Thursday, August 2, 2012

Four Superb Birthday Cakes (pt. 4)

My friends we have finally reached Harry's last birthday cake in The Goblet of Fire:

"And then on Harry's birthday (which the Dursleys had completely ignored) he had received four superb birthday cakes, one each from Ron, Hermione, Hagrid, and Sirius" (Goblet of Fire 28).

As you can see, our last birthday cake is from Sirius. Since his letters arrive to Harry via tropical birds, Dinah Bucholz decided that Sirius would probably send a tropically-flavored cake, so we are making Citrus Sandwich Cake with Mango Filling.

For the Cake, You Will Need:
2 cups cake flour (all-purpose works fine too)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 sticks (12 Tbs) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
grated zest and juice of 1 orange
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large egg whites, at room temperature

For the Mango Filling, You Will Need:
3 ripe mangoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
pinch salt
2 Tbs cornstarch
3 large eggs yolks
1/4 stick (2 Tbs) unsalted butter
juice of 1 lemon

For the Whipped Cream Frosting, You Will Need:
2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
a few drops of yellow food coloring

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8" round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together the flour, 1/2 cup of the sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and beat until the mixture resembles yellow crumbs.
3. Add the milk, yolks, grated zest and juice of the lemon and orange, and vanilla and beat until smooth.

4. In a separate clean bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until soft mounds form. Continue beating while adding the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar gradually. Beat until stiff but still glossy. 

5. Whisk 1/4 of the egg white mixture into the batter to lighten it, then fold in the rest using a rubber spatula.

6. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cakes are spotty brown and feel firm when touched lightly in the center. Do not over-bake or the cakes will be dry. Cool in the pans. If you need to, the cakes can be wrapped in plastic and frozen until needed (in case you're spreading your baking over multiple days).

7. To make the filling, process the mangoes in a food processor or blender until smooth, then push through a sieve with a rubber spatula, extracting as much juice as possible. Note: I am the most impatient baker ever. I hate straining things, as you may recall. I didn't strain the pulp out of my mango juice, and my custard was fine, there was just a whole lot of it, and it was more textured than normal. If you are impatient like me, and you don't want textured custard, I suggest finding a source for unsweetened mango nectar.

8. Transfer your liquid mango to a medium saucepan. Add the sugar, water, salt, and cornstarch and stir to dissolve. Cook over medium heat until warm, stirring constantly.
9. Whisk in the egg yolks and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbling. 
10. Remove from the heat, add the butter and lemon juice, and stir until melted and combined.

11. Transfer the filling to a bowl, cover the surface directly with plastic wrap, and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until needed, up to two days. 
12. Make the frosting just before you're ready to assemble the cake. Whip the frosting ingredients (except the food coloring) together until stiff peaks form.

13. To assemble the cake, split the cake layers in half. Place one layer on your serving plate and spread 1/3(ish) of the mango filling on top. Repeat with the next two layers, stacking the layers into a cake tower. Top with the last layer. 

14. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the whipped cream frosting. Tint the remaining frosting with the yellow food coloring and scoop it into a pastry bag. Use the yellow frosting to pipe a decorative border around the edges of the cake.

This cake is a bit time consuming to make, but the end result is worth it! This cake is both rich and refreshing at the same time. It also stays moist days later, though I recommend keeping it in the fridge, as the frosting melts pretty quickly. An excellent choice for a summer birthday party! Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Found your site through pinterest! I think this is a great concept! Can't wait to try something!