Almonds give this cake a nice softness and lots of flavor! The French white chocolate buttercream is easily whipped up without the need of a thermometer and tastes wonderful! Raspberries give this cake a nice tangy twist!
The perfect summer cake: White chocolate, Raspberries and almonds! A light dessert for a warm summer night!
How to make French buttercream
French buttercream is made with egg yolks, hot sugar syrup and butter. These three ingredients make the most incredible buttercream with a soft texture. It can be flavored with anything you can imagine. For this cake I used homemade vanilla extract and melted white chocolate.
The first step of making French buttercream is to add water and sugar into a small sauce pan and heat it at medium high heat. Do not stir it as the sugar will dissolve by itself. In the meantime whip up the egg yolks which should be at room temperature for best results. I like to use a hand mixer with a whipping attachment or you can use a stand mixer.
After about 5 minutes the sugar syrup should have reached 240 °F which means it is ready to use. If you do not have a sugar thermometer you can test if the syrup is hot enough with a cup of cold water. Simply drip a spoonful of syrup inside and if you can form a soft syrup ball with your fingers it is ready. If it forms a hard ball it got too hot and you have to let it cool a bit. If it dissolves it is too cold and you have to heat it for a longer time.
When the sugar syrup is ready drizzle it in a thin line into the whipped egg yolks while mixing. Keep mixing for about 5 minutes. You will see steam forming. When the egg yolk sugar mixture is only warm to the touch you can add the butter in small pieces. I found it best if the butter is still a bit cold so if you press your finger in it it will leave a dent. The buttercream should come together nicely in a few minutes. Then add the flavoring: vanilla and melted chocolate. The frosting is ready to use or you can keep it in the fridge for a few days. Let it come to room temperature before using.
Raspberry Almond White Chocolate Cake
Ingredients for 3 8-inch cake layers Vanilla cake:
1 1/2 cups (300 g) sugar
2 cups (240 g) cake flour
1/2 cup (60 g) almond meal
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs, large
1 cup (240 ml) butter milk
1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup (80 ml) vegetable oil
3 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup (210 g) raspberry jam
White Chocolate French Buttercream:
10 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups (300 g) sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1 1/2 cups (340 g) butter
3 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup (85 g) white chocolate, melted
Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Start off with a medium sized bowl. Sift in flour, almond meal, baking soda and baking powder. In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, salt, butter, vanilla, and oil. Mix for about 4 minutes. The mixture should be very fluffy and light in color. Add eggs and butter milk. Mix it until combined. Sift in the flour mixture and mix the batter until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Do not over mix it as it could lead to a dense cake!
Grease and line three 8-inch baking pans with parchment paper. Divide the batter evenly among the pans and smooth the cake batter. Bake the cake layers for 20 minutes at 350 °F, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each layer comes out clean. Cool the layers in the pans for about 5 to 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. While the cake layers are still warm wrap them in cling wrap and place them in the freezer to cool completely for about 40 minutes. This will ensure they stay moist.
In the meantime make the French buttercream. In a medium sized sauce pan add sugar and water and let it come to a simmer for about 5 minutes. In the meantime whisk the egg yolks in a big mixing bowl until foamy and lighter in color. The sugar syrup should have reached 240 °F. If you do not have a sugar thermometer use a glass with cold water and drip some of the sugar syrup inside. If you can form a soft ball with the sugar it has reached the right temperature. If it forms a hard ball it got too hot. When the egg yolks are foamy keep mixing and slowly drizzle the sugar syrup on top. It is going to release steam. Mix it until the bowl is only warm to the touch. Then add the butter in small pieces and mix until smooth. Add the flavoring vanilla extract and melted white chocolate. I like to chop the chocolate into small pieces and microwave it for about 45 seconds. Mix it and if it is not completely melted I microwave it for about 20 seconds longer. Let it cool for about a minute before adding it to the buttercream.
To decorate the cake place the bottom layer on a plate and spread a thin layer of frosting on top and smooth it out. Add 1/3 of a cup of raspberry jam and smooth it with a spatula. Add the second cake layer and repeat the step. Cover the cake with frosting on the top and its sides. Smooth it out and let it cool in the fridge for about 40 minutes or place it in the freezer for 8 to 10 minutes. When the cake is cooled add a final layer of frosting and smooth it. Decorate the cake with swirls of buttercream. Add to each swirl a fresh raspberry and white chocolate shavings if desired.
You want to bake a smaller cake? For 6 inch I recommend using half of the cake batter for 3 layers.
Keep the cake in the fridge as French buttercream is perishable!
Not a French buttercream fan? Make my signature Swiss meringue buttercream instead. Find the recipe here.
Make your own cake flour: The ratio is for every cup all-purpose flour take out 2 tbsp of flour and add 2 tbsp of cornstarch. So if you need 4 cups of cake flour, measure the all-purpose flour, take 8 tbsp of it back into the flour container and add the same amount of corn starch. Sift at least 5 times.