Sweet Solutions I: White Chocolate Lime Cake with Watermelon Sake Sorbet
After deciding on a sorbet flavor to work with from David Lebovitz‘s Ready for Dessert (Watermelon-Sake), Chef Anna and I had to think of what we would serve it with for the dessert special at L’Ecole. Angel-food and sponge cakes are already featured on the menu, so we were originally thinking of a pound or tea cake, but Chef Anna had an even better idea. We used her recipe for the classic Austrian Sachertorte cake— an airy chocolate cake with warm apricot preserves under the frosting– and lightened it up for summer by using white chocolate in place of milk or dark in the batter. I also mixed in lime zest and lime juice, which really complemented the intense sweetness of the watermelon. I served the sorbet on a thin sliver of the cake with candied lime slices. It was light, cool, refreshing, delicious, and very pretty (not to mention my favorite summer color combination– pink and green). As my friend David from class described it, it was really “summer on a plate.” Try this one at home to add an elegant finish to even the most casual summer dinner party, whether by the beach, air-conditioner, balcony, rooftop, or window.
Watermelon-Sake Sorbet (From David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert)
Makes 1 quart
4 cups (1 1/14 lbs) seedless watermelon, cut into small chunks
2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cups sake
fresh squeezed lime juice
In a food processor or in a blender, puree the watermelon with sugar and sake until smooth. Pour into a medium bowl, add lime juice to adjust the sweetness to your liking. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Freeze in an in ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Also try freezing it in popsicle molds if you do not have an ice cream maker.
White Chocolate Lime Cake
165 g butter, room temperature
130 g sugar, plus another 130 g sugar
9 large eggs, separated
150 g flour
160 g white chocolate, melted and cooled
zest of 4 limes
juice of 1 lime
-Cream butter and 130 g sugar with paddle attachment of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. This step is very important in achieving the proper texture of the cake. Especially if the butter is still cool, make sure it is mixed enough.
-Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add chocolate. Mix just until combined. Set mixture aside.
-Beat egg whites with whisk or stand mixer on med-high. When mixture begins to turn white/opaque add 130 g of sugar. Continue to beat until stiff glossy peaks form.
-Fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture, being careful not to over mix. Sift in flour.
-Spread into a 9×13 cake pan, and bake for 15-20 minutes turning once. Cake will form bubbles, and should be golden brown.