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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Lazy Chantilly Cake or A Comedy of Errors: You decide!

Last week when we were trying to fly to New York the weather was not exactly cooperating and our flight that was cancelled but rescheduled the next morning kept getting delayed and delayed then delayed again.  When that happens it seems a lot of the fellow passengers begin talking among themselves and TheHub and I found ourselves talking to 2 delightful gentlemen. One was a former NY Times reporter who lived in Shanghai before relocating to Los Angeles.  He was visiting friends in Birmingham, before returning to NYC to visit his publisher. (Though I did not ask I am assuming he had a book deal in the works). The other gentleman was a former Brooklyn resident who had moved to Birmingham after his retirement to be close to his grandchildren.

Somehow during the conversation the topic turned to foods, restaurants, and bakeries.  I know there are a lot of really good restaurants in town, but I am always amazed when people who have lived in places with phenomenal eating establishments talk about how good the food here is. Not only do they love the food here but both were thrilled to find places that are very easy to access. I guess, because we live in a driving city with parking lots throughout, accessibility never really enters into my mind, but both men talked about how simple it is to get into every restaurant in town by car.  I suppose it is true because even those places with little on site parking all have valet parking services so you can get out of your car right at the front door of any restaurant in town. Additionally nearly every place in town has street level seating, so there are no stairs up or down. I imagine you never really think about the things your hometown has to offer, focusing instead on what is not there. (Bad, bad of me)

At one point the discussion started focusing on desserts and bakeries, and the one man who had moved here talked about chantilly cake.  It is evidently his all time favorite cake and he told us every place in town that makes it.  TheHub has not stopped talking about it since, and we did see one at Publix the other day, but I thought 27 bucks was a little too much to pay for a cake we were unsure if we would even like..  Instead I looked up a couple of recipes and decided to use a combination of two to come up with our personal variation of one

I notice both recipes called for a traditional yellow cake.  I knew I had a yellow cake mix in the pantry so I decided to whip it up and save a huge amount of time.  When I pulled out the yellow cake I realized it was a pineapple cake mix.  At first I was bummed out but underneath the pineapple cake was a strawberry cake mix.  Since the cake is filled with berries I decided the strawberry cake would be just fine, so I made it.  Then, as I was getting ready to pour it into my cake pans, I remembered I had taken one of my round cake pans to the lake place and left it there.  My options were to run out and buy another round pan or punt and make a square cake. So, of course, the square cake option won.

Chantilly Cake

For the cake
1 baked 2 layer yellow cake* (or go wild and make strawberry)

For the syrup
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam (Yeah right, I had none so I used lingonberry jam. Worked fine!)
2 tablespoons hot water

For the frosting
1/2 pint heavy cream, whipped
8 ounces marscarpone cheese, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 ounces butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1-2 cups mixed berries
Additional berries for garnish

From here on out I will mostly tell you how I made mine and than you can adjust as you wish.

Bake a 2 layer cake (I am not supplying the recipe for a yellow cake but this one is delicious)  As I mentioned above I used a strawberry mix because the cake mix mix-up, and I figured I couldn't go wrong using a strawberry cake since mixed berries were n the filling anyway.  After I got my cake mixed and baked in the square pans I noticed they had not risen much while baking.  I guessed correctly that the cake mix was well past it expiration date and would have added additional baking powder if I had realized it was.  Oh well, now instead of two nice round yellow cake layers, I had two rather flat strawberry square layers. (At this point seeing I had flat cake  I normally might have decided to make a yellow cake from scratch, but it was 2 a.m. so NO!) There was no way I was going to be able to split the layers to make a four layer cake, as the original instructions called for.  Instead I cut them in half so I had 4 4 1/2 x9 inch layers. Then I decided rather than stack it 4 layers high I would have a 4 1/2 x 18 inch 2 layer cake. (I was afraid since I was only going to have a 4 1/2 x9 inch rectangular base, stacking 4 would probably create a cake avalanche which I did not want for Easter dinner).  Caution: Before you move on to the next step make sure the cakes are completely cool.

To make the frosting, whip the heavy cream and set aside.  With a mixer blend the marscarpone, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until it is smooth.  Slowly add the confectioners sugar until everything is creamy.  Then fold in the whipped cream. (Now begins the lightning round. You have to work fast because it gets really messy very quickly.  Learn from my error so you don't have to make one )

Put your first layer of cake on your serving plate.  Spread the thinned down jam all over the side facing up.  Spread berries over it (I used strawberries, blueberries and raspberries) Spread about 1/2 cup of frosting over the berries, then put the next layer of cake on top of it. (If you are using round pans and making 4 layers repeat the process 2 more times.  If you are making a crazy skinny long cake put the 2nd bottom layer as close to the first as you can get it, add the jam, berries and frosting then top with the last layer.  Now you either have a really tall 4 layer cake or a really long 2 layer one.
Working as fast as you can. spread the remaining frosting over the entire cake.  I suggest starting at the top then icing it quickly on the sides and ends. (If you made a round cake don't worry about the ends because a round cake is not going to have ends!) Put the whole cake in the refrigerator immediately.  If you don't the frosting will start running down the sides of the cake and you will have a big mess..

