The January/February issue of R•Home features a look at the Valentine coffee that Julie Strange throws every year for about a hundred or so of her friends. The Fresh Fruit Cake made by caterer Shyndigz was the big hit of the party. Below you'll find the recipe.
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- 2 cups of cake flour
- 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter
- 3 cups of sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon of Madagascar pure vanilla
- 1 cup (8 ounces) of egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups of whole milk
- Yield: Three 9-inch round layers
Fresh Fruit Filling:
- 1 pint of strawberries
- 2 kiwis, peeled
- 1/4 cup of fresh pineapple
- 1/4 cup of fresh raspberries
- 1/4 cup of fresh blackberries
- 1/4 cup of mandarin oranges (canned)
Cream Cheese Icing:
- 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 1 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 4 cups of confectioners' sugar
- 1 whole vanilla bean
- 1/2 teaspoon of Madagascar pure vanilla
- 1 tablespoon of bourbon
For the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottoms and sides of the pans with cooking spray. In a large bowl, sift together cake flour, all-purpose flour and baking powder. Set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar, then beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the salt and vanilla. Set the mixer to low speed and gradually add the egg whites, scraping often. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture in two batches, starting with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for one minute. Divide the batter evenly between three cake pans. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool 20 minutes in pans. Turn cakes onto a rack and let them cool for another 30 minutes.
For the Cream Cheese Icing: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter and beat on medium speed until perfectly smooth, about two minutes. Turn mixer off and add confectioners' sugar. Beat for an additional three minutes. Add the vanilla-bean seeds: Split the bean lengthwise, using a paring knife, and then scrape the seeds from both sides of the bean with the edge of the knife and add to the cream-cheese mixture. Mix for one minute on medium. Add the bourbon and vanilla. Mix for two minutes and refrigerate. For the Fruit Filling: Wash berries. Chop and/or slice all fresh fruit into bite-sized pieces. Place chopped fruit into bowl and toss.
Place first layer of cake on cake plate. Generously spread the cream-cheese icing on the cake. Using about a third of the fruit mixture, spread evenly over cake. Be careful to leave a 1-inch border on the perimeter of the cake without fruit (this will prevent the fruit from bleeding into the cream cheese). Repeat for the next two layers. Use the remainder of the cream-cheese icing to cover the entire cake. Use the remaining fruit on the top of the cake and around the base. If you have questions or would like more details, contact Nicole Elswick Jessee of Shyndigz ( shyndigz.com ) at 938-3449 or firstname.lastname@example.org .