For a distinctive dessert with unforgettable flavor, I recommend this cake. Feel free to substitute your favorite jam and lend your own touch to this signature treat. —Lisa Bogar, Coventry, Vermont
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1-3/4 cups sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 vanilla bean
- 3 cups cake flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE:
- 12 ounces white baking chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- SWISS BUTTERCREAM:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 7 tablespoons shortening
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup apricot preserves
- 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
- Additional sliced fresh strawberries
- Separate eggs; let eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Line two greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper and grease the paper; set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Split vanilla bean and scrape seeds into creamed mixture; discard bean. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
- In a small bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Fold a fourth of egg whites into the batter, then fold in remaining whites. Transfer to prepared baking pans.
- Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- Place chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool, stirring occasionally, to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Beat with an electric mixer until ganache is double in volume, about 2 minutes.
- For buttercream, in a small bowl, combine sugar and cream of tartar. Place egg whites in a double boiler or metal bowl over simmering water; stir in the sugar mixture.
- Constantly whisk egg mixture until mixture reaches 120-130°. (Do not overheat.) Stirring gently, keep the egg white mixture at 120-130° for 2 minutes. Immediately transfer to a mixing bowl. With a whisk attachment, beat egg white mixture on high speed for 5 minutes. Reduce speed; beat 5 minutes longer or until cool and stiff. Transfer to a large bowl.
- In the same mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat butter, shortening and vanilla until light and fluffy. With a spatula, stir a fourth of the egg white mixture into creamed mixture until no white streaks remain. Fold in remaining egg white mixture until combined. If frosting is not completely smooth, attach paddle beater to mixer and beat on low speed for about 1 minute.
- Cut each cake horizontally into two layers. Place bottom layer on a serving plate; spread with half of ganache. Top with another cake layer. Spread with apricot preserves; top with sliced strawberries. Place third cake layer on top; spread with remaining ganache. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread buttercream over top and sides of cake. Top with additional sliced strawberries. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as Vanilla Bean Cake with White Chocolate Ganache in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2012, p188
Sweet White Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.
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