Creme brûlée lovers will rejoice over this three-layer vanilla bean cake stuffed with a stovetop custard and burnt sugar crunch. For the frosting, a Swiss meringue buttercream is flavored with bruleed sugar to create a decadent dessert that’s paying homage to the traditional French dessert.
Though the cake is definitely a undertaking, the weather might be damaged up in phases and ready prematurely, and people intimidated by Swiss meringue buttercream can be joyful to seek out an American various. Each are scrumptious and are available along with the cake and custard to create a comfy and scrumptious celebration dessert that’s worthy of all of your candles and festivities this fall.
Creme Brûlée Cake
Prep time: 60 minutes
Prepare dinner time: 40 minutes
Whole time: 180 minutes
For the cake:
- 1 cup (230 grams) unsalted butter
- 1-3/4 cup (350 grams) sugar
- 1 giant egg plus 4 giant egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups (410 grams) cake flour
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1-1/4 (300 grams) cups complete milk, at room temperature
For the custard:
- 1-1/2 cups (360 grams) half-and-half (or a mixture of complete milk and heavy cream will work)
- ½ vanilla bean (or ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract)
- 2 giant egg yolks (Save the whites for the buttercream)
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
For the burnt sugar crunch:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
- ¼ cup (60 grams) water
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
For the Swiss meringue buttercream (See notes for various buttercream):
- 6 giant egg whites, at room temperature
- 1-3/4 cups (350 grams) sugar
- 15 tablespoons of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cream
To make the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 levels. Evenly grease three 8-inch spherical cake pans and line the bottoms with a spherical of parchment paper.
- In a big bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium pace for five minutes. Scrape the perimeters of the bowl and add the egg and egg yolks one after the other, mixing till mixed after every addition. Add the vanilla. Scrape the perimeters of the bowl and stir in half of the dry elements on low pace. Add half of the milk and scrape the bowl once more. Repeat this course of with the remaining dry elements and milk. Fold in any unincorporated bits and divide the batter among the many three pans. Bake within the preheated oven for about 20-22 minutes or till a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clear. Permit to chill utterly.
To organize the custard:
- Pour the half-and-half right into a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low warmth and add the vanilla bean, scraping the insides into the liquid. Convey to a simmer after which flip the warmth off and permit the vanilla to infuse into the liquid for quarter-hour. Make sure you stir often.
- In the meantime, vigorously whisk or beat the yolks with the sugar on medium pace till it lightens in colour and turns into barely fluffy. Add the cornstarch and stir to mix.
- After quarter-hour of infusing the half-and-half, take away the vanilla bean and thoroughly pour about ¾ cup of the nice and cozy liquid into the egg combination, whisking or mixing shortly all of the whereas to stop the eggs from curdling. Pour the egg combination plus the ¾ cup of added liquid again into the saucepan with the remaining half-and-half. Whisk to mix after which flip the warmth to medium-low. Maintain stirring till the combination involves a low bubble and begins to thicken. As soon as thickened to a runny mayonnaise consistency, shortly take away from warmth. Be happy to pressure the combination with a tremendous wire strainer as wanted. Put aside in a heat-safe bowl and canopy with a bit of plastic wrap to chill utterly. The custard might be made a day or two prematurely.
To organize the burnt sugar crunch:
- Liberally butter a half sheet pan with rimmed sides that’s lined with a full sheet of foil.
- In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan mix the sugar and water over medium warmth, stirring collectively often till the sugar dissolves. As soon as the combination will get scorching sufficient it’s going to start to bubble. Enhance the warmth to medium-high and keep away from stirring it any extra. You may gently swirl the pan often to maintain the combination from burning in a single spot. Proceed cooking over warmth till the combination turns amber coloured, about 10 minutes. It could barely start to smoke. Take away the pot from warmth and thoroughly whisk within the baking soda shortly. Dump the combination out onto the pan and barely unfold it out with a spatula. Don’t overwork it, although, as this may deflate all of the bubbles. Permit the combination to chill utterly previous to breaking and utilizing within the custard. You’ll need to make the crunch inside a day of frosting the cake and hold it in a sealed bag, because the crunch will take in moisture from the air and get chewy/sticky over time.
