Wednesday, 2 June 2010

It's a White Russian cake, dude.

I had a big birthday over the bank holiday. Not THAT big, I hasten to add. But big enough to hurl me into a new decade and, possibly, into a new ticking bracket when filling out forms. I found that the thought of getting older was more traumatic than the actuality of it - due largely to the spirit of good will from lovely friends and the good will-inducing spirits served in teapots at the wonderful Arts Theatre Club. Yes, that's right, cocktails served in teapots and drunk from china teacups. What's not to like?

After pickling my liver in hazelnut martinis on Saturday night, spending Sunday sitting around watching The Big Lebowski in my dressing gown felt like the perfect antidote. I didn't have a birthday cake this year - but I did get taken to The Fat Duck, so there are definitely no complaints from me - so I decided to make myself a belated one. After my excessive cocktail consumption and my dressing gown clad tellython, there could be no competition when it came to picking this year's perfect birthday flavour. It had to be White Russian all the way!

My White Russian cake was invented for a client who liked The Big Lebowski and White Russian cocktails so much that his friends, family and fiancee nicknamed him "the dude". The nickname has stuck in my head so firmly that I can't for the life of me remember his real name. So cheers, "dude", your commission made turning 30 on Monday a lot more palatable. And I thank you for it.

Slice of Caucasian anyone...?

White Russian Cake
Preheat your oven to 170C (150C Fan assisted)

When making this for home use (by which I mean, as a cake that doesn't need to be decorated as a tier of wedding cake or an iced celebration cake afterwards), I make it in a roulade tin, which I line with baking parchment. You can, if you wish, bake this cake in a 6" round tin, but you'll need to add about 25 minutes to the cooking time and it might be prudent to place a sheet of parchment over the top of the cake for the second half of the cooking time.

Ingredients for cake

150 g white chocolate, broken into pieces
4 tbsp whole milk
3 eggs, separated
A pinch of salt
125g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
125g caster sugar
125g plain flour

Ingredients for filling

4 tbsp of chocolate flavoured vodka or white creme de cacao
4 oz soft, unsalted butter
8 oz icing sugar
4 -6 tbsp kahlua

  • Place the white chocolate and milk in a heatproof bowl and place on top of a saucepan of barely simmering water over a low heat. Place a foil lid over the bowl and leave to melt. Give the milk and chocolate a stir every now and then until it is melted and smooth.
  • Add the butter and stir until melted.
  • In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt together into stiff peaks.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale and creamy and immediately add the white chocolate mixture and stir thoroughly.
  • Sift over the flour and mix thoroughly.
  • Fold in the egg whites and pour out into your prepared roulade tin.
  • Bake on the centre shelf of your oven for 10 - 15 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave the cake to cool in its tin on a wire rack.
Method for filling
  • Whisk the butter until light and creamy
  • Sift over half the icing sugar and whisk together
  • Sift over the remaining sugar and whisk again.
  • Add the kahlua and whisk until fluffy. Taste for kahlua and whisk in extra if you feel it needs it.
Building the cake
  • Turn the cake out of its tin and remove the baking parchment. Trim the edges off the cake and cut the cake, lengthwise, into three rectangles of equal width.
  • Brush the chocolate-flavoured vodka/ white creme de cacao over the first rectangle of cake, spread over some of the kahlua buttercream, top with another rectangle of cake and repeat and repeat again.
  • Smooth the remaining kahlua buttercream over the top and sides of the cake and the cake is ready to serve. Enjoy.


  1. Sounds absolutely delicious!!

    1. I have only just worked out that replying shouldn't involve starting a new comment. I'm an idiot and a luddite, but I always reply (see below). I've just been doing it wrong :(

  2. This cake looks delicious. And happy birthday! :)

    1. I have only just worked out that replying shouldn't involve starting a new comment. I'm an idiot and a luddite, but I always reply (see below). I've just been doing it wrong :(