Last weekend was my husband’s birthday and we went to over to ourfavorite place, Canyon River Ranch over in Ellensburg to celebrate with some of our friends. The one request Jim had for his birthday was for a Red Velvet Cake with not too much frosting.
I didn’t want to have to transport a cake, so I decided to make it there. They have a wonderful demonstration style kitchen in the lodge where we would be attending a cooking class that night, so I check to see if I could use the kitchen earlier in the day to bake my cake. With the green light, I started searching for the perfect recipe.
Like many overly ambitious cooks, I I find that I am almost physically unable to just pick out a recipe and then follow it to a “t”. I always have a vision of what it is I want to create, and that usually means modifications and invention. Sometimes with good results and sometimes with not-so-good results. The starting point for the cake is from Rose Beranbaum’s Heavenly Cakes. I followed the cake recipe itself with only a slight modification, but I wanted a filling and a lighter frosting.
The cake turned out great and we ended up serving it for dessert to everyone who attended the cooking class which was a fun way to end the evening. The problem is that I didn’t take a single picture of eith the process or the finished product which makes it kind of tough to post about. I also wanted to tweak my first attempt a little bit, so today seemed like a good day to make version #2.
One of Jim’s requests was to go easy on the frosting, so that meant I couldn’t use frosting between the layers. Instead, I came up with a raspberry curd. I have never tasted or made a
raspberry curd before, so this was my first challenge. It had to be thick enough to serve as a filling and both sweet and tart at the same time.
The first version was a little too thin and not tart enough, so for round two, I added a little bit of cornstarch to the berries when making the sauce prior to straining out the seeds. This added just the hint of body I was looking for. My first attempt was based on my standard recipe for lemon curd which uses one cup of sugar and that was just too sweet for the raspberries, so I cut it back by 1/3 and added both lemon juice and lemon zest. The result was a curd with an almost pudding-like consistency and the sweet-tart taste I wanted to serve as a bright note for the cake.
Make your curd several hours or the day before to allow it to properly set up.
- 1 – 16 oz. bag frozen organic raspberries
- 2 tblsp. sugar
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 tblsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 1 tblsp. water
- 3 eggs – room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- ¼ cup butter, cut into 1 tblsp. Pieces
In medium saucepan over medium heat, combine raspberries, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest, stirring and breaking apart berries until warmed through. Add cornstarch slurry
and cook over medium heat until berries start to bubble, continuing cooking for about one minute.
Remove from heat and spoon into a sieve over a bowl. Using a wooden spoon, work berries through sieve to eliminate the seeds from the mixture. You should end up with about 2/3 raspberry sauce.
In a double boiler over simmering water, whisk together eggs and sugar until smooth. Add butter one tablespoon at a time, whisking until fully incorporated. Once all butter has been whisked in and mixture is very smooth, add 2/3 cup of the raspberry sauce (if you have less than this, just use what you have). Whisk constantly until mixture is bubbling and slightly thickened. This may take up to 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and transfer to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic directly onto the surface of the curd. Refrigerate until completely cooled.
Check back tomorrow for Part 2, the cake and frosting recipe.