This just may be the most outrageous cake we have concocted yet!
Our friend John brought us a Blum’s Crunch Cake a year ago stating that this was his favorite childhood dessert. It was delish. We promised to make him one for his birthday this year. And so we did.
Like any scientist, we put on our white jackets (well, white aprons) and went into our laboratory. We got out the candy thermometer and experimented with a bit of this and a little of that. Be warned – this cake and the preparation are not for the faint of heart.
But it was well worth the effort. The cake is light and bouncy inside to match its exterior – whipped cream frosting generously covered with Sea Foam Candy, which should be added just before you insert and light the candles. The candy starts to slowly dissolve in the pillow of the whipped cream, taking the edge off the crunch; making for a chewy sugar explosion sure to propel you out of this world.
All we have to say is WOWIE! The result was crazy good. Best to leave that cake at your friends’ house – we can only indulge so much (until tomorrow).
This recipe requires a candy thermometer. Makes 1 tube cake.
1 1/4 cups cake flour (we suggest Swan’s Down)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (divided 3/4 c + 1/2 c + 1/4 c)
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water
Sea Foam Candy:
Vegetable oil, for baking sheet
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup brewed espresso coffee
1 tablespoon baking soda
4 cups heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, and the salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a handheld electric mixer), beat the 7 egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy. Then add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, slowly add 1/2 cup sugar and mix on high speed until glossy peaks form. Add in the vanilla and lemon juice and whisk until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and set aside.
Insert a new clean bowl on the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Place the egg yolks and the remaining 1/4 cup of the sugar in the bowl and mix on medium speed until creamy. Add the water and continue to beat until thickened.
Add 1/2 the flour mixture into the egg yolks and mix on low speed until moistened. Add the remaining flour mixture and blend until just combined. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to slowly fold 1/2 the egg white mixture into the bowl. Do not use the mixer. Fold the remaining egg whites into the batter until it is incorporated. Do not over mix.
Pour the batter evenly into an ungreased standard tube pan. While the cake is baking, make the candy. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched in the center. Gently invert the pan to remove the cake and transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely. While the cake is cooling, make the frosting.
To make the Sea Foam Candy
Use vegetable oil to grease a 15 1/2 by 12-inch rimmed baking sheet and set aside (see Sugar Mommas Tip below). Place the sugar, corn syrup and coffee in a deep 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine and cook until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil. Increase the heat to medium-high and continue cooking, stirring only occasionally, until the mixture reaches 270ºF on a candy thermometer.
Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda, mixing well. The mixture will become light and foamy and bubble up vigorously. Carefully pour the mixture evenly onto the baking sheet. It will be very hot. Do not spread. Leave it undisturbed for approximately 30 minutes. Use a knife to loosen the brittle from the baking sheets and transfer it to parchment paper. Cool for 5 to 7 minutes more, then use a knife to break it into small 1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces. Store in an air-tight container until ready to use.
To make the frosting:
Place the cream, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed until it starts to become firm. Increase the speed to high and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat.
To assemble the cake:
Slice the cooled cake into three layers. Place one cake layer on a serving platter and spread frosting over the top and sides, being generous on top as it will be a filling layer. Place the middle layer on top of the bottom layer, spread icing over the top and sides (again, being generous with the top/filling layer). Place the top layer on top of the second layer and complete the frosting of the top and sides. Refrigerate. Immediately prior to serving, gently apply the Sea Foam candy pieces over the entire cake, covering it evenly.
Sugar Mommas Tip - Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil on the baking sheet. Place your hand inside a plastic sandwich bag and use the outer side to spread the oil evenly across the pan.
Sass it up! If you want to indulge in more coffee flavor, omit the vanilla from the frosting and add 2-3 teaspoons of coffee flavoring/extract/liquor instead. Add one teaspoon at a time to adjust according to your taste.
Sugar Mommas Secret Splurge - If there is any left over frosting, put it in an air-tight container. Reserve a few bites of the of the Sea Foam candy. When no one is looking, dunk the candy into the cream and enjoy a moment of sweet bliss. You deserve it!
Carpool Crunch - If you are like us, have children, or a hectic life, you just never know if the cake will actually make it to serving time. A child could accidentally drop the cake, make a huge dent into the frosted finale, or rip off a huge chunk from the top because it looks so irresistible. Always have a Plan B! Or, if you just don’t have the time or interest to create the cake from scratch, CHEAT! Run to the supermarket and buy an Angel Food or Sponge Cake. Forgo cutting the cake into 3 layers. Just slap on the frosting and candy and Presto! Oh yes, if you just like to “assemble” (and sometimes we do) buy the candy too! You may use any type of honeycomb candy.
The Sugar Mommas