Pretty Sweet

Baking blog
Cakes

Birthday queen vanilla

19. February, 2017

Hi. I’m a vanilloholic and this is my birthday cake.

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Well, one year is around and I expressed my feelings towards birthdays and getting older in the last years post about my  vanilla funfetti birthday cake.

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I did bake myself a pre-birthday cake (who does that?), and I will post a recipe for it next week. I am making it a tradition to bake myself a funfetti vanilla cake for my birthday, and it’s the third year now, so yeah, tradition :D.

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I was very busy around my birthday, I had so many visits, that I don’t remember the last time I saw so many people in such a short time. Of course I had a great time, but very busy. And I hate that I had to rush these pictures, so they are not as good as they could be… But the cake disappeared in a blink and as far as I know, everyone loved it. I loved it the most, because of course I tailored it to my taste which is vanilla with vanilla and some more vanilla! That’s also why I gave it this name. I also love layers, different textures, creamy desserts and custards. This cake combines all of that.

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Cake talk. It consists of: 3 layers soft vanilla sponge, 2 macaron layers, 3 layers vanilla pastry cream, 4 layers white chocolate vanilla ganache, vanilla mascarpone mousse and white chocolate mirror glaze. Lot’s of layers I know, but that’s also what makes it so good.

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I thought about the concept for a while. What components to use, how to place them, how much of what, etc. I must say I’m thrilled when things turn out as good, or better than expected the first time I bake them and with so many components.

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Making it does require some time and effort, but it’s totally worth it. It’s not a cake that you bake everyday anyway, it’s for a special occasion.

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I decorated it with some vanilla macarons I made and dried roses.

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It tastes like vanilla, can you believe it? Heh, of course it does, but it is so much more than that. It is very creamy, as I wanted it to be, but the texture is not boring at all. Each layer has it’s own kind of vanilla flavor and a different texture. The pastry cream is silky smooth, the macaron layers give it a bit of bite and almond flavor, vanilla sponge is very light and gives the cake another dimension, then we have vanilla white chocolate ganache that keeps the macaron layers from getting soggy and of course adds flavor. Mascarpone mousse gives the cake some more delicious creaminess and the mirror glaze adds a polished look and another texture. Every component works. I’m proud :).

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Ingredients

Vanilla sponge
3 eggs
65 g sugar
45 g flour
30 g cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract

Vanilla dacquoise
60 g egg whites
40 g sugar
65 g ground almonds
40 g powdered sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 tsp vanilla extract
some powdered sugar

Vanilla pastry cream
500 g milk
1 vanilla bean
5 egg yolks
100 g sugar
35 g vanilla pudding powder or cornstarch
50 g room temperature butter

White chocolate vanilla ganache
300 g white chocolate
185 g whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean
90 g butter

Vanilla mascarpone mousse
Creme Anglaise
500 g whipping cream
1 1/2 vanilla bean
100 g egg yolks (about 4 eggs)
125 g sugar
10 g gelatin (yes, you can use the sheet form)

500 g mascarpone at room temperature

Mirror glaze
200 g glucose
135 g condesed milk
200 g sugar
100 g water
200 white chocolate, chopped
14 g gelatin powder (yes, you can use the sheet form here also)
80 g water

Decoration:
dried roses
vanilla macarons
sugar pearls

Instructions

Vanilla sponge
Preheat the oven to 200°C an line a baking pan (34 x 38 cm, or a bit bigger) with parchment paper. Beat the eggs with sugar until pale in color and fluffy, about 4 min. Sift the flour and cornstarch together into the eggs and gently, with a spatula, stir them in. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and distribute evenly. Bake for about 5-6 min, or until the sponge looks golden brown. Remove from the pan and let it cool. When cooled, cut three 17 cm circles and remove from the parchment paper. Eat the scraps! 😛

Vanilla pastry cream
Put egg yolks, sugar, 2 tablespoons milk,  flour and vanilla pudding powder, or cornstarch in a bowl and combine. Pour the rest of the milk into a pan. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds inside, put everything to the milk and bring to a boil. Take the vanilla bean out and pour half of the milk slowly to the egg yolk mixture while mixing (tempering). That way you won’t scramble the eggs. Pour the egg mixture back to the pan with the rest of the milk, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes while stirring constantly. If you have some clumps in the pastry cream, run it through a sieve. Remove from the heat and mix in the butter until it’s melted in. Pour the pastry cream to a plate and cover with cling film, so it doesn’t form a skin. Leave to cool.