Leave it there until about 10 minutes before you plan to serve it.  Garnish with a few berries and serve.  This stuff is incredible and delicious and every other good thing.  We do have some left over (I am secretly thankful Mom made a cake and brought it even though I asked her not too.  Everyone had a slice of both cakes instead of 2 slices of the chantilly cake)  This is going to be great tomorrow, possibly for breakfast!

This might possibly become my go to cake.  Even though there is nothing remotely low fat about it, it still managed to taste "light" and fresh.  If you try it let me know what you think, or if you already make it tell me your thoughts on it and tell me why you never shared info on this deliciousness with the rest of us!


p.s. the platter I used is 5 x 20 inches and the cake was a perfect fit!


20 comments:

  1. It looks excellent. Any cake with berries has my vote almost immediately.
    You were baking at nearly 2am? Shudder. I hope you at least left the clean-up till later in the day. And that you enjoy cake for breakfast.

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    1. I keep getting phenomenal cake recipes staring at me. I may try this one for Mother's Day weekend. I'll see if I manage to get that office back, and if so, this will be my reward.

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    2. This cake is so good I would do anything to get it

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    3. EC I cleaned everything and was in bed by 3 the back up before 7 to get started on the Easter meal before church. I am burning the candle at both ends and it is catching up with me

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  2. OMG sounds great...on a diet so will just drool over the pictures :(

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  3. I guess cake mixes can get too old. I have one lingering in my pantry. I'd better check the date.

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    1. Just add a little baking powder and it will be fine. Of course I need new baking powder. Mine has lost a lot of its strength

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  4. Once you got to the cake part, I was laughing through the whole rest of the post. I would do that--just keep substituting until I finished. You know that cream cheese just tastes "light" when whipped. It has nothing to do with calories. I guess frothy stuff ought to be low calorie. Plus, if anything has berries, it must be "light" as in calories. I think I will just make the frosting and eat it with a bowl of berries. Really, this sounds like a scrumptious cake. But, I have never heard of it.

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    1. I haven't heard of it either but I buy one 8x8 caramel cake from The Pig for Son3 occasionally and Edgar's Italian cream cake. Bother than that I don't shop at the bakery so I have missed out on the wonders of this cake.
      Making the frosting and eating it with berries would be delicious

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  5. It sounds like a comedy of errors with a perfect result!
    I remember telling m y mother off for substitutions, of course once I started cooking more I understood

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  6. Substitutions are required when it is late, the makeup has been taken off and I am wearing "soft" clothes. (Code word for crappy clothes that feel good) Getting redressed and going to Walmart was my only option so___

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  7. It looks delicious. We have purchased the Chantilly cake before from Publix. Last time I checked it was $19.99. It was good, but yours sounds tastier. I love that you used strawberry cake mix too. Looks pretty.

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    1. The strawberry was purely an accident, but it was a happy one. I was gong to buy one form Publix but it was 27 dollars at my store. Maybe it was just an Easter price bump, but it made it very easy to walk on by.

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  8. Yum! This sounds a lot like a cake that was very popular for bridal and baby showers where I grew up. It was called a princess cake, but googling that term led to a Swedish delicacy very unlike what I grew up eating. We didn't use marscapone, and the cake was a white cake, not yellow, but otherwise it seems very similar. It did taste fantastically light, although the amount of cream in the icing alone made that an appearances only type of thing!

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    1. Yes, the "light" is absolutely misleading. I will probably try it again and make a white cake and use mangos and pineapple as the fruit

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  9. That cake looks lovely as presented, Anne, and I bet it tasted delicious! The icing sounds incredible! I don't think I've had Chantilly cake; I'm sure I'd remember it if I had. I love how you substitute and keep going!

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  10. I don't mind substituting and moving on because so often it beats stopping and going to the store.

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  11. Gosh I do miss having someone to bake for - but truth be told neither my ex nor my boys had a sweet tooth anyway. Will have to keep baking for work. And it's funny what you say about not really appreciating your home town. When we get married in Birmingham (England) in 1985 we took the new in-laws to visit Warwick Castle, which is beautiful. My dad was in his 60s and had grown up just 30 minutes away in Birmingham and had never visited the castle before. Weird eh. Anna

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    1. Weird, yes but I understand. I live in the other Birmingham and there are things to do here that I have never done or rarely do. (No castles though)

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