My husband has this friend who he has known for a very long time, and he asked if I could make a birthday cake for his grandmother for her 88th birthday. He actually wanted me to make a carved 88 cake, but I’m not that skilled. I told him I would figure out something to make.
I’ve seen these cakes for a while now and so this was my excuse to finally try it out. It was actually really easy to do.
First up I made the cake (my usual cake mix, with an added pudding mix, 4 eggs, 1 cup of water and 1/4 cup oil – this makes for a firmer pound cake) about a week earlier and wrapped them up and froze them.
The day before assembly I made the cheesecake. I used my cheesecake recipe (egg nog cheesecake, just substitute the egg nog for whipping cream) but omitted the crust. Make sure you line the bottom of your pan with parchment paper to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. I actually used cake pans so there was no chance of water leaking into the cheesecake while it was baking in the water bath. Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature and then chill overnight in the fridge.
The day of assembly I started with the Swiss meringue buttercream. I actually took pictures this time. Get a small pot of water on the stove to a simmer. Separate 10 eggs, placing the whites in the bowl of you stand mixer.
Place your mixing bowl over your pot if simmer water and whisk constantly for 5 to 6 minutes. You will know it has heated up suffiently when you rub a bit of the egg white mixture between your fingers and it is smooth with no sugar granules present.
Once the 10 minutes is up, just check to make sure there is no residual heat by touching the side of the bowl. If it’s still warm there may be too much heat in the meringue and it will melt the butter, so keep whipping till it feels cool. Then slow down the speed to 4 and start adding in the butter, piece by piece. If you cut your pieces too big, just give them a bit of a squish as you add them in.
Then I removed the cheesecake from the cake pan. Run an off set spatula around the edge the turn the pan over onto a plate covered in plastic wrap (this makes it easier to remove the cheesecake from the plate without it tearing, you can simply peel the Saran off the top carefully).
Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
10 egg whites
2 1/2 cups sugar
Pinch of salt
3 cups butter
1/2 cup raspberry jam, seedless
Food colouring, optional
- Over a pot of simmering water, in you mixing bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar and salt, until sugar has dissolved, approximately 5 to 6 minutes.
- Place mixing bowl on stand mixer and using whisk attachment, whip at speed 8 for 10 minutes.
- Turn speed down to 4, slowly add in butter, 1 Tbsp. At a time.
- Once all the butter gas been added, continue to whip for another minute, then switch to the paddle attachment and add in the raspberry jam (and food colouring if using). Beat for an additional minute.
- Use immediately, or store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Return to room temperature before using.