When our friends from Minnesota visited last month, we knew that we needed to learn how to make a real decorator cake. We had a great time doing just that!
Ana specializes in making cakes. She graciously shared some of her tips and secrets with our daughter. It was great sitting around and chatting as we explored the more serious side of making a proper cake.
Update: You need to know that Ana is now our son’s wife and our dear daughter-in-love!
First, the girls made us a White Chocolate Raspberry Torte they found at Taste Of Home.
White Chocolate Raspberry Torte Cake
Total Time = Preparation: 1 hour and Bake: 30 min. + cooling
Makes 12 servings
- 1 cup Spectrum shortening 100% organic expeller pressed palm oil in place of less healthy hydrogenated Crisco butter-flavored shortening
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup white baking chips, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup white baking chips, melted and cooled
- 1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
- Fresh raspberries, optional
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line two greased 9-in. round baking pans with waxed paper; grease paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in melted chips and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Transfer to prepared pans.
- Bake 26-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely; gently peel off waxed paper.
- In a small saucepan, bring raspberries and water to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Press raspberries through a sieve; discard seeds. Cool.
- In same pan, combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in raspberry puree until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool. Spread between cake layers.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in melted chips; fold in whipped topping. Spread over top and sides of cake. Pipe frosting over top edge of cake and garnish with berries if desired. Store in the refrigerator.
I just have to share these delightful pictures of the process below. Many thanks to Amy Joy who took such gorgeous photos. You can read more about her photography here.
Instead of hydrogenated Crisco, we used Spectrum shortening which is 100% organic expeller pressed palm oil and quite good for the heart.
With matching aprons, they set to mixing up all the cake ingredients. There was general anticipation, and an eager and interested audience congregated to watch the proceedings,
hoping begging for handouts.
So the cakes will easily lift out of the pan when baked, it helps to apply liberal shortening to the bottom and sides, and we used parchment paper cut to fit the bottom.
The anticipation was growing at this stage…
Doesn’t this look amazing? It’s a bit like the molten lava bubbling up in the crater of a volcano!
(Note: in our experience cake humps in the middle, but this sunk. Try adding more batter in the middle before you bake.)
There is an amazing red raspberry filling for between the layers starting with our own frozen raspberries from last year’s crop.
You cook it down and sweeten it. The seeds are then strained out before spreading it between layers! Isn’t the color heavenly?
Some trimming may be necessary to make the layers lay flat…
If you love an intense true raspberry flavor, this will make your mouth water!
I learned the difference between frosting and icing: “Frosting is what you do to a cake; icing is what you do to a doughnut”, although there are also regional differences in definition.
Ana used her own special recipe for the healthy honey-sweetened fluffy frosting. This is amazing frosting! I have often thought how nice it would be to find a healthy frosting that looked and tasted like those not-very-healthy frostings. And we have found it.
Come back again for the frosting recipe in Part 2 next week.
So pretty! Amy Joy’s photo skills captured these beautifully despite the rapidly approaching dusk. An edging of parchment paper was added under the cake to keep the doily clean.
We were all thinking, “Make it thicker, please.”
Now for the special touches!
We collaborated to come up with a design beautiful finishing presentation.
Almost too pretty to eat! Almost…
Thank you, Ana, for being an excellent teacher! This is one delicious cake! With that big glass of raw milk, it was just perfect!
“Let them eat cake!” ~Marie Antoinette
Come back next week for Part 2, in which I share a healthier version of frosting – Ana’s Honey Sweetened Frosting.