Proud American that I am, I decided that one Patriotic dessert wasn’t enough to celebrate Independence Day this year. In addition to the Red, White, & Blue Bombe Glacée I made for this weekend’s festivities, I prepared another colorful cake to help set the celebratory tone. I couldn’t resist another opportunity to use the refreshing flavor trio of the beloved Bomb Pop (cherry, lime, blue raspberry) in one more treat. Inspired by Sprinkle Bakes‘ lovely “Crown Jewel Cake,” I decided to revamp her cheerful version of the retro “Broken Glass Cake” by using the flavors of the Bomb Pop and the shapes and colors of our flag.
Sweet cherry sponge cake hugs a fluffy lime cream filling, speckled with playful bursts of blue raspberry and cherry Jello stars. The seemingly odd mixture of tart-sweet flavors and jiggly-smooth textures comes together in a harmonious, silky bite.
My favorite part about this cake is the exciting element of surprise that comes with cutting into it. With different shapes and sizes of red and blue stars, no two slices are alike. Each cut into the cake brings about an excitement comparable to the incredible National fireworks show… there’s no telling what pretty star pattern will be uncovered next.
Starry Stained Glass Cake
Inspired by: Bomb Pops & Sprinkle Bakes’ “Crown Jewel Cake“
1¼ cups almond flour
1/3 cup plus 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 egg yolks
¾ teaspoon cherry extract
1-1½ teaspoons red gel food coloring
4 egg whites
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
2½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
–recipe yield: one 11½ x 17½ sheet cake to be fit as a shell into one 8-inch round cake pan
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line an 8-inch round springform cake pan with parchment paper and set aside. Prepare an 11½ x 17½ sheet cake pan by buttering it, lining it in parchment paper, and buttering the paper. In a food processor, pulse together the almond flour, all-purpose flour and confectioner’s sugar to remove any lumps and to further grind down the almonds. In a large bowl, beat the whole eggs until frothy, and then gradually add in the combined dry ingredients from the food processor while continuing to beat and scraping down the sides of the bowl in between additions. Beat in egg yolks and extract, and gradually add food coloring until desired color is reached.
In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until frothy. Gradually add in superfine sugar while continuing to whip the mixture into a thick meringue. Once sugar has been added and meringue has reached stiff peaks, fold it gently into the batter. Pour in the cooled, melted butter, give it two or three more folds, and then pour the batter into the prepared sheet pan. Tilt the pan to distribute the batter into an even layer and tap the bottom of the pan against the counter top to allow any air bubbles to escape. Place pan into the oven to bake for 5-7 minutes, checking it frequently as it burns quickly and easily.
While cake is baking, lay out a clean pastry cloth or non-patterned tea towel next to a wire cooling rack. Sprinkle the cloth with a few tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar, smoothing it out into an even layer with your hands. Immediately upon removing it from the oven, turn out the hot cake onto the sugared pastry cloth. Peel away and discard the parchment paper from the top of the cake. Using the round cake pan as a guide, cut a long strip of the cake to fit inside around the pan, making up the cake edges. If the strip doesn’t cover all the way around the inside of the pan, a shorter strip may be sliced, added and pressed in to fill the gap. Cut a circle from the sheet cake to make up the bottom of the cake and press it into the pan inside the cake edges.
Lime Cream Filling
3-ounce box blue raspberry gelatin
(ex. Berry Blue Jello)
3-ounce box cherry gelatin
(ex. Cherry Jello)
1¼ cups pineapple juice
¼ cup lime juice
1½ tablespoons powdered gelatin
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water
2 cups heavy whipping cream
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
Prepare both packages of flavored gelatin as directed on box. Once gelatin is completely set and chilled, it is ready to be sliced into shapes. Using different sized star-shaped cookie cutters, slice set gelatin into very thick stars (see picture). The thicker the stars are cut, the more likely they will appear in cake slices. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine pineapple and lime juice. Sprinkle powdered gelatin into the juice and let it sit for 2-3 minutes, or until the gelatin has completely dissolved. Once dissolved, place the saucepan over medium-low heat for another 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture has melted into a smooth liquid. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cold water. Pour the mixture into a small bowl and set it on the counter top to cool slightly for about 5 minutes. Place it into the refrigerator for another 5 minutes to allow it to cool completely, but remain in liquid form (not set up into a gelatin). In a large bowl, whip cold cream into soft peaks. Pour in the vanilla extract and continue to whip until it has reached stiff peaks. Whisk cooled gelatin mixture well into whipped vanilla cream.
Add a few spoon-fulls of the lime cream filling into the pan containing the prepared, pressed sponge cake shell. Place a few flavored gelatin stars into the pan on top of the filling. Add more filling, followed by more stars, and continue until desired amount of gelatin stars have been added, leaving enough filling for a final, thick layer of filling to cover the stars and top off the cake. Gently spread the top layer of filling into a smooth mound. Cover cake with plastic wrap and allow it to set up in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
If desired, decorate set, firm cake with colored candies and/or a half batch of Best Vanilla Buttercream piped from a pastry or plastic zip-top bag fitted with a large star tip. If using colored candies, do not place the candies directly on the surface of the filling, as the color will bleed though the white gelatin cream.