Thursday, June 11, 2009

Happy Anniversary to us!


Four crazy years ago, Tim and I got hitched. It was a crazy time because we bought a house, got hitched, and adopted a dog all in a month. It was a good time though, because we were surrounded by supportive friends and family. And good cake. To this day, the only thing people remember about our wedding is the wedding cake. It was that good.

Our wedding cake was a Bavarian cheesecake, with a layer of cheesecake sandwiched between two layers of sponge cake. Except for the reception venue (which included rental, full bar, and dinner), and the photographer, the cake was one of our biggest expenses, costing more than my TWO dresses plus alterations. But when we were sampling cakes, I took one bite and proclaimed it was the greatest thing ever invented, and insisted I was having this cake at my wedding.

So when I found this recipe, of course I had to try it. I can't find baker's cheese, so I just used 12 ounces of cream cheese instead. After letting the cake harden in the fridge overnight, I made a quick whipped cream icing and slapped it on. It wasn't pretty, but it's whipped cream, it doesn't have to be.

Making the cake was a bit chaotic. Reminds me that I still would like an extra bowl for my mixer (this one), hint, hint. Beating egg whites by hand for the cake was still not fun. Then I had to beat the whipped cream, transfer to another bowl, wash the bowl, and make the rest of the filling. Course, the cream cheese that I just bought earlier in the day was bad, so I had to make a run to the grocery store just for cream cheese. After assembling the cake, I decided I wanted to cover it with whipped cream, but didn't have enough, so I had to run to the store again. Then I was looking up how much sugar to add, and realized that whipped cream doesn't stay whipped for long, and that ideally, I'd add a little unflavored gelatin to help it hold it's shape. But I didn't want to run to the store a third time for this cake, so I'm just freezing the cake, and we'll thaw slices as we eat them. We had so much leftover wedding cake that we were eating it for months, and I actually preferred it slightly frozen.

This recipe is a reasonable facsimile of our wedding cake, but not quite as good. Because of the whipped cream in the filling, it was quite airy. And I could definitely tell a texture difference between this no-bake cheesecake with gelatin and a standard baked cheesecake. Not all of the filling fit in the springform pan, so I ate some of the filling before it chilled, and I really liked it then; I just didn't care for the texture of the chilled filling. But I'm sure it will just be liquidy goo without the gelatin. Maybe halving the gelatin would give me the result I'm looking for.

Oh, and because I have an extreme aversion to raw eggs, I used pasteurized eggs. The yolks were a brighter yellow than regular eggs, and the yolks broke very easily, so I had a hard time separating them. But, since I have 10 pasteurized eggs left, I see mousse in my future. I've been dying to make it, but I fear raw eggage.


Bavarian Cheesecake
source: http://allears.net/din/rec_bc.htm

INGREDIENTS
6 ounces Cream Cheese
6 ounces Baker's Cheese
2 Egg Yolks
4 ounces Granulated Sugar
8 ounces Sour Cream
1 ounce Lemon Juice
12 ounces Heavy Cream
1/2 ounce Gelatin
2 ounces Water
Vanilla Sponge Cake -- recipe follows

VANILLA SPONGE CAKE

INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup Sugar (granulated)
4 Egg yolks
1 teaspoon. Vanilla Extract
3/4 cup Flour (all-purpose)
3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
4 Egg Whites

METHOD
1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. In a mixer, add the egg yolks and sugar beat until light and creamy. Add the vanilla extract.

4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Beat until smooth.

5. Whip the egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Gently fold this into the cake batter.

6. Place into two separate greased and lined 8-inch round cake pans. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes.


ASSEMBLING CAKE

METHOD
1. Whip heavy cream until soft peaks. Set aside.

2. Mix together in a mixing bowl the cream cheese, baker's cheese, egg yolks, and granulated sugar until smooth. Then add the sour cream and mix until smooth.

3. Gently add the whipped mixture to the cheese mixture being careful not to over whip.

4. Dissolve the gelatin in the water over a double boiler until the mixture is clear. Be careful not to whip the gelatin so it does not get air bubbles in it.

5. Add the gelatin mixture into the cheese mixture and fold quickly. When adding the gelatin mixture to the cheese mixture set the mixer on medium speed, and add it from the edge of the bowl, being careful not to get the gelatin on the whip or the side of the bowl so as to prevent lumping.

6. Using a springform pan, place one of the vanilla sponge cakes smooth side down. Immediately pour the cheese mixture on the cake, and smooth out surface. Then place the other cake on top with the smooth side out. Let set overnight.

7. Remove the cake from the springform pan. Sprinkle the top of the cake with powdered sugar. This cake can be served with any of your favorite fresh fruit sauce(s).