Here we are, the last day of 2017! This year totally flew by for me. It was a year full of learning, changes, and growth. We moved again and bought our first house, to a city we both grew up and where we will be settling down for at least a few years. We welcomed our new pup, Scout, into our lives. After nearly three years of taking night classes while working full time, Kyle took the OAT, got accepted into optometry school, and started the program this past fall. I grew with my job and with this blog and had multiple incredible opportunities because of it.
2017 went by quickly, but it wasn't without long periods of time just waiting. Waiting for answers, waiting to find out where we were going to live, waiting to discover what exactly we were supposed to be doing. I questioned everything, all the time, wondering if we were doing the right thing or if I was pursuing my true calling. Because, while I'm not afraid of change or of committing to things, I am fearful of pursuing the wrong thing. This is where my indecisiveness comes into play, coming from a normally very driven and ambitious mindset. Throughout the year though and all the constant changes, I learned how to better accept the things I can't control and simply trust in God's plan for us. It may not always be the most glamorous situation, but I do believe things happened the way they did for a reason.
And when my head hits my pillow each night, all I can do is smile for how truly blessed I am in so many ways. For this, I am thankful.
My hope for 2018 is to be bolder, to take more risks, and to love deeper. I hope wherever you are in life right now, that you can find newness and hope with the start of the new year. Happy Near Year to you!!
Now, let's quickly address this cake situation, shall we?
While we kept Christmas gifts pretty low key this year, one thing I did receive (thanks to my knowing husband) were all the new cookbooks (seven, to be exact). I have been reading a new cookbook everyday, and when I say read, I literally mean read. I like to read through entire recipes in my downtime. It is how I learn and get inspired!!
Anyway, while flipping through Sweet I immediately stopped when I saw a picture of this cake. Upon skimming the recipe, I noticed it was not as difficult to make as it appeared to be. I mean, how cool are the vertical stripes?! I also love that the cake itself is similar to a chiffon cake - very light and airy - which is a nice change from all the dense heavy sweets from Christmas. The mixed berry frosting is tangy and pairs so well with the lemon. I made this for my brother's early birthday and my entire family loved it!
Mixed Berry and Lemon Stripe Cake
adapted from Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi & Helen Goh
For the cake
- 8 large eggs, yolks and white separated into two bowls
- 2/3 cup sugar, plus 1 1/2 tbsp
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup flour
- pinch of salt
For the berry pureé
- 10 oz frozen mixed berries, thawed
- 1/4 cup sugar
For the buttercream
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 1/4 cups butter (2 1/2 sticks)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup berry pureé
for the cake
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (close to 15 x 12 inches) and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the egg yolks, 2/3 cup sugar, and lemon juice. Beat on medium-high speed for a few minutes, or until pale and thick. Pour mixture into a separate large mixing bowl and sift the flour* and salt directly over the egg yolk mixture in two batches. Carefully fold the flour into the yolk mixture and mix until fully incorporated. Sprinkle the lemon zest on top and set aside.
Clean out the whisk attachment and the bowl of the stand mixer, and add the egg whites to the bowl. Whisk on medium-high speed until soft peaks begin to form, and add the 1 1/2 tbsp of sugar. Continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture in three separate batches, carefully folding the whites in until fully incorporated. Once all the egg whites have been added, batter should look light and fluffy. Pour into prepared baking sheet and bake for 14-16 minutes, or until light brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Place a clean kitchen towel directly on top of the cake and carefully flip it over so the cake is lying on top of the kitchen towel. Gently peel back the paper lining the cake.
Starting at the short end (12 inch) side, roll the cake up into a cylinder (along with the kitchen towel). This will train the cake to be rolled again later. Let sit for 20 minutes or until cake is completely cooled.
Unroll the cake and using a pizza cutter or knife, cut into three equal strips parallel to the longer side. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and set aside.
for the pureé
In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, add the berries and sugar. Heat just until warmed and the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Pour mixture into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Pour mixture through a strainer and catch the puree in a bowl - you will need about 3/4 cup total.
for the buttercream
In a medium saucepan over low heat, add the corn syrup and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.
While the syrup is cooking, add the egg yolks to the clean bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium high speed until thick and pale, a few minutes.
Leave mixer on and check on sugar syrup. When all the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to medium and simmer until large bubbles appear all over the surface of the syrup. Pour the hot syrup mixture very slowly into the mixing egg yolks. After syrup has been added, increase the speed to high and mix for 10 minutes, or until the bowl is no longer warm.
Add in the softened butter, one piece at a time, waiting until each piece is fully incorporated into the yolk mixture before adding the next. Once all the butter has been added, continue to mix another minute or two until mixture is light and smooth. Add in the vanilla extract and the berry puree, and beat another few minutes until fully incorporated.
Spread a few dollops of buttercream onto each strip of cake, using a spatula or knife to spread the frosting evenly. Reserve half of the buttercream to frost the outside of the cake.
Starting with one strip of cake on the short side, roll it up. After the strip is rolled, match the end up with the beginning of the next strip, and roll the next strip around the first roll. The cake roll will be getting wider. Repeat with the last cake strip, until you have one big cake cylinder.
Turn the cake to stand up on a cake stand or turntable, so the spirals are facing up. Frost the outside and top of the cake with the remaining buttercream. Drizzle remaining puree on top of the cake and let it drip down the sides. Let set in the refrigerator for 1 - 2 hours before serving.
*I don't normally like to sift my flour, but this is important to keep the cake as light and airy as possible.