CHRISTMAS SPICE CAKE WITH EGGNOG BUTTERCREAM

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Christmas Spice Cake with Egg Nog Buttercream CHRISTMAS SPICE CAKE WITH EGGNOG BUTTERCREAM

CHRISTMAS SPICE CAKE

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsulphered molasses
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla

EGGNOG BUTTERCREAM

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 4 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 7 tablespoons eggnog
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE

  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

INSTRUCTIONS

CHRISTMAS SPICE CAKE

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour 3 8-inch cake pans, set aside.
  2. In a medium size bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices (cinnamon through black pepper). Whisk together and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer, or using a large bowl with a hand held mixer, add light brown sugar, vegetable oil, molasses and apple sauce.  Cream together on medium speed, making sure there are no lumps left from the brown sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla, mix on low speed 1 to 2 minutes until incorporated.
  4. Working in three batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients on low speed.  Mix to combine ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary.
  5. Divide the cake batter evenly between the three pans.  Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let cake cool and prepare the frosting.  Once cake is completely cool, frost each layer and top and sides of the cake.  Once frosted, lightly drip the cooled ganache over the sides of the cake.  Pour ganache over the top and lightly smooth.  Optional:  Once ganache has set, lightly sprinkle top with spices.

EGGNOG BUTTERCREAM

  1. Cream the butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low, slowly adding confectioners sugar one cup at a time.
  2. Add eggnog one tablespoon at a time, raising speed to medium.  Add ground nutmeg and beat for 2 minutes to incorporate.  Reduce speed to add heavy cream without splashing, slowly increase speed medium-high to whip the cream into the frosting.  Beat for 1 to 2 minutes until frosting is light and fluffy.

WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE

  1. In a small saucepan, bring heavy cream to a simmer.  Pour hot cream over white chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl.  Stir with a spatula until smooth.  Let sit for 10-20 minutes until cool but still liquid.  The warmer the chocolate ganache is, the longer your drips will be.  How long you cool it is a matter of preference and patience.
source:http://hungerthirstplay.com/christmas-spice-cake-eggnog-buttercream/
Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham was named America’s most Outstanding Restaurant at the James Beard Foundation Awards in Chicago on Monday night. Highlands pastry chef Dolester Miles was also named best in the country, making the restaurant the runaway winner at the awards. A panel of chefs, restaurateurs, and food journalists gave chef and owner Frank Stitt’s modern Southern restaurant the honors. The other big winner of the night was Seattle’s Edouardo Jordan, whose JuneBaby was named best new restaurant in America; he was also named Best Chef Northwest for his restaurant, Salare. “People always talk about Portland [Oregon] as the Pacific Northwest restaurant city,” said Jordan. “But they’re like the cool kid with a new name every season. Seattle is showing we are an ongoing force.” He doesn’t credit the rise of Amazon.com Inc. for his restaurants’s successes, although owner Jeff Bezos has dined at Salare. “Seattle has always had big companies—Boeing, Microsoft. They come in and eat, but it’s the people in the city who are making it happen. They’re more engaged than anyone gives them credit for.” The James Beard Foundation Awards recognize restaurants, wine programs, chefs, designers, restaurateurs, cookbook authors, and journalists from around the country. The awards, established in 1990, have recognized industry leaders such as Union Square Hospitality Group’s Danny Meyer and Daniel Humm and Will Guidara of Eleven Madison Park. While it may not have been a good year for such famed restaurant cities as New York and San Francisco (which won only two chef and beverage awards, including Best Service at Zuni, and the Best Chef West winner Dominique Crenn), it was a very good year for women. Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune in New York was named Outstanding Chef in the U.S, and Missy Robbins of Lilia in Brooklyn was named Best Chef New York. Forty percent of this year’s nominees were female. Women won many of the major awards, including Caroline Styne, who was named Outstanding Restaurateur for Lucques Group in Los Angeles. Forty percent of the winners of the regional chef awards were women; last year, that number was 30 percent. For the first time, voters were encouraged to consider qualities beyond food, wine, and ambiance, including respect and integrity. This follows accusations of sexual harassment against such past Beard winners as Mario Batali and John Besh.

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