Cranberry-Lemon Stripe Cake
This small, rich, impressive cake is a bit of a magic trick. It looks like a standard buttercream-covered cake, but cut it open, and it reveals several fine pink vertical layers. The key is to make a thick, flexible sponge and turn it into a single jelly roll using three smaller, connecting pieces, joining them up as you go, then sitting it upright (check out this video for step-by-step instructions). In Helen Goh and Yotam Ottolenghi's original version, that buttercream is flavored and stained with a pulp of simmered black currants, but this one incorporates the tartness of cranberries instead.
- Serves: 8 persons
- 8large eggs, whites and yolks separated
- ⅔cup plus 2 tablespoons (140 grams) white sugar, plus 1 1/2 tablespoons
- 1tablespoon lemon juice, plus zest of 1 lemon
- ½cup plus 1 tablespoon (80 grams) all-purpose flour
- ⅛teaspoon salt
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- 9-ounce bag (225 grams) frozen cranberries
- ⅓cup (75 grams) white sugar
- ¼cup (85 grams) light corn syrup
- ½cup plus 1 tablespoon (120 grams) white sugar
- 4large egg yolks
- 1 ¼cups plus 1 tablespoon (300 grams) unsalted butter cut into small cubes, at room temperature
- ½cup cranberry purée
- ½teaspoon vanilla extract
Step 1Heat the oven to 400 degrees, with a baking rack in the middle of the oven. Line a half baking pan (18 by 13 inches) or slightly smaller jellyroll pan (15 by 12 inches) with parchment paper. Grease, and set aside.
Step 2Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, and whisk on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, then pour in the 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar. Continue to whisk until stiff peaks form, then scrape into a mixing bowl, and set aside.
Step 3Place the egg yolks, remaining sugar, lemon juice and zest in the stand-mixer bowl (no need to wash it out), and beat on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes or until pale and thick. Remove bowl from the mixer, and sift the flour and salt directly into the bowl in 2 batches, folding through with a rubber spatula after each addition and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl until no flour is visible.
Step 4Gently fold about 1/3 of the egg-white mixture into the egg-yolk mixture, and fold with a rubber spatula until combined. Add the rest, and fold until incorporated. Scrape batter into the lined baking pan, and even out the surface with the spatula. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until cake is a light golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
Step 5Place on a wire rack to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then dust the top with confectioners’ sugar. Place a clean dish towel on top of the cake, then carefully, quickly, flip it over, so it’s lying on the dish towel. Gently peel away the paper, then hold onto one of the shorter ends of the cake, and roll it up into a jellyroll. Set it aside for 20 minutes, or until it’s room temperature and no longer warm at all, then unroll the cake and cut it lengthwise into three 4-inch-wide strips. Cover with a clean dish towel, and set aside.
Step 6Place the cranberries and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat with 1 tablespoon water, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved and the fruit has softened. Transfer to a food processor, purée and set aside.
Step 7Place the corn syrup and sugar in a medium saucepan. Place over low heat, and stir with a wooden spoon, just until the sugar dissolves.
Step 8While the sugar is dissolving, place the egg yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, and whip on medium-high speed until thick and pale in color.
Step 9Increase the heat under the sugar syrup, and simmer until there are large bubbles all over the surface of the syrup, and the temperature, when taken with a digital thermometer, reads between 235 and 240 degrees, about 5 minutes. With the machine running, carefully pour the hot sugar syrup into the yolk mixture in a slow, steady trickle down the edge of the bowl, avoiding the spinning whisk. When all the syrup is in the bowl, increase the mixer speed to high, and beat for 10 minutes, or until the outside of the bowl no longer feels warm to the touch.
Step 10Add the butter, one piece at a time, allowing it to incorporate before adding any more. When all the butter is added, stop the machine, and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Whip for another minute or 2, until the buttercream is very smooth and light. Add 1/2 cup of cranberry purée (reserving what remains) and vanilla extract, and mix on medium speed until uniform in color. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and mix one more time. Set aside.
Step 11Spread each of the long strips of cake evenly with about 3 ounces of buttercream each. Starting with the narrow end of a strip, roll it up. Once the roll is finished, position the exposed end (of the rolled cake) at the beginning of the next strip of frosted cake, and continue rolling. Do the same with the third strip, creating one continuousroll of cake. Carefully turn the cylinder upright, so it’s sitting on a flat end, onto a serving dish. Cover cake with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes before proceeding, leaving the remaining buttercream out at room temperature.
Step 12Spread remaining buttercream all over the top and sides of the cake. Whisk the remaining cranberry purée with cold water until it’s runny, then drizzle 2 tablespoons or so around the top of the cake, and use a palette knife to spread it evenly, allowing a little to dribble down the sides. Set aside for at least 1 hour in the fridge, and set out at room temperature about 30 minutes before serving.