It's New Year's Eve! We're celebrating with a Champagne Cake, from Valerie Gordon's new Cookbook, Sweet.
When I was growing up my family had a New Year’s Eve tradition of celebrating with strawberry ice cream, Champagne and New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. My parents seldom drank Champagne: it was a treat that was enjoyed on very rare special occasions, but always on December 31st. I must have been 16 or 17 years old before I realized that Champagne could be paired with a food other than strawberry ice cream.
I like Champagne. I satisfy my craving for it much more regularly than my parents did, and I always enjoy some on New Year’s Eve, too. This Champagne Cake pairs perfectly with the champagne you’ll probably be drinking to ring in the new year. And while you don’t have to finish the cake with gold leaf to enjoy it, the gold adds a beautiful, celebratory element to an already delicious cake. It makes a decadent last hurrah for the year, while being the perfect way to start the New Year. Enjoy!
Serves 8 to 12
For the Golden Butter Cake
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1/3 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
For the Champagne Ganache
1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
3 tablespoons cold water
2/3 cup Champagne or sparkling wine
2 tablespoons cognac or other brandy
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 cups 38% milk chocolate chips, or feves, or chopped 38% milk chocolate, melted
2 ounces 61% bittersweet chocolate, chopped and melted
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
For the Milk Chocolate Glaze
1 3/4 cups 38% milk chocolate chips, or feves, or chopped 38% milk chocolate
3/4 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons corn syrup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced and softened
Excerpted from Sweet by Valerie Gordon (Artisan Books). Copyright 2013. Photographs by Peden + Munk.