Bakes from the States: Looking for an impressive winter dessert? Try this stunning cranberry snow cake from our US sister site, Myrecipes.com
- 10oz unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for pans
- 3 1/2 cups self-raising flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 7 large egg whites, at room temperature
- Cranberry filling
- 3 3/4 cups cranberries, divided
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups cranberry or cherry preserves
- 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 12 ounces white chocolate (bars or a block, but not chips), divided
- 1 pound unsalted butter, cut into pieces and at room temperature
- 1/2 cup colourless liqueur such as crème de cacao or kirsch
- About 2 tbsp. powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Butter 2 9-inch round cake pans and set aside.
To make the cake: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg whites in 3 batches, scraping down the inside of bowl as needed. Beat in the flour mixture in 5 batches, adding 1/4 cup water after each addition (you will begin and end with flour). Make sure the flour is completely blended each time before adding water. Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. Smooth tops with a spatula.
Bake until center of cake feels firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cakes completely in pans on a rack.
Meanwhile, to make the cranberry filling: Combine 3 cups cranberries, the sugar, preserves, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until cranberries pop and preserves melt. This should take 5 to 10 minutes. Add remaining 3/4 cup cranberries, stir to combine, and remove from heat. Transfer to a small bowl and chill until ready to assemble cake.
To make the buttercream: Fill a saucepan with about 1 in. water and bring to a simmer over low heat. Put egg whites, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer briefly to combine. Place bowl over hot water, making sure bottom of bowl isn’t touching water, and heat whites, whisking constantly, until hot to the touch, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove pan and bowl from heat.
Put bowl of warm whites on the mixer and whisk on high speed until tripled in volume and side of bowl is cool to the touch, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop 4 oz. white chocolate, put in a medium metal mixing bowl, and set in same pan of warm water off the heat to melt slowly, stirring occasionally. Remove bowl from pan and let cool to room temperature.
Reduce mixer speed to low and whisk butter into whites, about 1/4 cup at a time, until incorporated. Continue to whisk on low speed until smooth and fluffy, about 10 minutes (mixture may look grainy at some point but will come together).
With a rubber spatula, gently fold melted chocolate into buttercream until completely combined.
Assemble: Rub tops of both cakes gently with your hands to remove browned outer surface, then carefully invert cakes and rub undersides so that cakes are completely white. Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate, top side up. Using a pastry brush, brush top with half the liqueur. Spread about 1 1/2 cups cranberry mixture over layer with a metal spatula, leaving a 1/2-in. empty border around edge. Place second cake layer on top, flattest side down, and brush with remaining liqueur. Spread top and sides of cake with a thin layer of buttercream to seal in crumbs and chill 30 minutes. Cover with remaining buttercream, starting with the sides and covering the top last.
Use the palm of your hand to warm remaining chocolate. Shave smooth side of chocolate bar with a vegetable peeler to make thin curls and scatter curls over cake’s top. Sift powdered sugar over cake. Serve with remaining cranberry mixture on the side.
To make a pure white cake, use your fingers to rub off the browned surface of each layer before assembling.