Ever since Christina Tosi replaced Joe Bastianich in the new Masterchef season, I’ve been slightly obbsessed with her recipes. She’s a pastry chef and I am somehow excited to see pastry chefs stepping out on tv shows like this one. I kept reading on various blogs that the recipes found in her Momofuku Milk Bar book are time consuming and hard to master and I thought this was the challenge I needed, although I don’t mind complex and time consuming cakes (do check my entremets for that matter). But I was intrigued by the elements she used in her cakes and the fact that she relies on the pure beauty of a naked cake to impress. And it works, it really does as after revealing my raspberry lemonade cake, I was in pure awe and I’m not that easily impressed when it comes to cakes, believe me!
My recipe uses Christina Tosi’s Strawberry Lemonade Cake as a base, but I added my signature to it by reducing the sugar and butter (the cake is incredibly rich and sweet even so, I’ll probably reduce it a bit more next time, but again, it might only be a matter of personal taste) and replacing part of her recipe with my own tried, fail-proof recipes. I ended up with a rich, tangy, sweet raspberry lemonade cake that I just couldn’t stop eating. Yes, it’s sweet, yes, it’s buttery and yes, it’s delicious! It’s definitely not a cake for the faint of heart in terms of calories, but hey, we don’t eat cake every day and this one is well worth the time spent in the kitchen and the sacrifice of breaking the rules of your diet!
Vanilla sponge cake
- 225 g butter softened
- 280 g white sugar
- 150 g eggs
- 125 g buttermilk
- 125 g vegetable oil
- 5 g vanilla extract
- 210 g all-purpose flour
- 6 g baking powder
- 2 g salt
- 150 g raspberry puee
- 100 g white sugar
- 5 g pectin NH
- 1 g citric acid
- Liquid cheesecake
- 225 g cream cheese
- 80 g white sugar
- 10 g cornstarch
- 25 g milk
- 50 g egg
- 5 g vanilla extract
- 100 g egg yolk
- 90 g lemon juice
- zest from 2 lemons
- 200 g white sugar
- 100 g butter
- 45 g milk powder A
- 30 g all-purpose flour
- 30 g cornstarch
- 10 g white sugar
- 1 g salt
- 70 g butter melted
- 15 g milk powder B
- 70 g white chocolate melted and chilled
Vanilla sponge cake
- Preheat your oven to 170C and line a 35x25cm cake pan with baking paper. Place aside until needed.
- Sift the flour with salt and baking powder and place aside.
- Mix the butter with sugar in a bowl for 3 minutes until creamy and pale.
- Add the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition.
- While mixing at medium to high speed, slowly pour in the buttermilk, followed by the vegetable oil and vanilla. Make sure to add just a bit at a time or you might break the emulsion. Turn the mixer on high speed and mix for 6-8 minutes until double in volume.
- Fold in the flour then spoon the batter in your prepared pan.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes until golden brown and the cake springs back if pushed slightly on its surface.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool aside.
- Combine the raspberry sauce with half of the sugar and place on medium heat to warm up.
- Mix the remaining sugar with the pectin then pour it over the puree. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 seconds.
- Remove from heat and add the citric acid. Mix well then cool down in a bowl.
- Line a small baking pan with baking paper or even better, prepare a Silikomart silicone cylinder mould. Set aside.
- Mix the cream cheese with the sugar for 2 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine the egg with the cornstarch, milk, salt and vanilla and mix well.
- Slowly pour the egg mix over the cream cheese, mixing well.
- Spoon the cheesecake in the prepared pan then place the pan in a bigger one. Pour hot water in the bigger pan and place in the preheated oven at 350F – 175C for 20 minutes. You don’t need to cook this cheesecake down, the center is supposed to still be jiggly and the sides shouldn’t turn brown at all.
- This cheesecake will be used as a filling cream between the layers of the cake.
- Allow to cool in the pan then mix with a spatula until creamy.
- You can make this cheesecake one day before and keep in the fridge until needed.
- Combine all the ingredients in a heatproof bowl and place over a hot water bath.
- Cook until it begins to thicken, whisking all the time as it cooks to ensure even cooking.
- Remove from the hot water bath and pass through a fine sieve to remove the zest which tends to become bitter in time.
- Cool down completely before using.
- This curd can be made one day ahead as well.
- Combine milk powder A, the flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix well.
- Drizzle in the melted butter and mix with a fork until clusters of dough form.
- Spread the crumbs on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake in the preheated oven at 180C for 10 minutes.
- Allow them to cool in the pan then transfer in a bowl.
- Sprinkle with the remaining milk powder and drizzle with melted chocolate, mixing to coat the crumbs evenly.
- Place in the fridge to set.
Assemble the cake
- Mix the liquid cheesecake with half of the lemon curd. Reserve the remaining curd as you will be using it as well.
- Place an 18cm cake ring on your cake board and line the ring with acetate sheets.
- Cut 2 vanilla cake discs and place aside. Using the leftover cake, form at the bottom of the cake ring the first layer of the cake. It won’t look pretty, but don’t worry as this layer will be well hidden once you assemble the cake.
- Top the cake layer with 1/3 of the raspberry sauce. Spoon 1/3 of the cheesecake mixture over the sauce then spoon dollops of lemon curd on top. What follows is a few fresh raspberries and 1/3 of the milk crumbs. Place one of the vanilla cake discs you cut earlier into the cake ring as well and press it over the bottom layers. Repeat the same steps with raspberry sauce, cheesecake, lemon curd, milk crumbs and fresh raspberries.
- Place in the fridge a few hours, preferably overnight then remove the cake ring and decorate with fresh raspberries.
- Baking trays
- Baking paper
- Kitchen scale
- Mixing bowls
- Silicone mould
- 16/18 cm diameter cake ring
These quantities yield a 16cm or 18cm diameter cake, fitted for 8-10 servings, depending on the size of the slice.