Oh, she’s gone and done it. She being me of course. I just had to play around in the kitchen again and I had lots of grand ideas, but through my survey of my newsletter subscribers I learned that you wanted two flavor profiles that I haven’t yet given you: lavender and champagne! Not together. Ew.
But that was kinda news to me. You also asked for cookies. Over and over again I saw cookies, so you’ll be getting bunches of those coming up 🙂 Ask and you shall receive!
Ideas abound with champagne cake and I had never made one before so I figured I’d grab one of my favorite flavor lines to help me out, Amoretti. I LOVES all of their natural, compound, and Artisan flavors so I knew I’d knock the cake part out of the park with their help.
The buttercream, though. It had to highlight the cake and not take away from it. Champagne is too classic to mess with and what’s more romantic and timeless than pairing strawberries with it?
Nothing. There’s nothing. Other than sparkly baubles and I couldn’t very well put diamonds INTO my recipe.
You can’t add diamonds to cake, Kara. You cant do that… (I’m not totally convinced.)
Anywhoooo. It became the strawberry buttercream that I fixated on and since I already have a killer real strawberry frosting recipe I wanted to do it again but in the Swiss fashion. And real strawberries were my crux. They were a must. And they must be my freeze dried and powdered favorites 😀 I’m a sucker for freezedried fruits!
Experimental Kara reared her head and made a conscious choice to ignore what most would do – I added my powdered strawberries BEFORE whipping my whites and sugar. Because why not? Give it a try, she said to herself. There’s no fat whatsoever in the powder so it should work, she said. You love experimenting anyways, she said.
And that’s precisely what I did. I mixed my strawberry powder in with my meringue powder and sugar THEN added my whites and went about my meringue-y business.
I was worried the powder would still clump in the mix – it did not.
I was worried it wouldn’t fully incorporate before heading to the mixer – it did.
I was reeeeeaaalllllyyyy worried it wouldn’t foam and whip the way a beautiful and supple meringue should – IT. DID!!!
Oh my heavens was I giddy about what was happening in my kitchen! I must have messaged three other cakers within a split second when I realized it was coming together. They may have thought I was a bit nuts. But they know me well and know how science-y and geeky I get about this stuff so they casually (virtually) nodded their heads with a smile and told me they thought it was cool. (yes, guys, I know you patronize my weirdness as my loving friends. and I thank you for that 🙂 )
So here she be. My lovely, delicate, Pink Champagne Cake and REAL Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream!
The cake is based on my Kara’s Perfect Vanilla Cake recipe featuring the high-ratio method of mixing and if you haven’t tried it (the method as well as the recipe) or have been too intimidated by it, I IMPLORE you to go give it a shot! I’ve converted so many cakers around the globe to my recipe and baking scratch and high-ratio. You’ll never need another cake again. AND it’s all-purpose (plain, 500) flour! No cake flour, so no matter where you are on the green and blue planet you can make my cake!
I must tell you this is glorious. And while I didn’t use it, you could make a simple syrup with champagne only (no water) and soak the layers with some real bubble-y. Equal parts champagne and sugar, half cup of each boiled down and cooled should do for this cake.
Oh! And be sure to add a drop of Vivid Pink gel food color to get that delicate pink blush to the cake and buttercream. Of course you don’t have to, and you could even use an ivory color for the cake to make the classic champagne color. But hey. Pink.