My mom is a very special and wonderful woman. She is one of the kindest and most genuine people in the whole world and today is her birthday. And her very special day, deserves a very special cake. So for her birthday, I decided to pull out all the stops and make an insanely delicious 4 layer cake. And in between each layer would be not 1, but 2 fillings, ensuring insane richness, deliciousness, and specialness. So happy birthday mom and enjoy your cake! (again)
Vanilla Cake (adapted from Williams Sonoma)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp of baking powder
1 tsp of salt
1 cup of buttermilk
5 egg whites, at room temperature
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and pre-heat to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until well combined and light. Add in vanilla extract and mix in. Add in 1/2 cup of flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until just incorporated. Add in 1/3 of the buttermilk and stir in. Add in an additional cup of flour and mix until just combined. Add in half the remaining buttermilk and mix until combined. Add in the last 1/2 cup of flour and mix until just combined. Add in the remaining buttermilk and mix until just combined. In a medium bowl using clean beaters/whisk, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, 5-7 minutes. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter, do not over mix. Grease two 8 inch cake pans, and divide the batter between them. Bake until lightly golden and well set in the middle, a tooth pick inserted comes out clean. About 30-35 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from cake pan and slice each cake in half, so you have 4 even layers to fill and frost.
4 cups of frozen rasberries
1/4 cup of sugar
1 blood orange (or regular), juiced
1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
2 tsp of corn startch
In a medium pot bring raspberries and sugar to a boil, stiring occasionally until raspberrries are cooked down and mixture is smooth. Cook covered for an additional 10 minutes. In a small bowl whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, and corn startch. Add juice and zest to the raspberries and cook, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Transfer to a bowl and chill completely before using.
Cream Filling (adapted from Brown Eyed Baker):
2 cups half-and-half
4 tbsp of honey, divided
4 tbsp of sugar, divided
1/2 tsp of salt
5 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 stick of cold butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp of vanilla extract
Bring a pot of water to a boil and place a non-reactive bowl on top of it. Add the half and half, 3 tbsp of honey, and 3 tbsp of sugar to the bowl. Simmer until sugar is dissolved. Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl until combined, add the remaining 1 tbsp of sugar and honey to the yolks and whisk until creamy, about 30 seconds. Add the cornstartch and whisk until thickened about 30 seconds (using an electric mixer). When the half and half has reached a full simmer, remove from heat and whisk in the egg yolks, return the mixture to over the pot and simmer, whisking together. Take temperature and make sure it is at least 160 degrees (to make sure eggs are safe), continue whisking until thick and glossy, about 2 minutes total. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Pass mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, to ensure their are no lumpsLet cool completely, and chill for at least an hour, up to overnight before using. (I had leftovers of this, after filling the cake, but it is like the most delicious pudding you ever had, so I didn't mind, it tasted great with a little fruit).
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 oz of cream cheese, at room temperature
8 oz. cold mascarpone
2 tbsp of honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 1⁄4 cups confectioners sugar
In a large bowl mix the butter, cream cheese, and mascarpone until smooth and well combined. Add in the vanilla and honey and beat until combined. Add in the sugar, while the mixer is running and mix until smooth and glossy.
Select the two "nicest" layers (most even, no holes, etc) to be the top and bottom layer. Place the bottom layer on the cake plate and spread 1/4 the raspberry filling over the cake, top that with 1/2 cup of pastry cream, and then a middle layer of cake. Again, top that with 1/4 the raspberry filling and then 1/2 cup of pastry cream. Then place the other middle layer of the cake on top, and 1/4 the raspberry filling and 1/2 cup of pastry cream. Add the final layer of cake and spread the remaining raspberry filling over the top. Frost with the Mascarpone frosting allowing the raspberry filling to swirl in a a bit. Decorate with fresh rasberries if desired. Enjoy!