This time of year deserves a celebratory dessert and what better dessert than one that uses sparkling wine in the cake? Don’t forget to brush the cake with the extra dose of champagne before frosting. It gives the cake a little bit extra sparkle.
Silver or white dragee candies (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease 3 8-inch Anolon® round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper.
2. Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and stir vigorously with a balloon whisk until mixed together. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate the egg completely before adding the next one.
3. Add half the flour mixture into the batter and beat to incorporate. Add the champagne and repeat. Add the remaining flour and beat until just incorporated. Divide the batter into the 3 pans and bake in the oven 22 to 25 minutes long, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
4. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto an Anolon® wire rack and peel the parchment paper off. Cool completely before assembling.
5. Once the cake layers are cool, make the buttercream by placing the egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of stand mixer. Set the bowl in a pan with simmer water and whisk the egg whites until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has reached 160°F. Place the pan in the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the sugary egg whites on high speed until they turn shiny white and fluffy like meringue.
6. Continue to beat the egg whites for 8 to 10 minutes on high speed, until the egg whites have cooled to room temperature. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating the frosting until it incorporates the butter before adding more. Continue to add all the butter in this way.
7. Once the butter is added, switch to the paddle attachment and add the gin. Beat on medium high speed until the gin is incorporated and the frosting is smooth in consistency.
8. Make the soaking syrup by stirring together the champagne and sugar until most of the sugar is dissolved. It’s fine if there is still some undissolved sugar at the bottom of the bowl or measuring cup.
9. Assemble the cake by placing one layer on the cake stand or serving platter and brushing 1/3 of the champagne soaking syrup over the cake. Frost the top of the cake layer with frosting and place another layer of cake on top of the frosting. Repeat with the champagne soaking syrup and frosting. Place the final cake layer and brush the remaining soaking syrup on the cake layer. Frost the top and sides of the cake then sprinkle the top of the cake with the decorative dragées if using.