‘ White chocolate, raspberry buttercream cake & homemade thyme Bellinis’
As it was my birthday a few weeks back, I decided to have a little party for some of my close friends. Of course no party is complete without a cake and a round of summer cocktails. Inspired from our recent trip to Harry’s Bar in Venice that happens to be the birthplace of Bellini’s, I still remember the pale pink flavour of the cocktail and the amazing fresh flavour it entailed. Also, midsummer is around the corner so I thought it would be a great time to introduce a great summer Bellini with a thyme twist. The herb adds an elegant subtle hint to the drink bringing out the flavour of the peaches. The gorgeous pale pink cocktail will spruce up your party in no time making it a great welcoming apperatief during summer!
This is my second attempt at a semi-naked cake and I can say, it felt even easier this time. I could safely say, I’ve learned the jest of it fairy quickly. I pre-made the layers of the cake a few days before the party and defrosted them for an hour before I began cutting the layers and assembling the cake. I basically experimented with the filling flavours and liked the idea of sweet white chocolate and an acidic raspberry curd combo. Once I layered the cake and set the icing around the surface, I placed the cake overnight in the fridge a day before the party. On the actual party day, I garnished the cake with blackberries, mint leaves and little white flowers. I wanted to see how the cake would react overnight in the fridge, but I think it actually became even more moist and flavourful. This makes it a huge relief to make it a day before as it saves so much time on the actual party day.
Cake base recipe:
Find the recipe for the layers here: The only difference in this recipe is that I sliced 1 cake layer into 3 pieces instead of 2. This gave me more space for fillings that I alternated with white chocolate, buttercream and raspberry curd. Also with this cake, I actually moistened each layer quite a lot with milk, making sure the cake would be lovely and juicy. Again, the raspberry curd, like the blueberry version can be made well in advance but the white chocolate filling and buttercream is made on the same day as the cake is assembled.
Peach Thyme Purée
- 5-6 ripe peaches
- 4 twigs of thyme
- 2-4 tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
- 2 tablespoon water or lemon juice
Serving: Prosecco or cava, thyme twigs, ice
Roughly chop the peaches and place to simmer into a saucepan with a bit of water or lemon juice, sugar and the thyme twigs. Keep the lid on so the peaches soften and juices/flavours are released. Mush the ingredients together and cook until a soft paste. Press through a sieve and let it cool before placing into the fridge.
Once ready to serve: in a glass, add ice, about a large tablespoon of peach puree, dry prosecco or cava and garnish with fresh thyme twigs.
Ingredients for Raspberry curd ( makes 1 jar)
- 200 g frozen raspberries
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon
- about 100g salted butter cubed (room temperature)
- 1 dl sugar (or less, if you prefer more acidic)
- 3-4 egg yolks
Raspberry Curd Directions
In a saucepan, add the frozen raspberries and lemon juice. Bring to a gentle simmer so that the berries become very soft. Mash lightly and press through a sieve into another saucepan. ( save raspberries parts till the end) Place back onto low heat; add lemon zest, cubes of butter and sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon until the butter has melted and add the beaten egg yolks. (First I added 3 but ended up adding one more as the sauce was not thick enough) Stir continuously until the liquid begins to thicken (may need to raise heat but make sure eggs don’t scramble) If you are having problems with it thickening, you can always add a little bit more butter. But be gentle, it can take 10-15 minutes. Once thick, add the remaining raspberries pieces into the mixture and remove to another bowl to cool. Of course if you wish for a smooth version, do not add the excess raspberry parts in. Once cooled, place into refrigerator to intense in flavour and to set even more. Store in a jar, up to a week.
White chocolate filling
- 200g white chocolate
- about 50g double cream
Melt the white chocolate in a microwave and place into the refrigerator to cool. Once cooled, whisk in the double cream. Place into the fridge to cool until ready to use.
Ingredients for Butter frosting
- 2 cups unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 4 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Butter Frosting Directions
With a handheld mixer, whisk the butter on high-speed until a pale colour and fluffy. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula twice while beating.
Turn mixer into low-speed and gradually add the sieved sugar. When combined scrape the bowl again. Slowly drizzle in the milk and vanilla. Scrape bowl again when combined.
Whisk on high-speed for about 10 minutes until the buttercream is extremely fluffy.