Fran’s L’Etoile White Chocolate Cake
After her professional pastry training came to an end, Fran desired something more than the French-style genoise cakes that are traditionally soaked in syrup or liqueur for added flavor. She wanted a delicious white cake that would derive its intense flavor and moisture from pure white chocolate.
The lovely all-white L’Etoile was her answer, and it quickly became a summertime favorite for customers visiting our original store. This delicious cake also formed the basis for many of our celebration cakes and was the cake Fran’s daughter, Andrina, chose for her wedding.
- 12 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar
- 6 large eggs, room temperature, separated
- ½ cup cake flour, sifted then measured
- 3 tablespoons almond flour
- 1½ cups crème fraîche
MAKING THE CAKE
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 300°F.
- Lightly butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with a parchment circle.
- In a double boiler, melt 6 ounces of the white chocolate over low heat. Cool until lukewarm. Reserve the remaining 6 ounces of white chocolate for the icing.
- In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and on medium-high speed, cream the butter with half of the sugar until light, scraping the bowl often, about 2 minutes.
- Add the egg yolks, one at a time, waiting until each yolk is incorporated before added the next. Continue beating until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes total. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix until smooth and glossy. Set aside.
- Blend the sifted flour with the almond flour. Gently fold into the white chocolate mixture.
- In another mixer bowl and with a clean whisk, begin whipping the egg whites on medium-high speed. Increase the speed and allow them to become quite frothy. Slowly add the remaining sugar and continue whipping until the peaks are stiff but not dry.
- Lighten the white chocolate and flour mixture by quickly folding in ¼ of the egg whites. Then, working in thirds, gently fold in the remaining whites. Try not to overmix, as this will cause the batter to lose volume.
- Evenly spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until lightly golden in color and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan, at room temperature, for about 10 minutes
- Turn the layer out onto a 9 inch cardboard cake circle or metal tart bottom and cool completely. (Once cooled, the cake can be wrapped in plastic and placed in the freezer for up to a week prior to assembly.)
FINISHING THE CAKE
- In a double boiler, melt the remaining 6 ounces of white chocolate over low heat. Cool to lukewarm.
Place the crème fraîche in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip the crème on medium-high speed, just to lighten it, about 20 seconds. It will appear to mound in the bowl.
- Remove from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, fold in the melted white chocolate. The mixture should be creamy with a velvety texture.
- Using a serrated knife, split the cake horizontally into 2 layers.
- Remove the top cut layer and spread about ⅓ of the icing on the bottom layer.
- Gently place the top cake layer on the iced bottom layer. Center, trim any rough edges, and remove the parchment circle.
- Use the remaining icing to cover and frost the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.
- Remove at least 30 minutes before serving and decorate with rose petals or candied flowers, if desired.
- The finished cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
For a Scandinavian Cloud Cake, spread the layers with lingonberry jam alternating with white chocolate whipped cream.
For a Strawberry White Chocolate Cake, add sliced strawberries between the layers.
To make a two-tiered celebration cake like the one in our photo, double the recipe and divide the batter evenly between two 9-inch round and two 6-inch round cake pans. Assemble each cake per the instructions above; you will end up with two iced layered cakes: one 9-inch and one 6-inch. Chill very well. Place the 9-inch round cake on a serving platter, then center and place the 6-inch layer on top.