Monday, March 29, 2010

Vanilla Cake w/ Orange-Mascarpone Crema and Raspberry-Chipotle Sauce

If you know me, you probably know that I like to complicate things. Just ask my husband. I juggle two kids' schedules, and my own three or four freelance jobs. If something seems too easy, I tend to make it more complicated than it needs to be.

Just take my recent development of this dessert idea: Vanilla Cake with Orange-Mascarpone Crema and Raspberry-Chipotle Sauce.

It started out so easy. I bought a pound cake from Willy Street Coop and topped it with the crema and sauce, and voilĂ --baked good disappointment (though, I must say this is not the norm for the Coop). The cake was too dry, and not complimentary to the soothing crema or the zing of the raspberry sauce.

I envisioned a nice, moist cake, sort of like a cheesecake, but without the cheese, and thought, why not try a tres leches cake, soaked in evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and cream? How to make it simple? Boxed cake mix. I have since learned that some cakes are meant to hold liquids (like sponge cakes) and some are not. Boxed cake mix falls under the "not" category. The glob of super gloopey vanilla cake swimming in tres leches sat in our fridge where I dared not serve it--even to my willing family.

Where to turn next? After some research, (which many, many people have done before me, but remember, I like to complicate things) I decided to make a sponge cake to support the tres leches.

Scared of creating another creamy swimming pool, I topped the cake with just a bit of the tres leches. (Photo depicts this rendition). It was not enough to moisten the sponge cake. I finally remembered that I didn't want a tres leches cake in the first place, and that this was supposed to be a simple dessert, and reverted back to a pound cake, choosing a moister one that I found at Whole Foods.

The crema and sauce are simply divine and would go well over or in any cake--chocolate, vanilla, tres leches or cheesecake (though I might eliminate the crema). And I think the tres leches would be make a great base for French toast. I have not yet found my ideal serving medium, though waffles have worked quite well. The search continues. Any ideas?

Meanwhile, I am moving on to simpler things--I bought a slow cooker! All I need is the perfect combination of ingredients.....

Vanilla Cake w/ Orange-Mascarpone Crema and Raspberry-Chipotle Sauce

Orange-Mascarpone Crema (adapted from Mark Miller)


1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
8 oz mascarpone
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tbsp Grand Marnier

1. Whip all ingredients in medium bowl on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

Raspberry-Chipotle sauce (make ahead)


1 pkg frozen raspberries
1-2 small chipotles in adobo (to taste)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp brandy

1. Simmer all ingredients, covered until raspberries release juices. Blend.

Serve over any cake with whipped cream or crema. Garnish with mint.
Other serving suggestions: Reduce sugar by half and use as base for raspberry vinaigrette, or as glaze for fish or chicken.


Lo said...

You and I have something in common when it comes to complicating things. Unfortunately, it looks like it works for you :) Love that raspberry chipotle sauce.

Otehlia said...

The sauce is fantastic, if I say so myself. I tried to make it into a barbecue sauce--less fantastic.