some cake love?
This cake is smooth, creamy, sweet, and ohh so suave. The white chocolate frosting is not quite buttercream, nor is it a Swiss Meringue (no eggs). It's just a silky, sexy, sweet frosting. And it managed to make a white chocolate lover out of me...at least for a day.
Dark chocolate lovers, I hear you out there, and I am still in the club. (Right?)
It's close enough to Memorial Day, so I think it's perfectly okay to wear, and eat, anything white. At least let that be your excuse for making this quirky cake. ;-)
White Chocolate Mint Cake
adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
yields 8-inch, round layer cake
2 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (that's 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract (don't measure over the bowl of ingredients...a little bit of this stuff goes a very long way!)
1 1/2 cups ice cold water
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped (try to use a high quality chocolate. White chocolate can be finicky when it's melted.)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups (that's 3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, and not quite room temperature (You don't want the butter to me mushy-soft)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Butter three 8 x 2-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper, butter the paper, and then flour the pans; Gently tap out any excess flour. Set the pans aside.
In a large bowl, sift together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand-mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together on medium-high speed until creamy (about 3-5 minutes). Add the sugar and peppermint extract and beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the egg until just combined. On low speed, begin adding the flour mixture, alternating with the ice water, in three separate additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl, then mix on low speed for a few more seconds, just to make everyone happy.
In a separate, large, Clean mixing bowl, Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar just until soft peaks form. (Do Not over-beat.) Gently fold the whites into the batter.
Divide the cake batter evenly among the three prepared pans. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the pans halfway. (A toothpick inserted in the center of a cake should come out clean.) Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans and gently peel off the parchment paper. Cool completely before frosting. [Note: Well-wrapped, the baked cake layers can be refrigerated for 2 days or frozen for 2 months.]
Prepare the frosting! Place the chopped white chocolate into a heat-proof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (be sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water). Stirring occasionally, heat the chocolate until mostly melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and set it aside to cool. [Note: I pulled the bowl of chocolate off the heat while there were still a few chunks of chocolate left...white chocolate tends to seize, so err on the side of caution when melting. Any remaining bits will melt even when the bowl isn't sitting on top of the heat.]
In a medium heavy-bottom saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream to cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 20 minutes. [Don't worry if at first nothing is happening. The mixture will thicken up eventually.] Transfer the thickened mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool (about 10 + minutes). Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and melted white chocolate. Continue mixing until well combined. If the frosting is too soft, put the bowl in the refrigerator to chill slightly, then beat again until it is the proper consistency. If the frosting is too firm, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and beat with a wooden spoon until it is the proper consistency.
Assemble: Cool the frosting in the refrigerator just long enough for it to hold it's own. If the cakes have domed tops, carefully remove them using a serrated knife and a gentle see-sawing motion. Place one cake layer on a plate or serving platter and spread a generous cup of frosting on top. Repeat with the next layer. Add the final layer, and use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the entire cake. There is a lot of frosting, so have some fun! If you make a mistake, just cover it with more frosting. Garnish as desired.
If you don't plan on serving the cake immediately, keep it covered, and refrigerated. Leave it at room temperature for about 30 minutes prior to serving.