Saturday, July 18, 2015

Raspberry, Lychee and Vanilla Cake




Who knew raspberry and lychee can be so good together! They certainly don't sound all that impressive on paper. But OMG! I had an OMG moment when I tried it the first time. Like OMG, why didn't I try this earlier? In a way, I think, I love these flavours together because they reminiscent of spring, and romance, and girly tea parties. And maybe also for the simple reason that I love raspberry and lychee.

I want to make a delicate cake to go with these flavours. A chiffon-like cake that is light and fluffy, but sturdy enough to be baked in a standard cake pan. And billowy swiss meringue buttercream two ways; raspberry buttercream for the filling, and vanilla buttercream to dress the cake like a dream. And of course plenty of lychee in the raspberry buttercream filling, and lychee sugar syrup to amp up the flavour. To make this cake extra special, I decorate it with pink macarons on the side to give it a wow factor, and pile on a generous amount of raspberries on top of the cake that sit so enticingly like red rubies.

I have to say. This is the prettiest cake I have made to-date. And I am so excited to share it here on this blog.




Raspberry, Lychee and Vanilla Cake

Makes an 8" cake

Sponge
4 egg yolks, room temperature
40 grams caster sugar
80ml milk, room temperature
60ml neutral flavoured oil (I used rice bran oil. You can also use veg oil, corn oil, etc.)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
135 grams cake flour (Or plain flour. But cake flour gives a softer texture cake.)
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 egg whites, room temperature
40 grams caster sugar

Lychee Sugar Syrup
1 can (560 grams) lychee in syrup
50 grams caster sugar

Raspberry and Vanilla Buttercream
250 grams fresh or frozen raspberries
2 tablepoons caster sugar
4 large egg whites (about 80 grams)
200 grams caster sugar (I used vanilla caster sugar)
350 grams unsalted butter, soften, cut into small cubes
120ml milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

You will also need 250 grams fresh raspberries and macarons to decorate. Recipe for macarons here.

To make sponge:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius conventional (or 160 degrees celcius fan-forced).

Using an electric stand mixer, whisk egg yolks with 40 grams sugar until very pale and creamy.

Combine milk, oil and vanilla extract in a bowl, with mixer at low speed, add to egg yolk mixture until combines.

Combine cake flour and baking powder in a bowl, with mixer still at low speed, add to egg yolk mixture until combines. Set aside.

Using an electric stand mixer, with a separate clean dry bowl and whisk, whisk egg whites until foamy. Gradually add in the remaining 40 grams sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.

Using a spatula, take 1/3 of the stiff egg whites and fold into the yolk batter. Fold in the rest of the whites.

Divide batter into 2 x 8" cake pans. (Note: I didn't grease or line the cake pans. However, I did use non-stick cake pans with removable base. Line your cake pans if you wish, especially if your cake pans do not have a removable base.)

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from oven, turn cake pans upside down on a cooling rack and allow cakes to cool completely in pans.

Once cakes are completely cool, trim cakes to your preference.

To make lychee sugar syrup:
Strained syrup from a can of lychee. Reserve lychees for the filling.

Combine 125ml lychee syrup and sugar in saucepan, stir, over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Allow to boil for 5 seconds. Set aside to cool completely.

To make raspberry and vanilla buttercream:
Combine raspberries and 2 tablespoons sugar in a saucepan, cook over medium heat until raspberries break down and release its juice. Continue to cook, stirring constainly, until juice thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon.

Strain the raspberry mixture through a sieve into a bowl, pressing down with the back of a spoon and discarding the solids. Allow the raspberry mixture to cool completely before incoporating into buttercream.

Meanwhile, combine the egg whites and caster sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk continuously by hand until the egg white mixture reaches 70°C on a sugar thermometer. (You can make this icing without a sugar thermometer. Simply whisk until the sugar is dissolved (about 8-10 minutes). Test by rubbing a small amount between your fingertips; it should feel completely smooth, without sugar grains.)

When the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is warm to the touch, remove the bowl from the pan. Using an electric mixer, whisk for about 10 minutes until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled (checked by touching the bottom of the bowl). The meringue needs to be completely cooled before you add the butter.

Start adding small lumps of the softened butter a little at a time, whisking well after each addition and scraping down the bowl from time to time. The icing may appear to curdle and split as you add the butter, but keep going and it will come back together again. Gradually add the milk and vanilla extract until everything is well incorporated, and the vanilla buttercream is smooth.

To make raspberry buttercream, scoop out 1/3 of the vanilla buttercream in a seperate bowl. Add cooled raspberry mixture into the 1/3 buttercream and whisk until everything is well incorporated.

To assemble:
Brush lychee sugar syrup on one side of a cake layer. Pipe over raspberry buttercream, then top generously with lychees. Brush lychee sugar syrup over second cake layer. Place cake layer, syrup side down, on top of buttercream. Brush lychee sugar syrup on top of cake layer. Cover cake with the vanilla buttercream. Decorate with macarons and raspberry. Note: To ensure that the macarons stick to the side of the cake, pipe or spread some buttercream on the macarons and press it gently onto the cake.

This cake is best served at room temperature. Take the cake out of the fridge for 10 minutes before serving on a hot day, or 20 minutes on a cold day to allow the buttercream to soften.

4 comments:

  1. Beautiful! I love raspberries!

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  2. what a gorgeous cake! i think pierre herme does something similar (isaphan- raspberry, rose and lychee), but this sounds so much better because i'm still weary of floral-infused foods.

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  3. So cute and such a nice presentation.

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