How to make the bourbon cream tipsy cake that won a blue ribbon

The winner of the Kentucky State Fair "Cake from Scratch" competition by Robyn Dale

How to make the bourbon cream tipsy cake that won a blue ribbon

Prep Time

25 minutes

Cook Time

40 minutes

Serves

-  

State fair bake-offs are serious competitions. Bakers spend all year refining their recipes, testing out new ingredients and work toward finding the right balance of flavors. Once it’s time for the annual state fair, judges are tasked with deciding which recipe stands out from the rest.

Judging one of these contests is more than just eating cake. Judges must consider aesthetic, mastery of baking and decorating techniques, flavor and texture. In the case of Robyn Dale’s bourbon cream tipsy sake, the blue-ribbon cake from last year’s Kentucky State Fair, judges were impressed with all of the above, especially with the cake’s “mirror glaze” icing.

According to the Courier Journal, part of the USA Today Network, Dale was surprised to hear that her cake had won considering this was the first time she had entered the Kentucky State Fair’s Cake from Scratch competition. However, she wasn’t surprised to hear that her bourbon cream flavored mirror glaze icing is what secured her bake-off victory.

“I do mirror cakes,” Dale explained to the Courier Journal. “It’s kind of new here in America; you guys haven’t quite caught on to them yet.” Dale grew up in England and learned the mirror glaze technique while living in Japan for several years. Mirror glaze videos, which are wildly popular online, give cakes a smooth outer layer that is also reflective. It looks difficult, but Dale says that it’s quite simple: “If you’ve got company coming and really want to impress them, this is a great cake.”

*This recipe is courtesy of Robyn Dale, blue ribbon winner in the Your Favorite Cake competition at the 2017 Kentucky State Fair.

Ingredients

Cake Layer

  • 1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup bourbon cream liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon extract

Mouse Layer

  • 1 packet unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 packets whipped cream stabilizer
  • 15 ounces white chocolate
  • 3 cups cold heavy whipping cream (or 1 carton non-dairy cream substitute)
  • 1 cup bourbon cream liqueur
  • 4 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon flavoring

Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (3 packets)
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups white chocolate chips (about 15 ounces)
  • food coloring, if preferred

Preparation

Cake Layer

  • 1 Set a rack at the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  • 2 Grease and flour a 9-in pan.
  • 3 n a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • 4 Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  • 5 Combine eggs, bourbon cream liqueur and extracts.
  • 6 Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then add half the bourbon cream mixture. Continue to alternate beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  • 7 Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with a metal spatula. Bake cake about 35-40 minutes.
  • 8 Cool in pan on a rack for 5 minutes, then cut off crown of the cake (the part that rises above the pan) and lightly coat the top of the cake with additional bourbon cream straight from the bottle.
  • 9 Turn the cake out on the rack, baste the bottom of the cake and let cool completely. Slice the cake through the center, creating two layers. Refrigerate or place in freezer to finish on a different day.

Mousse Layer

  • 1 Mix the gelatin and water in a small bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to bloom.
  • 2 Place 1/2 a cup of heavy whipping cream on the stove and bring to a boil.
  • 3 Pour over the top of the white chocolate.
  • 4 Add gelatin and mix until the chocolate and gelatin are both smooth and dissolved.
  • 5 Remove from stove. Add bourbon cream, bourbon and flavoring, stir until incorporated.
  • 6 Whip remaining cream with whipped cream stabilizer until soft peaks have formed.
  • 7 Add one third of the whipped cream into the chocolate mix and stir until lightened.
  • 8 Add the remaining amount of whipped cream in thirds and fold with a spatula until no white streaks remain.
  • 9 Place bottom 1/2 of cake layer in 10-inch springform pan, making sure there is an empty space completely around the cake.
  • 10 Cover the cake with a couple cups of mousse. Add second layer and repeat, covering all surfaces of the cake.
  • 11 Place into the refrigerator or freezer until set (about 2-3 hours).

Glaze

  • 1 Stir gelatin and 1/2 cup lukewarm water in a small bowl and let sit 5 minutes to bloom.
  • 2 Cook sugar and 3/4 cup water until sugar is dissolved and mixture is clear. Add condensed milk, vanilla and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture begins to bubble. Add bloomed gelatin and stir until dissolved.
  • 3 Remove from heat and add chocolate chips, stirring constantly, until melted. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Color with food coloring as desired. Let cool, stirring occasionally to stop a skin from forming, until the glaze is just cool enough to touch (about 10-12 minutes).
  • 4 Set a chilled, smoothly frosted cake on a cake pan or overturned bowl set inside a rimmed baking sheet or large tray to catch drips.
  • 5 Pour colored glaze over, sweeping back and forth across cake as you pour, to form a smooth appearance. Let glaze drip about 10 minutes, then clean up the edges with a small offset spatula or butter knife.
  • 6 Transfer the cake to a serving platter and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.
  • 7 Using a warmed sharp knife, cut cleanly through the cake, wiping the knife with a warm, damp towel between each slice.

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