When our friend Nick from The Scran Line bakes a fabulous vanilla bean cake, we listen! From oven temperature to creaming methods (and Queen Vanilla Bean Paste, of course), this is a how-to video not to be missed. A big thank you to Nick for sharing this incredible recipe with us!

Serves:
30

Ingredients

Cake
  1. 429g plain flour
  2. 265g caster sugar
  3. 3 tsp baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 125g unsalted butter, softened
  6. 375ml milk
  7. 2 large eggs
  8. 125ml vegetable oil
  9. 2 tbsp Greek yogurt (can substitute with sour cream)
  10. 1 tbsp Queen Vanilla Bean Paste
White Chocolate Ganache
  1. 300g white cooking chocolate
  2. 1 tbsp butter
  3. 125ml thickened cream
  4. 1 tbsp Queen Vanilla Bean Paste
Frosting
  1. 2 batches Nick's Swiss Meringue Buttercream (link in recipe notes)
  2. 1 tbsp Queen Vanilla Bean Paste

Method - Cake

  1. Step 1

    Before starting, note that this cake recipe will need to be doubled (two batches) to achieve the cake in the video. I halved it in the video because most people don’t have mixing bowls big enough in their kitchens to make the entire recipe in one go!

  2. Step 2

    Preheat oven to 140°C (fan forced). Spray three 8” cake tins with oil spray and line the bottom with baking paper.

  3. Step 3

    Add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix together using a hand mixer.

  4. Step 4

    Add the softened butter and mix on low speed until mixture reaches a crumbly sand like texture.

  5. Step 5

    Add eggs, milk, oil, Greek yogurt (which helps keep the cake moist) and Vanilla Bean Paste. Mix on low speed until no dry ingredients are showing. Scrape down the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds.

  6. Step 6

    Fill three 8” cake tins with batter and bake for 50-60 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

  7. Step 7

    Cool in tins for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Method - Frosting

  1. Step 1

    Prepare frosting according to Nick's Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe (link below). Add vanilla bean paste to the frosting and mix until well combined.

Method - Ganache

  1. Step 1

    Add white chocolate, butter and cream into a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds at a time, mixing each time until smooth. Add the vanilla bean paste and mix until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to set.

  2. Step 2

    Add the Vanilla Bean Paste and mix until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to set.

  3. Step 3

    Alternatively, you may melt it using a double boiler. Fill a medium sized pot 1/3 of the way with water. Bring to a boil. Place bowl with chocolate and cream over the top and gently mix until mixture is completely melted and smooth. To soften the ganache to spreading or piping consistency, microwave for 10 seconds at a time, mixing each time with a large spatula until it reaches the right consistency. Allow to set at room temp.

Method - Assembly

  1. Step 1

    Using a large serrated knife, carefully trim the top off each layer of cake to make even and flat layers. Try to aim to get them all the same height. An easy way to do this is to find the lowest height of the cake, place a skewer or toothpick next to that point and mark it. As you go around each side of the cake cutting it, use the marked skewer to make sure each cut is at the same height.

  2. Step 2

    To prepare crumb coat, add a dab of frosting onto an 8” cake board or serving plate. Add first cake layer. Use a small offset spatula to add a smooth layer of frosting on each layer before adding the next layer of cake. Add more frosting around the outside to fill the grooves between each layer. This should just be a neat thin layer of frosting which is aimed at trapping any cake crumbs so that random bits of cake crumbs don’t show up on the outside of the cake. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.

  3. Step 3

    If you want to make this a naked cake, leave it with the crumb coat only. If you want to add another layer, add a fresh layer of frosting using a small offset spatula. Use a cake scraper to smooth out the frosting around the sides. Then smooth out the top using the cake scraper. Chill.

  4. Step 4

    Transfer warm ganache to a piping bag with the corner snipped off. Gently pipe around the edge of the cake, allowing ganache to drip down the sides.

  5. Step 5

    To finish off the cake, fit a fresh piping bag with a Wilton 1M piping tip, Transfer Swiss Meringue buttercream to bag and frost swirls on top.

HELPFUL TIPS:

BUTTERCREAM RECIPE: This recipe uses Nick’s Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe.

STORAGE: this cake can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days (refrigerated and thawed 1 hour before serving).

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR CAKE TIN: For this recipe you’ll need at least one 8” cake tin but preferably three 8” cake tins. To prepare the tin, spray with oil spray. To prepare the baking paper, use a pen to trace around the bottom of the cake tin on to the baking paper. Use scissors to cut slightly inside the circle you traced. Place the traced side down onto the baking tin with oil spray.

HAND MIXER: This recipe can be made using a hand mixer (always mix on lowest speed) or a hand whisk. Take care not to over mix the batter.

OVEN TEMPERATURE:  If you’re baking at home, set your fan forced oven to 160°C.

BUTTER: Make sure the butter is very soft before using. There’s two ways to do this. Microwave for 5 seconds at a time flipping the butter on each side until very soft (not melted). If you don’t have a microwave, run a large bowl over hot water. Dry the bowl and place over the butter for 1 min. The heat from the bowl will create a warm enough environment to soften the butter.

BAKING TIME: This cake will typically bake on a lower temp and for a little longer than regular cake recipes. I find a low temperate and a slow bake results in flatter tops and decreased caramelisation so that if the cake is coloured it doesn’t change colour and brown. After 30 minutes, stick a skewer into the center of the cake, if it comes out with wet batter, bake for another 10 minutes until the skewer comes out with crumbs or completely clean.

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