Piece of life
We celebrated some days ago the 6 years of our Cocotte (don’t tell me that time flies, I am totally aware of it). Last year, she asked me for a fraisier (strawberry cake), but this year she gave me more freedom by simply demanding a cake full of fruits. And I was waiting for a while to try a layer cake… So, it was decided: a red fruits layer cake for my Cocotte. I will tell you right now: she loved it (proud mama)!
About the Layer Cake
I have eaten some layer cakes. I must say they are quite trendy in North America. But to be honest, most of those I ate were stuffed with sugar and heavy cream. And, really, that is not my thing…
But what a layer cake is?
A layer cake is simply a cake with layers and between each layer a filling [cream, ganache, fruits, for example]. The cake can then be covered with cream or sugar paste, and decorated.
The layer cake can be prepared with different types of dough: génoise, sponge cake, molly cake, angel cake, chiffon cake… There are plenty of possibilities. The dough texture [and therefore the cake] will be different within the chosen option.
The Chiffon Cake
This is the first time that I go for this kind of cake, so I snooped a little around to decide which dough to use. I took the decision on the chiffon cake, mainly because it is prepared with vegetable oil (and not butter) that usually gives a lot of smoothness. I followed the recipe and tips from Valérie, from “C’est ma fournée” blog. For my version, I’ve used olive oil and for the liquid, a blend of milk and lemon juice. This recipe is extremely simple and the result is perfect. I would not change anything.
The main element to be successful with your chiffon cake: do not grease your mold! It is due to the adherence to the walls that the dough will rise, otherwise, it will collapse. When the dough is baked, let it cool down in the mold, upside down, on a grid. The demolding is easily done by running a thin blade along the mold walls.
FYI: there are special molds for this kind of cake, with a chimney in the middle and supports that allow the mold to be turned when it is taken out of the oven. I don’t have one of those, so I bake the dough in an adjustable circle mold (attention, you need height room, it will quite rise when baking).
For a fruit summer cake (and due to taste preference) I chose a light and airy cream. Naturally, I turned to a mascarpone whipped cream (a whipped cream by itself is not steady enough for this kind of cake).
I chose seasonal fruits: strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Of course, it is your choice, and they can be adapted to one’s taste and to seasonal options.
Red Fruits Layer cake
- 140 g flour
- 5 g baking powder
- 80 + 30 g powdered sugar
- 3 eggs (whites and yolks separated)
- 45 g olive oil
- 60 g milk
- 10 g lemon juice (around 1 tbsp)
- 1 zest of lemon
- 1 pinch salt
Crème chantilly mascarpone
- 450 g whipped cream 35 %
- 225 g mascarpone
- 50 g icing sugar
- 400 g red fruits (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries…)
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (350°F).
- In a bowl, mix the flour, the baking powder, the first part of the sugar (80g), the lemon zest and the salt pinch.
- In another bowl, mix the egg yolks, the olive oil, the milk and lemon juice.
- Pour the dry ingredients (your flour mixture) over the liquid ingredients (your egg yolk mixture). Mix to obtain a homogeneous mixture, without insisting.
- Place the egg whites in a bowl. Whisk them. When they start to get foamy, gradually add the rest of the sugar (30g). Continue to whisk until the whites are firm but supple (i.e. not too firm). Stop whisking as soon as you have the famous stiff peaks.
- Softly add the whisked whites to the dough.
- Pour the mixture into a ungreased mold (without paper around the edges), and bake for about 45 minutes (or until the dough is cooked).
- Once the dough is cooked, let it cool down in its mold, upside down, on a grid. Then, gently remove it from the mold by running a spatula (or a knife) around the edges.
Mascarpone Whipped Cream
- In a large salad bowl (preferably cold. You can put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. This will help the whipped cream to stiff faster), pour in the cream, the mascarpone and the powdered sugar. Whisk until you get a well firmed whipped cream.
- Set aside in the refrigerator.
- Wash and cut your fruits into small pieces. Keep some for the top decoration (if you want).
- Once the dough is cooled down, divide it into 3 parts (trying to have equal thicknesses).
- Start the assembly with a dough layer. Cover it with the mascarpone whipped cream, and sprinkle with the fresh fruits. Cover it with a second dough layer, add mascarpone whipped cream and fresh fruits. Place the last dough layer on top.
- Take the rest of the whipped cream and place it on the top and all around the cake. With the aid of a spatula, spread the whipped cream in a thin layer over the entire surface. Remove the excessive cream, which you can use for decorations.Finish with a few berries on top for decoration.