Love is an intense and fond affection for someone or something. But the intensity and type can vary so greatly. For me there are three broad categories of love. Love for my husband, love for my children and love for food. (Of course love for kids and hubby take 1st place:)
I found it fitting to prepare all the things I love for the ones I love; Champagne, chocolate, strawberries – in the form of cake. Just writing those words out made my water salivate with anticipation.
My love for chocolate never started until I was pregnant 11 years ago with my first born. Prior to that, I always had trouble finishing a chocolate bar. But theres something about pregnancy that changes a woman’s palette. (Any other moms go through the same experience?) Since having Moineau, I find it increasingly difficult to eat any type of meat. And the sugar intake, especially chocolate has exploded. I can now eat chocolate endlessly.
Champagne has always been a staple in our home. Each year we bring a few bottles back from Europe and indulge whenever a special occasion happens to come upon us. Pre and post natal, my love for the bubbly has not changed:)
As for strawberries…I have to admit – they are my preferred berry. Especially when paired with white chocolate and champagne. Years ago, I remember visiting a strawberry farm just outside Paris, France. It was a pick -your-own strawberries and roses farm. It was a glorious day. I remember drinking champagne while plucking and eating warm strawberries. All the while smelling beautifully bloomed garden roses. I still get joyful shivers thinking of that day.
The smell of sweet champagne while it baked made it so difficult not to dive in with a fork before I started photographing. This cake is a culmination of pleasure at its finest. Enjoy Valentines with all your sweethearts. xo
Champagne Cake with White Chocolate Strawberry Frosting
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FOR THE CAKE
- (300 g) 2 1/4 Cups Pastry/Cake Flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- (175 g) 3/4 Cup unsalted butter
- (350 g) 1 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup champagne ( I used Moet & Chandon)
- 6 egg whites (room temperature)
FOR THE FROSTING
- (275 g) 1 Cup pureed fresh strawberries
- (227 g) 1 Cup unsalted butter room temperature
- (375 g) 3 Cups icing sugar
- (170 g) white chocolate
- 5 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons champagne
DIRECTIONS FOR CAKE
- Place oven rack in middle and preheat oven to 350F
- Take two 9 inch baking pans, line bottoms with parchment paper, grease and dust with flour or spray with baking spray
- In large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt and whisk...set aside
- In stand mixer with whisk attachment or hand mixer, beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks about 5 - 7 minutes...empty into a clean dry bowl and set aside
- In stand mixer or hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy about 5 minutes. Then add the vanilla
- On low speed, add about third of the champagne, then a third of the flour mix...keep alternating until both the champagne and flour mixture is incorporated. Do not over mix.
- Fold in about a third of the stiff egg whites, then fold in the remaining egg whites- do not over mix.
- Distribute the batter into the two baking pans
- Bake for 25 minutes until a tooth pick comes out clean from the center
- Allow to cool in pans for about 20 minutes or so before transferring to cooling racks
- Allow to fully cool about 2 hours before frosting
DIRECTIONS FOR FROSTING
- On a double boiler, melt the white chocolate...set aside to cool
- In a blender/juicer, puree the fresh strawberries...set aside
- In stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter and sifted icing sugar on medium for 2 or 3 minutes until well combined.
- Add the 2 tablespoons champagne, vanilla and the cooled white chocolate
- Then add the cream and pureed strawberries.
- Beat for another 3-4 minutes until the frosting texture becomes consistent and smooth
- Lay first layer down.
- Spread a generous dollop of frosting
- Lay down second layer of cake and spread frosting on top and sides
- Pipe some domes or leave as is.
- Garnish with pink sprinkles or rose petals (optional)
- If the frosting is too soft, pop in freezer for a few minutes to make it a bit stiffer and easier to work with.
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