Add a Favorite: Berry Chantilly Cake

In March we made the trek down to Baton Rouge to visit my oldest daughter, Mary, and her husband, Joseph, and the closest (thank goodness) thing we have to grandchildren, the goldendoodles (IG: doubledoodle_) Nala and Simba. We, and by that, I mean my husband and Joseph and Mary signed up last minute and participated in a 5K, and we enjoyed a crawfish feast, but really importantly, we discovered what is apparently a Baton Rouge/New Orleans regional favorite: Berry Chantilly cake!

This trip was just shortly after my new cookbook was published, so I’ll probably have to include it later in another collection – this cake is SO GOOD! Advice: make it when you have at least 10 people coming over, because it’s huge, and it’s rich! But it has fresh berries, so it’s good for you!

Created by baker Chaya Conrad, who now owns Bywater Bakery, and then worked for Whole Foods, this cake is a regional favorite since she developed it 13 years ago. The cloud of a cake filled with fresh berries turns up at New Orleans weddings as well as birthday, debutante, graduation and retirement parties. It’s a go-to for bridal and baby showers, too.

Be sure to check out the whole story here:
https://www.nola.com/food/2018/03/berry_chantilly_cake_recipe_wh.html

We ate some cupcakes of the same recipe from Rouse’s near Mary’s house, and I knew I had to learn to make this masterpiece! But seriously, if you go down there, go get you one of these at Rouse’s or Whole Foods! You surely deserve it!

Trying to keep it all level! She says put the same amount of Chantilly icing as the thickness of the layers! YUM!

Bywater Bakery Berry Chantilly Cake
Makes 1 cake

1/2 cup each whole strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries

The cake
Makes 1 8-inch round
15 ounces all-purpose flour
1 1/2 ounces cornstarch
1/8 ounce of salt
1/2 ounce of baking powder
11 ounces sugar
8 ounces butter
7 egg whites
12 ounces milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract, or to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, cornstarch, salt and baking powder in large bowl.

In bowl of mixer, combine sugar and butter. Whip until fluffy and light. With mixer on low to medium speed, gradually add egg whites until incorporated. With mixer on medium, slowly add milk until fully incorporated. Add almond flavoring to taste.

Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in bowl, adding about 1/3 at a time until each portion is fully incorporated.

Prepare a 2-inch-deep (or deeper) 8-inch cake pan by spraying with cooking spray. Then place a circle of parchment paper on the bottom. Spray parchment lightly. Pour batter into cake pan.

Bake cake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cake should be just golden on top and spring back when gently pressed.

Allow cake to cool completely before assembling.

Chantilly icing
Makes enough for a two- or three-layer 8-inch round cake

1 pound mascarpone
1 pound cream cheese
1 pound powdered sugar
1 quart heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon almond extract, or to taste

Chill mixing bowl in refrigerator, whether using hand or standing mixer. Keep all ingredients chilled in refrigerator until ready to use.

If using a stand mixer, fit it with paddle. When bowl is chilled, add cream cheese and powdered sugar to bowl and mix until well blended, ensuring there are no lumps. Scrape down sides of bowl.

Add mascarpone and mix until fully combined. Scrape down sides of bowl. Then, slowly add whipping cream at low speed, stopping and scraping down sides of the bowl as needed, until all is added. Add almond extract.

Fit mixer with whisk attachment. The mixture will be very loose at this point. Whip mixture at medium-high speed until ribbons begin to form in the cream. Turn mixer to high and watch closely, mixing just until icing is the consistency of whipped cream or mousse. Do not over-whip. Mixture should stand in peaks on a spoon or spatula.

Keep chilled until ready to use.

Notes:

This recipe calls for equal amounts of mascarpone, cream cheese and powdered sugar to two parts heavy cream. The recipe can easily be adjusted to make a larger amount as along as these proportions are maintained, Conrad said.

Have too much Chantilly cream? Place leftovers in an airtight bowl. Then, when ready use, place back in chilled mixer bowl and re-whip with whisk attachment until consistency of whipped cream or mousse again.

Simple syrup
Makes 1/2 cup

1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup sugar

Combine water and sugar over low flame. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.

Note: Simple syrup is equal parts water and sugar, with the sugar dissolved into the water. It’s a great to keep on hand for use in tea, coffee and recipes. For this cake, feel free to add a dash of almond, lemon or orange extract to the simple syrup.

To assemble cake:

Clean berries, removing stems and leaves from strawberries. Drain well and set aside.

Add second cake layer, with sliced side exposed, and repeat, adding simple syrup, thick layer of Chantilly cream and even layer of berries. Repeat with third. Add final cake layer on top, with sliced side exposed. Sprinkle with simple syrup.

To assemble cake:

Clean berries, removing stems and leaves from strawberries. Drain well and set aside.

Slice cake layer into three layers. Place one cake layer on surface top side down, exposing the sliced side. Sprinkle with simple syrup to moisten. (Do not douse). Then, using a spatula — an off-set spatula works best — place a generous amount of icing on top and spread until it is about the same height or thickness of the cake layer.

Cover Chantilly cream evenly with berries, ensuring a layer of berries covers the surface and that fruit goes all the way to the edge of the cake layer.

Add second cake layer, with sliced side exposed, and repeat, adding simple syrup, thick layer of Chantilly cream and even layer of berries. Add final cake layer on top, with sliced side exposed. Sprinkle with simple syrup.

Cover the entire cake with Chantilly cream. Do one coat to completely cover the cake, the so-called crumb coat. Then, go back and add more Chantilly cream to decorate. (Conrad uses a pastry bag fitted with leaf-shape tip to pipe up the sides, but it’s up to you as to whether you want a smooth or frilly-looking cake.)

Add fresh berries to the top. Then, refrigerate at least six hours or, preferably, overnight before serving.

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