Thursday, May 17, 2012

Orange Charlotte with Berries

This was the request of the CEO of my company for a meeting that's being held today. He indulges my creativity and gives me a "theme" for food to bring. One was finger foods, hence the Avocado Tartines. Another was lime, so Key Lime Cupcakes. This time was berries. Since it's May, it's the perfect time for fresh berries from the market. A Charlotte cake is a spongy cake.

2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar, divided (3/4 cup and 1/4 cup)
3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1 tablespoons orange zest
4 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray two 8-9 inch cake pans with non-stick spray (I like to line my pans with aluminum foil and then spray. Makes clean up a snap.)

Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat the butter and 3/4 cups sugar  until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla, Grand Marnier, and orange zest.

Add flour mixture and milk, alternating additions, beating well after each addition. In another medium bowl, using clean beaters, beat egg whites until foamy, about 3 minutes. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Beat egg white mixture on high until stiff glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes.

Gently fold egg white mixture into batter in 3 additions with a spatula. Divide batter between prepared pans; smooth tops.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on a rack completely.

1 cup cream cheese, softened at room temperature

1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
2 lbs powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
Juice from 1/4 of a lemon, remove seeds

Cream cream cheese and butter on low until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Add Grand Marnier and lemon juice until fully incorporated.

2 containers of blueberries
1 container of raspberries
1 container of strawberries
European style vanilla wafer cookies

Cut the top from all the strawberries. Slice about 6 of them thinly, reserve the rest.

Spread approx 1/2 cup frosting on bottom layer, top generously with the sliced strawberries, and add blueberries and raspberries. Top with second cake layer. Frost tops and sides of cake liberally. Be sure to fill in any gaps along the sides with frosting.

Cut the wafers in half and press into the sides of the cake. The frosting will be the "glue". Then top the cake with the rest of the berries. Refrigerate overnight if not serving immediately.

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