It’s almost time to celebrate America’s birthday! This is certainly the America’s number one holiday for enjoying great backyard barbecues and launching brightly colored explosives into the sky. What have you planned for this special day? Many of us will certainly spend the day with family and friends, cheering to independence and gathering around a good hot grill, enjoying good food. But wait, grilling is great, but what’s for dessert?
Close your eyes and make a wish! Here’s a wonderful 4th of July America’s flag cake: On the outside, this cake appears plain with its white chocolate ganache. I love the red and blue fresh fruit — blueberries and raspberries. But the inside is extraordinarily sweet and fruity with layers of pistachio sponge cake, vanilla whipped cream and fresh fruit.
Here’s the step by step directions for the recipe of this America’s birthday cake.
Ingredients list for the 4th of July Flag Cake
Serve 6 to 8 persons
Pistachio sponge cake
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup (70g) flour
- 1 ounce (30g) ground pistachio — make it with your blender, with unsalted pistachio nuts.
- 1 tbsp pistachio paste
Whipped cream frosting
- 1 2/3 cup (400mL) milk
- 1 vanilla pod
- 1 1/4 cup (160g) granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbsp (30g) cornstarch
- 1/3 lb (150g) butter
White chocolate ganache
- 7 ounces (200g) of white chocolate
- 1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
- 1 lb (450g) of frozen red fruits
- 2/3 lb (300g) fresh raspberries
- 1/4 lb (125g) blueberries
Several distinctive steps are necessary to make this 4th of July patriotic cake. It might look complex but it’s easy once you review everything one or two times before starting.
The white chocolate ganache:
The day before, melt white chocolate and (50g) heavy cream in the microwave. Do it in two steps, 30 seconds each. Let cool and add the remaining cream. Mix well. Keep in a cool place overnight.
The pistachio sponge cake:
1. Preheat your oven to 360°F (180°C). Whisk the eggs and sugar until the mixture gets stiff and has tripled in volume. Add the pistachio paste and gently stir in the sifted flour with ground pistachio.
2. Spread the mixture on a silicone baking mat. Bake for 10-12 min. The sponge cake should be flexible and the edges shouldn’t be overcooked; they could become dry and brittle.
3. Flip the sponge cake after a few minutes on a baking sheet. Once cooled, cut into identical 2 rectangles. A cake frame can be helpful.
Note: Of course, you can bake 2 cakes in rectangular pans directly. Just let the cakes cool before removing from the pans.
The whipped cream frosting:
1. Boil the milk with half the sugar and the vanilla bean, split in two. In a bowl, beat the eggs and the remaining sugar until the mixture becomes white.
2. Add the cornstarch. Pour the boiling milk on the preparation and return to the heat until it thickens. Pour the cream into a bowl and wrap with plastic directly in contact with the cream so it’s totally air-proof.
3. Beat the softened butter with an electric mixer or a whisk for 1 minute then add the cream, one tablespoon at a time. Normally, you should then get a beautiful mousseline cream that stands well.
Mounting the cake:
1. Place the first half of the sponge cake into the cake frame, fill with cream and add the thawed and drained berry fruit on top. Cover with the second half of the sponge cake, press lightly and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours (overnight is better).
2. Take the white chocolate ganache out of the refrigerator and whip it to get a smooth texture which is easier to spread. Coat the whole cake with a uniform layer. Don’t use all the chocolate ganache as you’ll need some for the decoration.
3. Place fresh fruit in the form of the flag of the United States and fill the spaces with small stars of ganache with the help of a pastry bag.
(This recipe was originally published on July 3, 2013)