Three Summers ago, I had the incredible opportunity to travel to the South of France. For those of you who don’t know, Paris, is my most favorite city in the World!! (Super cliché I know). I never had a bad experience while visiting France so figured that I had to check out one of these most renown places for the elite and prosperous.
Nice, France and its surrounding cities are in ways indescribable. The countryside, the breathtaking views, the historic sites, the people, the yachts, all make the South of France one of the thee most sought after places to travel. Once thing that I recall about the food of the area was the fresh produce.
While visiting Cannes, I had a chance to go an open market. I don’t want to call it your typical “farmer’s market” because this market would put any market I’ve been to in the States to shame. The food in Cannes was some to the freshest vittles I have ever put in my mouth. I mean the bread, the cheese and the PRODUCE!!. After that experience I realized why this area is called Côte d”Azur or “fruit of the sea.” Not only was seafood amazing but the literal fruits of the area are the best I’ve ever had. I had the tiniest of strawberries from the market but they were probably the juiciest little things I’ve ever tried.
Not only is this area known for their food but also their Rosé. A glass of Rosé with fresh ice is the drink of choice when one is sitting on the promenade enjoying the wonderment of France. I had the best and most Rosé I’ve ever had in my life. I must admit that Rosé is now my drink of choice on a warm relaxing L.A. day.
After this fabulous trip I knew that I wanted to create a way to remember all the glorious experiences of Côte d’Azur. I had heard of a pink champagne cake and thought I can make it better and luxurious like my Summer trip to France. Here’s what I came up with:
Côte d’Azur Cake
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Côte d’Azur Cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
1 ½ cup plus 2 tbsp. of granulated sugar
6 large egg whites, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
½ cup Rosé or dry Moscato
¼ cup seedless raspberry preserves
Rose color gel
1 pint of strawberries, wash and dried
1 pint of blackberries, wash and dried
8 large egg whites
2 ½ cups granulated sugar
3 cups unsalted butter room temperature, cubed
2 tsp vanilla extract
Rose color gel
Côte d’Azur Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease and flour three 8 or 9″ cake rounds, line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat on med-high until pale and fluffy (5-7mins).
- Reduce speed and add egg whites one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Add vanilla.
- Place raspberry preserves in a microwave safe measuring cup. Place in microwave for approximately 30 seconds until preserves have melted. Add Rosé to preserves and mix together.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and Rosé mixture, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of champagne) to batter in stand mixer. Make sure to fully incorporate after each addition.
- Add a small amount of Rose color gel using a toothpick. Mix to incorporate but try not to over mix.
- Spread batter evenly into prepared pans. Smooth the tops with an offset spatula.
- Bake for approx. 25 mins or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
- While the cakes are baking, slice strawberries cross-wise about 1/8 inch thick. Place in a small bowl and mix with tbsp. of sugar. Set aside
- Slice blackberries length-wise. Place in a small bowl and mix with tbsp. of sugar. Set aside
- When cakes are done, place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10 mins. then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.
- Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined.
- Place bowl over a hot water bath on the stove and whisk constantly until the mixture is warm to touch and no longer grainy to the touch (approx. 7-8 mins).
- Place bowl on your stand mixer and whisk on med-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled (the bowl is no longer warm to the touch (approx. 5-10mins)).
- Switch to paddle attachment. Slowly add cubed butter and mix until smooth. Add vanilla and continue to whip until smooth.
- Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Top with approximately ½ cup of frosting and spread evenly. Add strawberries on top of frosting in even layer. Repeat with the second layer of cake and frosting. Add blackberries evenly and place last cake on top. Apply a thin coat of frosting all over the cake. Chill for 20mins.
- Frost and smooth the sides. Chill for 20mins.
- Using a toothpick, add a small amount of Rose color gel to the remaining frosting. Stir with a spatula to incorporate, or place back on the stand mixer to mix in the color.
- Decorate with pink rosettes on top and add a decorative border to the bottom