Yield: 12 to fifteen servings
6 cups granulated sugar plus extra for rolling cranberries, divided
2½ cups cranberries, divided
Glowing sugar, for rolling cranberries
11 giant egg whites, room temperature, divided
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature, divided
1½ kilos (6 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2¾ cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
Zest of a complete orange
1 vanilla bean, cut up and seeds scraped into half-and-half
2 cups half-and-half, divided
¼ cup cornstarch
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons chilly, unsalted butter minimize into small cubes
2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons Grand Marnier, divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch blended with 1 /3 cup cool water
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice
2 cups sliced almonds
1. For the sugared cranberries, start no less than 1 day forward: Make a easy syrup by bringing 1 cup water and 1 cup granulated sugar simply to a simmer in a medium saucepan, stirring till the sugar dissolves. Let the syrup cool for a couple of minutes; then pour over 1 cup of the cranberries in a heat-proof bowl (if the syrup is just too scorching, the cranberries will burst). Cowl and refrigerate in a single day.
2. The subsequent day, drain the cranberries properly and toss them with glowing sugar or different medium-grain sugar till they’re well-coated. Do that in small batches so the sugar doesn’t get too moist. Place the coated cranberries on a baking sheet to dry at room temperature for just a few hours. Toss cranberries a second time with granulated sugar; this can fill in any naked or sticky spots on the cranberries. Let dry one other hour.
3. For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 levels. Spray a 2-inch dot of cooking spray in middle of three (8-inch) cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper (minimize circles to suit); spray a 2-inch dot of cooking spray in middle of parchment. Put aside.
4. In small bowl, combine 5 egg whites and ¼ cup of the buttermilk. Put aside. In a mixing bowl, beat ½ pound (2 sticks) of the butter and 1¾ cups of the granulated sugar till creamy, about 2 to three minutes. Beat in 2 tablespoons of the vanilla extract. Add in cake flour, baking powder and kosher salt, and blend till mixed. Slowly add in egg white combination. Beat in remaining ¾ cup buttermilk for 1 to 2 minutes till fluffy. Pour evenly into ready cake pans. Bake about 25 to twenty-eight minutes, till toothpick comes out clear with just a few clinging crumbs. Take away and funky in cake pans 5 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack and funky fully earlier than frosting. Cake may be made 1 to 2 days earlier than serving, wrapped at room temperature in plastic wrap.
5. For the pastry cream: In a small saucepan, mix scraped orange zest, vanilla bean, 1½ cups of the half-and-half and ½ cup of the granulated sugar. Deliver to a simmer over medium warmth, whisking to dissolve the sugar. In a medium mixing bowl, mix a pinch of salt, the ¼ cup cornstarch, the egg yolks and the remaining ½ cup of half-and-half, and whisk properly.
6. Take away the half-and-half combination from the warmth and add among the scorching liquid to the egg yolk combination whereas continually whisking. Add the egg combination to the pan with the remaining half-and-half and convey to a brisk simmer over medium warmth, stirring continually. As soon as the combination thickens, instantly take away from warmth and whisk within the chilly butter. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the Grand Marnier. Press the combination by means of a sieve right into a clear bowl. Discard any solids. Place a chunk of plastic wrap immediately on high of the pastry cream and switch to the fridge to maintain chilly till prepared to make use of. This pastry cream may be made 1 to 2 days earlier than serving.
7. For the berry filling: Add 1½ cups of the cranberries, ¾ cup of the granulated sugar and ¼ cup water to a saucepan and warmth till the berries are tender and start to pop, about 8 minutes. Switch to meals processor and puree till easy. Mix the 1/3 cup water and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a cup. Return the berry puree to the pan, add the cornstarch combination and prepare dinner over medium warmth, stirring persistently till combination thickens and involves a boil, about 5 minutes. Boil for 1 minute, then take away from warmth. Switch to a bowl, cowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate. This berry filling may be made 1 to 2 days earlier than serving.
8. For the easy syrup: Deliver ½ cup water and ½ cup granulated sugar to a boil; cut back warmth and simmer for five minutes. Take away from warmth and stir in 2 tablespoons of the Grand Marnier. Put aside to chill. This syrup may be made 1 to 2 days earlier than serving.
9. For the frosting: In bowl of stand mixer, mix remaining 6 egg whites, remaining 1½ cups granulated sugar and a pinch of salt. Place over a pan of simmering water and whisk repeatedly till temperature reaches 160 levels on a sweet thermometer and the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. (If you happen to don’t have a thermometer, the combination ought to really feel easy when rubbed between your fingers). Connect bowl to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beginning on low pace and regularly rising to medium-high, whisk till stiff peaks kind and combination is fluffy and shiny, about 10 minutes. The bowl ought to now not really feel heat to the contact. Change to paddle attachment, and with mixer on medium pace, add remaining 1 pound (4 sticks) butter just a few tablespoons at a time, mixing properly after every addition. Proceed mixing till icing is easy and silky, about 10 to fifteen minutes.
10. Add remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla, remaining 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier and orange juice, and blend till well-combined. If the icing appears curdled, proceed mixing and it’ll return to a silky texture. Whether it is too runny, merely refrigerate it for 15 to twenty minutes after which combine it once more till it comes collectively into easy combination.
11. To assemble cake: Warmth oven to 350 levels. Add sliced almonds to a baking sheet and toast them till gentle golden brown, about 7 to eight minutes, stirring periodically. Take away from oven and funky fully. Place 1 layer on the cake board or serving plate and brush about ¼ cup easy syrup over high. Pipe a hoop of frosting round edge and fill middle with ¾ cup or much less of pastry cream, smoothing out with an offset spatula. Prime with ¼ cup berry filling, smoothing rigorously over the pastry cream and making an attempt to not combine them. Place second cake layer on high and repeat steps. Prime with third layer and brush with syrup. Cowl cake with a skinny coat of frosting. Refrigerate for half-hour.
12. Cowl cake fully with frosting, making sides easy. Press the cooled, toasted almonds into the edges, working from high to backside. Make swirls and dips in icing on high of cake after which enhance with almond-cranberry flowers: Place a sugared cranberry 1 inch in from the sting of the cake throughout perimeter. Poke pointed finish of sliced almonds across the berry on an angle to appear to be a daisy petal. Add some berry-nut flowers to middle of cake, as desired.
13. Hold cake refrigerated. Take away from fridge an hour earlier than you propose to serve to permit frosting to melt.
Per serving: 970 energy; 50g fats; 25g saturated fats; 154mg ldl cholesterol; 10g protein; 132g carbohydrate; 84g sugar; 2g fiber; 386mg sodium; 155mg calcium.
Vitamin evaluation calculated for 15 servings.
Recipe by Ellen Trovillion