Vanilla dacquoise
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw two 17 cm circles, turn the parchment paper over. Preheat the oven to 180℃. Beat the egg whites on medium speed. When they start to froth, start adding sugar and increase speed to mid-high. Beat for a few minutes, until you get stiff peaks. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the vanilla bean and add them to the egg whites together with vanilla extract, briefly mix. With a spatula, gently fold in the almonds and powdered sugar. Smear the batter inside the two drawn circles and lightly dust them with powdered sugar, twice. Bake for 10-12 min. Remove from the oven and let it cool.

White chocolate vanilla ganache
Chop the chocolate to small pieces. Scrape the vanilla seeds and add to the cream. Bring the cream to a simmer, then remove from heat. Add the chocolate and vanilla extract to the cream, let it sit for 3 min, then mix until you get a smooth, shiny ganache. Add the butter and mix it in. Set aside.

Assemble
You will need a 19, or 20 cm round baking pan. The cake is pretty high, depending on the height of your baking pan, you might have to make it taller with some sturdy acetate sheet placed around the pan.
Place one sponge layer on the bottom of a 19 or 20 cm round baking pan. Take 1/3 of the pastry cream and spread it over the sponge. Take one dacquoise layer and spread 1/4 of the ganache over one side. Place the layer with the ganache side down on the pastry cream. Now spread another 1/4 of the ganache on top of the dacquoise. Distribute 1/3 of the pastry cream over it and place one sponge layer on top. Repeat the dacquiose step, put the remaining pastry cream over it and finish with the last sponge layer. Cover the cake with cling film and chill until the mascarpone mousse is ready.

Vanilla mascarpone mousse
Make this only after you’ve assembled the cake. Prepare the gelatin by the instructions provided on the package (I mixed it with water and let it bloom for 5-10 min). Bring the cream with the scraped vanilla seeds and vanilla beans to a simmer. Mix the egg yolks with the sugar and slowly pour in half of the cream, stirring constantly. Add this mixture back to the pan with the remaining cream and cook, stirring constantly, until it reaches 82°C. You can check if the cream is done by placing a spoon in the cream and then making a line with your finger across the spoon. If the line stays clean and the cream is slightly thickened, it’s done. Do not overcook, the eggs will scramble! Remove from heat and leave to cool to a room temperature, don’t let the gelatin set. Remove the vanilla beans, Now you have creme anglaise. Mix the mascarpone for a few seconds, until creamy. Add the creme anglaise and mix on a very low speed until the mixture is combined.

As soon as you make the mascarpone mousse, pour it over the cake, right up to the edges of the pan, or the acetate sheet. Cover with cling film and place in the freezer for a few hours, or overnight. When the cake is frozen, make the mirror glaze.

Mirror glaze
Bloom the gelatin in 80 g water, or prepare by the instructions on the package. Bring the sugar and 100 g water to a boil on a low-medium heat and boil for a minute or so, until the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from the heat, add the condensed milk and gelatin and mix them in. Now add the chocolate and let it sit for 3 min. Mix everything together with an immersion blender. Be careful not to put air in the glaze, keep the immersion blender under the glaze. Tap on the counter a few times to reduce the bubbles. If you see any on the surface, pop them with a toothpick. Now leave the glaze to cool to 33°C.

When the mirror glaze is cooled to 33°C, take the cake out of the freezer. Put the cake over a baking sheet, or something that will catch the leftover glaze and on something that will hold it some cm in the air. Now pour the mirror glaze over it, and gently scrape the top with a palet knife to make the top straight. The glaze will start setting pretty fast, so when it does, don’t try to correct, or touch anything. Leave the leftover glaze to drip down, then remove the drips at the bottom with a knife, or scissors.

Decorate as you wish. You must thaw the cake completely before eating. An then you can enjoy :)!

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