Man, 2015. What happened? You were supposed to be a good year. But looking through the New York Times' "Year in Pictures" slideshow made me want to crawl into bed and never come out. 'Cuz what the hell guys. What the hell.
But at least there's this?
Okay, yeah, sure — those 28 moments don't really make up for it. So all I can say is: let's get our shit together in 2016. And to quote my blog friend Beau, "I'm treating 2016 like I would a first date: no expectations — just an open mind, and a pocket full of mace in case shit gets weird in a bad way." Is that bad? I don't know.
But enough of the grim stuff! I know that's not why you guys come here —you come for the cakes and the desserts. Which is why I've whipped up this white rose cake with white chocolate mousse frosting to celebrate the new year! Because instead of celebrating with cocktails and loud crowds, Erlend and I are olds who like to stay at home during New Year's Eve with our sweatpants and slices of cake. #truestory
It's also become a yearly tradition for me to make a birthday cake for the new year (check out this chocolate champagne one from last year, and the Kentucky bourbon butter bundt cake from the year before). Similar to last year's cake, I initially was going to make a rose cake studded with marzipan confetti (made with the leftovers from last week's semlor!), but when I wasn't looking, Erlend turned around and ate all the marzipan. *insert angry emoji face here*
Finding myself suddenly marzipan-less, I improvised with some leftover white chocolate I had lying around in my baking cupboard and decided to whip up a white chocolate mousse to frost the cake with. The white chocolate worked incredibly well with the rose water — 'cuz let's be honest, sometimes rose water can be a little too floral and perfumey, and white chocolate is a great way to tamper it down.
Oh, and of course, I decked it out all ombre and whatnot. The new year is nearly here, and we've got to celebrate it in style.
Happy New Year's, you guys!
Some baker's notes:
- The cake recipe (from Decorated: Sublimely Crafted Cakes for Every Occasion) originally makes four 6-inch layers, but I was super lazy and didn't bother cutting the cakes into halves. Sorry guys. I'm on vacation.
- Okay, soooo I made a mistake by decorating the cake with dried rose petals. They are not edible and it was a pain in the butt to scrape off whenever we ate a slice of cake. It looks cute though. It's just not really functional. You've been warned.
- The white chocolate mousse is easiest to work with when its chilled. You can go ahead and make the mousse the night before; it keeps well in the fridge, but make sure the container is airtight or a skin on the mousse will form, which is icky. You can prevent this by putting some plastic wrap directly on the mousse's surface. Also, you might also need to double the recipe if you decided to go the four layer cake route.
- To get the ombre frosted look, I used the "How To Ice A Cake - The Perfect Ombre" tutorial by another dear blog friend, Tessa. Check out her blog! It's awesome.
(mostly for the White Chocolate Mousse)
- a food processor
- a large bowl (preferably metal), filled with ice
- a medium bowl (preferably metal), small enough to fit into the large bowl
For the White Rose Cake:
- 1 2/3 cups (8 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick // 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups (8.75 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3 large egg whites
- 3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) whole milk
- 1 teaspoon rose water (make sure you get the culinary kind!)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet // 0.25 ounce) powdered gelatin
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 12 ounces good quality white chocolate, roughly chopped (I use Valrhona)
- 2 1/2 cups (20 fluid ounces) heavy cream, divided into 3/4 cup, 1 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup portions
- food coloring, for your ombre!
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 335 (F). Prepare two 6-inch cake pans by spraying generously with cooking spray and lining the bottom of each pan with a parchment paper circle. Spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk together until combined. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 1/2 cup unsalted butter and 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy.
- Once the butter and sugar mixture is light and fluffy, lower the mixer speed to its lowest setting and add 1 medium egg until fully incorporated. Add 3 large egg whites in three parts, only adding more egg white when the previous portion has been fully incorporated.
- With the mixer still on its lowest setting, add half of the flour mixture (from the 2nd step) and beat until just combined. Combine 3/4 cup whole milk and 1 teaspoon rose water in a liquid measuring cup, and add half the mixture to the cake batter. Add the remaining flour and milk and continue beating until just combined.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in their pans on a wire rack, before turning them out onto the rack to cool completely.
- Prepare an ice bath by filling the large bowl with ice and setting the medium bowl inside the larger bowl. Nestle the medium bowl into the ice so that at least three-quarters of the sides of the bowl are covered with ice. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, sprinkle 2 1/4 teaspoons powdered gelatin over 1/4 cup cold water. Set aside for 5 minutes to bloom.
- As the gelatin is blooming, transfer 12 ounces white chocolate to a food processor and pulse until very finely chopped.
- Place 3/4 cup heavy cream in a small saucepan, and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat. Be sure to watch the pot — cream tends to boil really quickly. Once the cream has been warmed, add the bloomed gelatin (from the 2nd step) and stir gently for 30 seconds to dissolve completely. Turn on your food processor and pour the mixture into the processor, continuing to process until the chocolate mixture becomes smooth.
- Once the mixture is smooth and homogenous, transfer the white chocolate mixture into the medium bowl in the ice bath. Chill until the mixture is super thick, and almost gummy. The mixture should be thick enough to fall from a spoon in ribbons.
- Use a handheld electric mixer to whip 1 1/2 cups heavy cream in a medium bowl. Continue beating until the cream starts to form heavy peaks — a spooned portion of the cream should hold its shape.
- Return to your white chocolate mixture and mix in the remaining 1/4 cup of the cream to loosen and thin out the mixture. Use a rubber spatula to fold the whipped cream (in the 6th step) into the white chocolate mixture until the two are fully incorporated — you should have a thick, heavy mousse that will hold its shape when piped. Chill in the refrigerator for an additional 10 to 15 minutes to set, before using immediately (if not using immediately, see baker's notes).