Saturday, December 15, 2012

Neapolitan Christmas Cake

It's time for another Baking Partners Challenge, and since it's Christmas season, this month's challenge is all about Christmas Cakes! Do you like the sound of it? Well I do! I honestly consider this challenge as the most exciting so far! Not just because the three recipes suggested by Suja of Kitchen Corner - Try It and Archana of Tangy Minds are all fabulously yummy, Christmas is my favorite time of the year (because Jesus & I have the same birthday) so I like everything Christmassy! :)

We were given three recipes to choose from...Chocolate-Brazil Nut Cake, Neapolitan Christmas Cake and Plum Cake...and yes, I decided to make Neapolitan Christmas Cake. I am a big fan of Neapolitan Ice Cream so I didn't find a hard time choosing which recipe to try and besides, I think this cake looks so festive.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the term "Neapolitan", it is use to refer to a block of ice cream with 3 different flavors (usually vanilla, strawberry and chocolate). Neapolitan Ice Cream originated in the U.S. in the late 19th century, and is named after the natives of Naples, Italy called Neapolitans who are credited for introducing their famous ice creams to the world. This ice cream flavor became so popular that now, the term Neapolitan is also used to refer to any tricolor dessert. For instance, this cake which has green, white and pink layers is what you call Neapolitan Christmas Cake...
 
This is a no egg yolk cake that's really light and airy. It is also very quick and simple to make which makes it even more perfect for the holidays. I'm pretty sure you'll love this cake! I didn't do any big alterations with the recipe (which Suja got from Family Circle-Best Ever Cakes and Cookies), except that I decided not to put coconut flakes into the filling. The hubs and the kids don't like coconut in cakes, so I just used strawberry jam and whipped cream for the filling, and then I decorated the top with strawberry jam and strawberry slices. I also used three 9-inch round aluminum pans instead of the suggested loaf pans. I was afraid I won't have enough whipped cream to fill and frost the cake so I doubled the whipped cream ingredients. I'm sure you're wondering how it turned out. Well, I must say, the cake was AWESOME! It's light and soft...and the almond flavor together with the whipped cream and strawberry jam filling made the cake heavenly!

I want to thank Swathi of Zesty South Indian Kitchen for another wonderful challenge...and of course, Suja of Kitchen Corner - Try It for choosing this recipe!

Ingredients:
For the cake:
  • 1 cup cake flour(not self rising)
  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 8 egg whites (about 1 cup)
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • Green and red food coloring
For the filling and topping:
  • 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 1 ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 3 tsp confectionary sugar
  • ¼ cup strawberry jam
  • ¾ cup coconut flakes, sweetened
Procedure:
To prepare the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Coat three loaf (9¼ x 5¼ x 2¾-inch) inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with wax paper. (In my case, I used three 9-inch round aluminum pans and there was no need to line with wax paper.)
2. Whisk together flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add granulated sugar in medium high until stiff peaks are formed. Sprinkle half of the flour mixture over the beaten egg whites and fold in gently. Repeat with the remaining flour and fold in almond extract. 
3. Divide the batter into three equal parts (approx. 1¼ cups each) Mix one with green food color, the other one with pink and keep the remaining white. Pour the batter into three separate pans and bake for about 12 minutes. The center of the cake layers springs back when lightly pressed with finger tips. Invert cake into wire racks and allow cooling.
To prepare the filling:
Sprinkle gelatin over ¼ cup of cream and let it stand for one minute to soften. Stir over low heat until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat. With a mixer on medium speed, beat the remaining 1½ cup cream and confectioners sugar until it thickens and is frothy. Add gelatin mixture. Beat until stiff peaks form.
To assemble:
Place green cake on a platter and spread two tablespoons of jam over the cake and then spread ½ cup of whipped cream on top. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of coconut flakes. Repeat layering with white cake and finally place the pink cake on top. Sprinkle the rest of the coconut on top of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for 45 minutes or until the whipped cream is firm.
 
If you want to either share or enhance your baking skills, join us for a monthly baking adventure at Baking Partners!

27 comments:

  1. Beautiful Tina, did a wonderful on this challenge I love the fresh strwaberry there.

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  2. Very attractive cake lovely presentation.Can I have one piece???

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  3. Cake looks awesome and loved ur presentation with cute strawberries is very beautiful...Loved it..

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  4. super delicious cake..perfect 4 celebrate NATAL.
    BTW Iam back to blogging..plz visit my space n if gets sum time check out my new FB page dear.Thanks in advance..
    Maha

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  5. Beautiful cake and perfectly done, love the toppings and simply superb... I am sure all of you enjoyed the cake :)

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  6. Great job dear,looks so attractive and strawberries adds to its beauty..love it.

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  7. Cake looks awesome Tina!!! Also love your cake stand - very decorative!!!
    Sowmya
    Ongoing Event - Eggless Bakes and Treats
    Ongoing Event - SYF&HWS - Ginger

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  8. your cake looks super delicious Tina.

    today's recipe:
    http://sanolisrecipies.blogspot.in/2012/12/spinach-curry.html

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  9. Hi Tina,
    Love your circular design :) beautiful presentation..Good to know you through baking partners! Do visit my version of the cake oo and let me know your opinions.

    Sandhya

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  10. Irresistible, gorgeous cake.Stunning and pretty tempting.

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  11. What a beautiful cake! I love the color and your decoration. YUM!

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  12. Colorful and Beautiful Cake.. Lovely presentation..

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  13. Cake looks extra fresh and soft with that wonderful icing and fresh strawberries!

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  14. loved your site. I am your new follower.

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  15. I'm back from my vacation & it's nice to be greeted by all the food shots again. Thank God I've been stuffing myself with good food everyday while in Tokyo, else I would be real jealous.

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  16. Wonderful recipe.Extraordinary presentation.Love this cake.u hav a wonderful space.happy to fllow u.

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  17. This looks so wonderful!!!!
    Happy to follow you, I would be glad, if you stop by mine too!
    Good Food Recipes

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  18. Oh it looks just wonderful! And it's such an interesting idea- Neapolitan cake!

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  19. Beautiful creation!!! The layers have turned out perfectly!

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  20. Kudos to your effort and work..Cake came out very beautiful dear..

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  21. I am lost for words because the cake is such a stunner. Great work Tina and its simply breathtaking.

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  22. Love the fresh strawberries on top!!! Delicious bake!!!

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  23. Such a pretty cake with the fresh strawberries to decorate it! It is perfect!

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