To organize the buttercream and assemble the cake:
- Put together a double boiler. Place a small to medium-sized saucepan with an inch of water on the range. The pot must be barely smaller than the bowl of your stand mixer to make sure that the underside of the bowl doesn’t contact the water within the pan. Clear the bowl of your stand mixer properly to make sure no hint of fats or grease is within the bowl — this could forestall your egg whites from thickening. I wish to squeeze the juice of a half lemon into the bowl and use a paper towel to wipe down the insides of the bowl in addition to the whisk attachment. As soon as the bowl is clear, add the room-temp egg whites and sugar to the bowl. Flip the burner on to medium warmth and station your self on the range to stir the eggs commonly. Over the course of about 3-5 minutes, the sugar within the egg whites will dissolve. As soon as the combination reaches about 160 levels Fahrenheit (or if you discover the sugar has dissolved within the eggs — you may rigorously really feel for this as properly), take away the bowl from the double boiler and place it on the mixer. Utilizing the whisk attachment, whip the egg combination on medium pace (I take advantage of 6 on my KitchenAid) for about quarter-hour or till the eggs have developed stiff peaks. The bowl must be room temperature to the contact and shiny peaks ought to get up on the top of the whisk if you scoop them out of the bowl. (Notice: Typically my mixer overheats and the nice and cozy eggs have a tough time standing up completely straight. Use your greatest judgment. If the bowl is cool and the eggs are standing up however the mixer is de facto scorching, it might make your whites droopy. However don’t underbeat. You frosting is not going to come collectively in that case.) Scrape the whisk clear after which put the paddle attachment on the machine. Operating on medium pace, add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, scraping the perimeters of the bowl as wanted. As soon as the butter has all been added, whip for an extra 3 minutes till the combination has fluffed up. Right here’s the place issues can get dicey: In case your butter is just too chilly, you may find yourself with a curdled, lumpy-looking combination in your bowl. You’ll know if it’s not proper. Take away a cup of the combination out of your bowl and put it into one other. Microwave that cup of liquid for about 15 seconds to rigorously heat after which add it again to the mixer. Whip once more to see if it comes collectively and repeat if it continues to look the identical. In case your combination is runny and unfastened, it may very well be your meringue or butter was too heat. Place the complete bowl within the fridge to chill down for about half-hour after which rewhip. It ought to come collectively, however repeat as wanted. As soon as it’s gentle and fluffy, add the vanilla and salt. Then, break off about half of the burnt sugar crunch and course of it in a mini chopper or blender till it’s diminished to a sandy powder — keep away from clumps. Add ¼ cup of the sandy powder to the buttercream and whip till mixed. Be happy so as to add a tablespoon of cream as wanted if the combination is just too thick. Frosting is greatest used instantly, so get began assembling.
- When able to assemble the cake, use a serrated knife to degree the tops of the desserts. Place a small little bit of buttercream on an 8-inch cake board or plate after which place your first layer of cake on prime. Put about half of the buttercream right into a piping bag fitted with a big spherical tip (alternatively you should use a quart-sized Ziploc with the top snipped off) and pipe a dam of frosting about 1/2-inch tall across the perimeter of the cake. Ensure the ends of the dam meet properly in order that your filling doesn’t squish out the perimeters of the cake. Unfold half of the custard into the middle of the dam after which prime all of it with a second layer of cake. Repeat this course of after which use the remaining frosting to ice the cake. Enhance as most well-liked and revel in. Cake is greatest served the day it’s assembled and must be saved within the fridge. Permit the cake to come back to room temperature earlier than serving.
- To be trustworthy, Swiss meringue buttercream at all times looks like lots of work for me, however I really like discovering use for all these further egg whites. In case you’re unsure, you CAN do that cake with a conventional American buttercream too. Cream 2 cups of room-temperature unsalted butter till pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes on medium pace. Add 1 cup of burnt sugar powder (made by processing the burnt sugar crunch) and 4-1/2 cups powdered sugar. Add this slowly, on low pace, over the course of a minute. Scrape the perimeters of the bowl and add ¼ teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of cream as wanted to clean it out. You may add extra powdered sugar to thicken it up or further cream to skinny it out. Take pleasure in.