Per usual, I am late to the party. My own party, no less.
I made it 7/8 of the way through October before realizing that it had been approximately 3 years since I began this blog. For old times sake, lets take a look at the first photo I ever took for this venture, shall we?
Magnificent, no? Well, at least the soup was good.
I can’t believe three years have passed by since I bought this domain and started painting it with pictures and words.
The time has passed both with remarkable speed and surprising slowness. I guess I’ll chalk that up to the whirlwind of working motherhood mixed with the stalling effect of severe self-criticism and a desperate desire to constantly improve.
At the beginning of writing this blog I lived with my Husband and three children in my parents home while we figured out what to do with our lives. At present, we have been in our home for two years now, inherited a slew of fruit trees in every variety that fuel the majority of this sites content, added another baby to the brood, and have dug roots into the soil of the valley in which we live. A valley surrounded by steep, tree-covered mountains,dotted with wildlife. We’ve gravitated to the south side where farms and livestock make up the majority of the landscape. The stars in the night sky are denuded and crystal clear in this part of our world where the smog of the city can not mask them. I dream of someday living even further out in the country in a little white farmhouse, with goats and chickens for company along with my family.
For now, I love everything just the way it is. I mean, how lucky must I be to have stumbled upon a home with 8 mature fruit trees?! Taking photos, cooking all the day long, and all in close to my littles is a dream come true.
To celebrate the passing of these three years, I made us a cake. Super soft yellow cake speckled with vanilla beans and enveloped in cloud-like white chocolate mousse. White chocolate ganache drenches the top of the cake, made from gorgeous white chocolate that Valrhona so generously had sent to me.
This cake is gluten free, thanks to the holy trio of sweet rice, oat, and millet flour. This flour combo turns everything it’s made with into pillows. Figurative pillows, to be clear. I’ve never really been into fabric consumption. Real food is my thang.
I want to thank each and every one of you for following along with me, for trying out my recipes. For all of your kind comments and messages. I love sharing the things that I love with you and am so thankful for your support. I adore you. All of you.
- FOR THE CAKE:
- 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) Butter, softened
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons Raw Cane Sugar
- Seeds scraped from 1 Vanilla Bean
- 3 Large Eggs
- ¾ cup Buttermilk
- ½ cup Apple Sauce
- ½ cup Sour Cream
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons Sweet Rice Flour
- ¾ cup Oat Flour
- ½ cup Millet Flour
- 2¼ teaspoons Baking Powder
- ¾ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- FOR THE MOUSSE:
- 1½ cups Heavy Cream, divided
- 1 cup High Quality White Chocolate, chopped (I used Valrhona)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE:
- ⅔ cup High Quality White Chocolate, chopped (I used Valrhona)
- ⅓ cup Heavy Cream
- FOR THE CAKE:
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottoms of four 6" round baking pans with parchment paper. Grease and flour.
- Place the butter, sugar, and vanilla bean seeds in a large mixing bowl. Beat together on high for 2-3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
- Beat the eggs into the butter mixture, one at a time, fully incorporating before adding the next egg.
- Beat in the buttermilk, apple sauce, and sour cream.
- In another bowl, sift together the rice flour, oat flour, and millet flour. Whisk in the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together until smooth and well combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, dropping each pan on the counter once or twice to remove air bubbles from batter.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let cool for 10 minutes and remove from the pans. Finish cooling on a wire rack.
- FOR THE MOUSSE:
- Place the white chocolate and 2 tablespoons of the cream in a saucepan. Heat on medium, stirring occasionally until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool.
- While the white chocolate cools, place the remaining cream in a mixing bowl and beat until stiff peaks form - the cream should be as thick as it can possibly be before turning to butter (this ensures a more sturdy mousse).
- Pour the cooled white chocolate over the whipped cream and very gently fold in until fully combined. Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- FOR THE GANACHE:
- About 15 minutes before you assemble the cake, make the ganache.
- Place the chocolate and cream in a small saucepan and heat on medium, stirring frequently until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool.
- TO ASSEMBLE:
- Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Top cake layer with ⅕ of the mousse. Level the mousse and top with another cake layer. Repeat process until all 4 cake layers are filled and stacked. Use half of the remaining mousse to frost the top and outside of the cake (this will just be enough mousse to give the cake that "naked cake" look, as pictured).
- Pour the ganache over the top of the cake (carefully!) and let it drop over the sides.
- Use the remaining mousse to decorate the top of the cake, if desired. I topped mine with little meringues.