Cherry Bombe Spumoni Cake

This past weekend, women from all over the world visited New York City for the Cherry Bombe Jubilee, an annual gathering of women kicking butt and taking names in the culinary sphere.

 
Cherry Bombe Spumoni Cake by Milkmoon Kitchen
 

I, sadly, was not there =(

Cherry Bombe Spumoni Cake by Milkmoon Kitchen

Booooooooo.

Cherry Bombe Spumoni Cake by Milkmoon Kitchen

When I first realized the Cherry Bombe Jubilee was around the corner, I was too broke to buy a ticket. Then, by the time I had the cash, it was too late—all sold out!

What to do?? I decided to honor the gathering of strong women who rule the kitchen the best way I knew how. With cake!

Cherry Bombe Spumoni Cake by Milkmoon Kitchen

The Cherry Bombe Spumoni Cake plays on the classic flavor combination of spumoni ice cream—pistachio, chocolate, and maraschino cherry, as I grew up eating it in San Francisco's Little Italy—and piles it into a creamy pillar of deliciousness.

When I think of the flavor spumoni, I think of decades past. I think of soda fountains, 50's pastels, and the domestic kitchen. When I created this cake, I wanted to take those impressions and push on them, remould them into a contemporary vision of my experience in the kitchen: brashly colorful, organic and flawed with rough patches peeking through, and yet all the more beautiful for it.

 
Cherry Bombe Cake Edited (21 of 35).jpg
 

Oh, and with a whoooooole lot of crazy going on inside!

Cherry Bombe Spumoni Cake by Milkmoon Kitchen

The moist, not-too-sweet chocolate cake is based on a recipe that came from the Cherry Bombe cookbook, the original version of which you can find here. The pistachio cake is my own variation of a very special cake from Erin Gardner's book Erin Bakes Cake, which you should purchase immediately. Seriously, SUCH a great book for bakers and decorators, love love love. 

The filling is a maraschino buttercream of my own concoction, as is the maraschino creme gelée insert! The frosting is a pistachio Italian meringue buttercream. All recipes (except the gelée—needs tweaking) follow!

Cherry Bombe Spumoni Cake by Milkmoon Kitchen

Fudgy chocolate cake

Adapted from the Cherry Bombe Cake Balls recipe in Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook

8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups Dutch-process cocoa, sifted
1/2 cup whole milk powder (optional)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 baking soda
1 tsp kosher fine sea salt
2 eggs (at room temp)
1/2 cup sour cream (at room temp)
1/2 cup whole milk (at room temp)
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup water, boiling

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare three 6" cake pans.

Whisk dry ingredients to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, sour cream, whole milk, and vanilla. Mixing on low with the paddle attachment, add in the dry ingredients a cup at a time until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes.

Return the mixer to medium-low speed and slowly pour in the hot water. Mix until fully incorporated.

Divide the batter between the cake pans and bake for 45 minutes. Check for doneness by pressing on the middle of the top of the cake. It should bounce back; continue to bake for 5-minute intervals until done. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack before de-panning.

Cherry Bombe Spumoni Cake by Milkmoon Kitchen

To-Die-For pistachio cake

Adapted from the Any Butter Cake in Erin Gardner's masterpiece Erin Bakes Cake. Seriously, buy this book, it will change the game for your cakes!!

1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/3 cup whole milk powder (optional)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (at room temp)
12 oz pistachio butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
9 eggs at room temp
Green food coloring (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare three 6" cake pans.

Whisk dry ingredients to combine. Set aside.

Place the butter, pistachio butter, sugar, and extracts into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat on medium-high for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Crack all of the eggs into a separate bowl so they're easier to handle and you don't risk getting shell in your batter. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly pour the eggs in one at a time, allowing each to incorporate fully before adding the next. Add your green food coloring, keeping in mind that the dry ingredients will lighten the color ever so slightly.

Reduce the mixer to the lowest speed and add the flour in two additions, mixing until there are no more streaks. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, mix for just another few seconds.

Distribute the batter between cake pans and bake for 45 minutes. Check for doneness by pressing on the middle of the top of the cake. It should bounce back; continue to bake for 5-minute intervals until done. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack before de-panning.

Cherry Bombe Spumoni Cake by Milkmoon Kitchen

Maraschino Cherry Buttercream

2 cups Italian Meringue Buttercream (or any buttercream you prefer) at room temp
1 cup maraschino cherry syrup

Place the maraschino syrup in a pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until reduced by at least half. This should take at least 10 minutes. The idea is to thicken the syrup so you're not adding too much moisture into the buttercream when you incorporate it.

Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature. It may become very thick and goopy, but don't worry—I have a trick for adding it to the buttercream with no lumps! "Temper" the syrup by adding just a dollop or two of buttercream at first and mixing it in to lighten it. Then add that lightened syrup back into the buttercream and mix on low with the paddle attachment for a couple minutes to fully incorporate and work out any bubbles.

Pistachio Buttercream

2 cups Italian Meringue Buttercream (or any buttercream you prefer) at room temp
6-8 oz pistachio paste (not pistachio butter, which is just ground pistachios)
OR
One 7 oz jar of Pistachio Cream (basically pistachio white chocolate nutella aka heaven)

Combine the buttercream and pistachio paste/cream in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on low for 2-3 minutes to combine completely and work out any bubbles.

 
Cherry Bombe Spumoni Cake by Milkmoon Kitchen
 

Well that was fun! Happy baking, all, and I will see you next week!

Azara