My friends know I love whiskey. And I’m pretty sure you know that I love desserts. I often try to incorporate the two together, but more than often, whiskey is a little too strong and dominant for dainty desserts. However, it does work well in ice creams, bread puddings, and buttercreams because there is enough fat and sugar to mellow out the whiskey.
Instead of using plain simple syrup to soak my cake layers, I experimented with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey. Its a delicious marriage of honey liqueur and Jack. With a little splash of simple syrup, I found it to be perfect for my lemon raspberry layer cake.
This lemon raspberry layer cake is very light and refreshing. The flavors are clean and summery and a great combination for wedding cakes.
Most traditional weddings serve some sort of dry white cake with a little fruit filling and an overly sweet buttercream frosting. This is because much of the focus on wedding cakes are on it’s appearance rather than its taste. My cake is far from dry. Its quite moist and very flavorful. It tastes more like a lemonade cake than a simple white cake flavored with some lemon.
This cake has it all. You get a little tart from the lemon, some sweetness from the raspberry filling, and the silky fat from the buttercream, which are all rounded out by the honey notes from the whiskey. This isn’t a one dimensional cake that is boring to eat. Each bite is be different and exciting.
Sorry, no recipe for the lemon cake in this post. This is one I am definitely saving for my future shop.
The raspberry jam can be found in the previous post.
Buttercream (Italian meringue based)
enough to fill, crumb coat and ice an 8” cake
8 oz sugar
2 oz water
1/2 cup egg whites
12 oz unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons or cubes
1. In a saucepan, combine sugar and water. Stir until it resembles wet sand. Set to high heat and cook until candy thermometer reads 245 degrees F. While the heat is on, DO NOT stir or disturb the sugar solution. Agitation will cause unwanted crystallization in the sugar solution. If any sugar splashes onto the sides of the saucepan, use a pastry brush soaked in water to dilute any crystal formation.
2. While the sugar is cooking, whip the egg whites in a stand mixer on low speed. Keep it at low until the white are foamy (it should look like the foam on top of beer). Once foamy, begin whipping at medium speed. Starting at a low speed helps to make for a stronger meringue.
3. Once sugar reaches 245 degrees F, pour it into the whipping egg whites in a slow and steady stream. After all the sugar has been poured, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixing bowl is slightly warmer than room temperature to the touch.
4. Turn down the mixer to medium speed and slowly add the butter a couple tablespoons at a time. Continue to whip at medium speed until all the butter has been added. Whip until buttercream is smooth and creamy.
Notes: If you add the butter when the meringue is too hot, it may melt and the buttercream may not emulsify. If this happens, place the mixing bowl in the freezer for a couple minutes to cool down the mixture. Once cool, start whipping again.
If the butter is too cold when added to the meringue, the buttercream may be very chunky. Use a torch to warm the bowl or place it over a bain-maire to soften the butter.
1. Use your favorite lemon, white, or yellow cake recipe. Make 2-8” cakes. Slice each cake into two layers.
2. Place one layer of cake on a cake board. Lightly soak the cake with the simple syrup whiskey mixture. Spread a think layer of raspberry jam followed by a layer of buttercream about half the size of the cake. Repeat with remaining layers.
3. Crumb coat the cake and let chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Once chilled, coat the cake with another layer of buttercream. The final icing of the cake should have the same amount of buttercream on the sides as well as the top. Do not put on too much buttercream. As a guideline, it should be as thick as half a layer of cake.