This whole cake happened because I had half of a can of lychees sitting in my refrigerator and I was sad that they might go to waste. Somehow this cake was imagined from that sad half can of lychees. What is wrong with me.
The cake may look impressive and cheerful now, but let me tell you, despite the rush of imagination that allowed me to think up all of the recipes, making this cake was a struggle. After the first batch of macarons failed my expectations and I had to run to the store to get more almond flour and I took my second batch of macarons out of the oven only to find that they had browned incredibly on the top….. I simply laid down on the *dirty* kitchen floor and took a moment of self pity before moving on and figuring out a way to mask the gross brown spots (powdered freeze dried raspberries).
So while the cake is AMAZINGLY delicious and in the end I literally dug in to the cake with a fork without cutting a piece like a savage, my seemingly innocent Tuesday had a solid 6 hour struggle fest.
Hopefully the struggle fest isn’t glaringly obvious in the video I took (part of the reason why the cake took 6 hours to put together)
While this cake is a new idea for me a whole, I mostly just adapted recipes I had had success with in the past, or sort of flew by the seat of my pants throwing things into bowls that I hoped would end up looking and tasting like a cake. The cake base itself is basically just Miette’s Hot Milk Cake recipe, though I switched the whole milk out for coconut milk and I added several tablespoons of lychee syrup and excluded the vanilla extract in order to streamline and compliment the flavor palette of the rest of the cake.
The frostings are based off of fruit buttercreams I had made in the past that turned out out alright, though it was a lot of adding more and more to my bowl until the consistency turned out like I wanted it (again, part of the struggle fest…I probably could have looked up an actual recipe before starting 😛 ). If I did this again I think instead of doing just a fruit puree I might take a fruit puree and simmer it in a saucepan for awhile to reduce it and take out some of the liquid–which caused me to add much more powdered sugar than I originally was expecting to in order to reach a consistent and spreadable texture.
I also made two kinds of macarons to add to the top of the cake (though this step isn’t necessary…it is certainly delicious and in my opinion worth it). The macarons were what caused me to lay on my kitchen floor in defeat. Again it is mostly because I went off on my own outside of the box creative spree, causing the original successful recipe and ingredient ratio of the macarons to spiral into something entirely different–but now I think I would be better able to handle the macarons (after frantically watching 20 macaron videos on YouTube and reading 30 more recipes…again…why didn’t I do this before I started? lol).
Anyhow, alls well that ends well right? Check out some more of these luscious pictures before scrolling down to the recipe itself!
Raspberry Lychee Macaron Cake
**This cake is basically Miette’s Hot Milk Cake recipe, except for I swapped the whole milk for coconut milk and the vanilla for lychee syrup, to mimic the flavors in the buttercream
1 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons lychee syrup (from canned lychees)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two 6×3″ baking pans and dust with flour. Set aside.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
3. In a small sauce pan over medium heat combine the butter and coconut milk and stir until it is melted and heated through. Pour into a heatproof bowl and set aside.
4. In the top of a double boiler whisk the sugar and eggs. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the temperature is about 110 degrees F, about 10 minutes.
5. Pour the egg mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, and has cooled close to room temperature–about 10 minutes.
6. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Pour in the milk mixture and whisk on low speed until thoroughly combined. Add in the lychee syrup.
7. Divide the batter between prepared pans and bake until the cakes are golden brown and cooked through, about 30-35 mintues.
8. Cool for about 20 minutes in the pans before turning out the cakes and allowing them to cool completely before wrapping the cakes in plastic wrap and refrigerating until ready to use.
Raspberry Buttercream Ingredients:
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
2-4 tablespoons water
1/2 cup freeze dried raspberries
1 cup butter, room temperature
~6 cups powdered sugar
1) In a food processor or blender, pulse the freeze dried raspberries until they form a fine powder. Add the fresh raspberries and the water, and pulse to combine again. Strain the mixture into a bowl to remove the seeds (raspberries have a surprisingly large amount of seeds and while they are totally edible they don’t allow for a completely smooth buttercream).
2) Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer for about 5 minutes, until fluffy. Add in half of the powdered sugar and beat to combine.
3) Add in about half of the raspberry puree and beat for a minute or two. Taste the frosting, feel the texture and look at the color–continue adding puree and powdered sugar until you have reached your desired consistency.
Lychee Buttercream Ingredients:
1/2 cup lychees
2-3 tablespoons lychee syrup (from canned lychees)
1 cup butter, room temperature
~6 cups powdered sugar
1) In a food processor or blender, puree the lychees with the lychee syrup. If the mixture still seems chunky pour it through a strainer into a small bowl and set aside.
2) In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter for about 5 minutes, until it is smooth, light and fluffy. Add in about half of the powdered sugar and beat to combine.
3) Add about half of the lychee puree to the butter and beat well. Continue adding lychee puree and powdered sugar until you have reached the desired consistency and texture.
**Since the flesh of the lychee is white, I kept my buttercream white with no additional coloring–however feel free to color at will.
**To put the cake together, scroll back up and check out my video!