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Baked: Olive Oil Layer Cake with Champagne Frosting

April 24th 01:04pm, 2013

I love this cake created by Bouchon Bakery‘s Thomas Keller. It’s spongy and perfectly designed to soak up simple syrup or liquor. Also, the olive oil flavor isn’t overpowering. It only adds a hint of something special.

I’ve been in love with Champagne frosting ever since I tried a cupcake featuring it at La Patisserie Chouquette. The frosting is light with a lovely flavor. I ended up finding champagne extract at Karen Ann’s Cake Supplies store. While I thought about using actual Champagne, the taste gets cooked off too easily. Champagne extract is perfect; although, be sure to add it in small increments, tasting as you go.

I baked the sponge cake in a large sheet pan and used a cookie cutter to stamp out little rounds. I added a teaspoonful of Chambord to each slice before layering it with frosting (Although I’d be interested in experimenting with a simple basil syrup or any other flavor component.). The combination is irresistible, and if you top it with chocolate-covered strawberries … well, good luck eating just one cake.

Olive Oil Cake with Champagne Frosting
Adapted by Amrita Rawat from a recipe originally published in the cookbook Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller
Makes 6 to 8 mini layer cakes (depending on the number of layers and size of cutter)

Nonstick oil (if using parchment paper)
1 cup plus 1 tsp. (145g.) all-purpose flour
½ tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. (3g.) baking powder
½ tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. (2g.) Kosher salt
3 Tbsp. (50g.) eggs
¾ cup plus 2 tsp. (158g.) sugar
¼ cup plus 3 Tbsp. (113g.) whole milk
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. (79g.) extra-virgin olive oil

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Line an 18-by-13-inch sheet pan with parchment paper or a Silpat mat. Spray with nonstick oil if using parchment paper.
• Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
• Beat the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer for about 1 minute. Increase to medium speed, and whip for 5 minutes, until the mix looks thick and pale yellow. Scrape the batter down the bowl and beat on high for another 5 minutes.
• Add the wet ingredients, and beat until combined.
• Slowly add in the flour mixture, and beat on low until combined.
• Pour the batter into the sheet pan, and use a spatula to spread in an even layer, making sure to reach the corners.
• Bake for about 15 minutes, until the cake is golden on top and springs back when lightly touched. Let cool completely.
• Invert the pan onto parchment, peel back layer of parchment paper if necessary.
• Freeze the cake before using a cutter to stamp out round shapes, or any shape you prefer.
• Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 4 hours. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks.

Champagne Frosting
5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
¼ tsp. champagne extract, or more to taste
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
6 to 8 tsp. Chambord
Handful whole strawberries
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

• Mix the flour and milk in a saucepan. Once stirred, put over medium-low heat. Keep stirring until it resembles mashed potatoes. It should look like a goopy, cohesive batter.
• Let the mixture cool, and then store in the refrigerator until completely cooled.
• Beat the extract, butter and sugar in a mixer on high until fluffy.
• Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low until light and fluffy.
• Layer two cake rounds with frosting and top with a third cake round. Repeat with the remaining cake rounds to make 6 to 8 layered cakes, in total.
• Pour 1 teaspoon of Chambord over each layer cake. Top with a dab of icing.
• Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave for 10-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until the chocolate has melted.
• Dip the whole strawberries into the chocolate and place one strawberry on top of each frosted cake.

Note: You may have frosting left over that you can freeze for later use or use as a dip for fresh fruit.

By Amrita Song

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