10 March 2017

WILD CHERRY MASCARPONE CAKE

A cake is always the centrepiece of any party. If it is a cake with a tasty surprise hidden in the centre, even better. This miniature cake beauty is made of many layers of moist cake and delicious Mascarpone filling. Other than a great taste, the freeze dried wild cherries give the cake an adorable pink colour.
You are even welcome to use some additional chopped up wild cherries in the filling, if you wish. If you do that, take out a portion of the filling to frost the cake, and fold the berries through the rest of it. This will ensure the cake is neatly frosted.
Now, as far as the candy surprise goes - for children’s parties, mini cakes are always welcome, and children love it, so this type of cake can be filled with pretty much anything they like. Candy is just one of the options. As always, adjust the nifty little surprise to children’s age, because tiny pieces of candy might not be suitable for very young children.


Ingredients
For the wild cherry cake
250 grams plain flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
150 grams granulated sugar
3 tablespoons freeze-dried wild cherry powder
3 medium egg whites
250 ml whole milk
120 ml vegetable oil
For the Mascarpone buttercream
200 grams butter, softened
100 grams Mascarpone
300 grams icing sugar, sifted
100 grams powdered milk, sifted
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon unflavoured gelatine
150 grams candy of desired colour

Preparation
To make the cake layers, take a large bowl and sift the flour with the baking powder twice, add in the sugar, and the freeze-dried wild cherry powder, and whisk very well. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites and the whole milk with the oil, add the wet ingredients into the dry, and blend everything well by hand. Take two small round pans (10 cm; 4”), grease the bottoms and sides, then line them with baking paper. Line the sides with additional baking paper if your pans are not deep enough, because the is a lot of batter and it might overflow during baking. Evenly distribute the batter between them, and bake, in a preheated oven, at 170°C (340°F) for about 30-35 minutes. Check them with a toothpick, and let them cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. Take a large bowl, add in the softened butter, and beat with an electric mixer on high, for at least 3-4 minutes, until the butter becomes smooth, and lighter in colour. Add in the Mascarpone, and blend it in on low. Sift in half of the icing sugar, blend it well, then blend in the rest of the icing sugar. Add in the unsweetened cocoa powder, and the powdered milk, and blend it in well. Take a small bowl, add in the gelatine powder, then pour a tablespoon of cold water over it, and let it bloom. Back to the frosting, add in the heavy cream, and continue beating on high, for another 2-3 minutes. By this time, the gelatine should be ready, so melt it over very low heat, or in the microwave, until it becomes clear and liquid. Take a few teaspoons of the frosting, and mix it well with the melted gelatine, then pour everything back into the frosting, and blend really well with an electric mixer. The gelatine will act as a stabilizer, so that the frosting will stay smooth and airy, like a mousse, but stable enough to be piped, and transported. Once everything is blended, set the frosting aside for 10-15 minutes, to rest.
To assemble the cake, level the baked cakes, and slice them into two halves, so you end up with four thin layers. Take a 5 cm cookie cutter and cut out circles of cake from two layers, or you can cut them out from three layers, if you like. Just keep in mind that you need one layer to be whole. Place about a third of the frosting into a piping bag, for easier use. Place the first layer (cut or not) on the cake platter, and pipe a layer of frosting on top of it. Place another layer on top, and carefully pipe a circle of frosting. Repeat this one more time, then smooth the frosting that is on the inside of the cut part, because it is bound to spread a little. Fill the inside of the cake with enough candy in the desired colour, pipe some more frosting on the top layer, and place on the final layer of the cake. Crumb coat the cake, and place it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, so it can set up. Using the rest of the frosting, and a Wilton 2B nozzle, decorate the cake with a basket weave. Place the cake in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. Yields 6 small servings. © TINA VESIĆ 2017
Baker's note: If you feel the cake needs additional support, or if you have to transport it on a platter, take two thin cake dowels and insert them into the cake, one opposing the other, then trim to level.