• Gesine

Happy 100 Cabot Cheese!


This is sponsored content in partnership with Cabot Cheese.

Recipes, video and written content by Gesine Prado

Pics by Raymond Prado


Ray and I eat two pounds of Cabot’s Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese every week. Maybe more but who’s keeping track. And then there’s all the butter I use and the sour cream. I’m also close, personal friends with quite a few of the beautiful cows, and their farmers, who provide the milk for all that dairy goodness. In fact, over 800 farmers in New England provide the dairy for Cabot's amazing products and the profits go right back to those farmers who sustain our rural landscape with the beauty and fuzzy adorableness for which New England is famous.


Because I benefit so happily from living in Cabot country, it only seemed right that to celebrate Cabot’s 100th birthday, I had to honor my friends (human and bovine) with a birthday cake. And not just any birthday cake. The bottom cake is a buffalo plaid checkerboard cake (chocolate and red velvet), just like the plaid you see on the Seriously Sharp cheddar package.


Seriously Sharp, seriously good! And look at that buffalo plaid.




And the top cake is a Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar (https://www.cabotcheese.coop/seriously-sharp-cheddar-cheese) and apple Bundt. You heard me right. Cheddar and Apple Cake. It’s AMAZING! My new favorite thing EVER! And then there’s the Fudgy Chocolate Frosting and the Swiss buttercream flowers that stud the sweet little crown on the Cabot cow’s head.


Yes, there’s some time and effort (scroll down to see a video of the making!) that goes into this cake but this is 100 YEARS we’re talking about!


Seriously Sharp Cheddar and Apple Bundt!

SERIOUSLY SHARP CHEDDAR and APPLE CAKE

Your first reaction to this cake may be, “WHAAAA?” Cheddar cheese in a bundt cake that’s not meant to be savory? Yes. A resounding yes, in fact. My all-time favorite snack is a healthy chunk of Seriously Sharp Cabot Cheddar and a super crisp Fuji apple. A sharp cheddar is tangier, more complex, than a mild cheddar. It’s been aged months longer than a milder cheddar, sometimes years. It’s also drier and reads as slightly saltier. Against the sweetness and acidity of an apple, the combination is unbeatable. In a moist bundt, it is absolutely glorious. Because the cheese is slightly dry, it acts as a taste element rather than a textural element when baked. It doesn’t get stringy or gooey but instead effortlessly melds with the other ingredients to add subtle moisture and tanginess. I gave Ray a slice, not telling him what exactly it was that I’d added to the batter. He looked up after a few bites, his eyes bright and happy. “This is seriously good,” he said. Seriously. He used the word unprompted and unknowingly. Now that’s a flavor combination that was meant to be.


Baker’s non-stick spray for Bundt pan

1 ¼ cups (150 g) King Arthur all-purpose flour

½ cup (56 grams), tightly packed shredded Seriously Sharp Cabot cheddar cheese https://www.cabotcheese.coop/seriously-sharp-cheddar-cheese

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

½ cup (1 stick/113 grams) unsalted Cabot butter, room temperature https://www.cabotcheese.coop/unsalted-butter

1 cup (213 grams) lightly packed, light brown sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (246 grams) unsweetened applesauce


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a Bundt pan liberally with Baker’s non-stick spray. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Whisk to combine and then add the cheese, tossing together so that the flour mixture coats the cheese. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar and cream (the mixing method, not the ingredient) until light and fluffy, about five minutes. Scrape down the bowl and the paddle. Add the egg and mix until just combined. Add the applesauce, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla. Mix to combine. The mixture will look strange and curdled. That’s normal!

With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the batter a few times. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the cake springs back when gently poked. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cake round. Allow to cool completely before adding buttercream flowers.



SWISS BUTTERCREAM

7 (231 grams) egg whites

1 ½ cups (297 grams) granulated sugar

Generous pinch salt

4 sticks (1 pound, 448 grams) unsalted Cabot butter, room temperature https://www.cabotcheese.coop/unsalted-butter


In a stand mixer bowl, combine the egg whites, sugar, and salt. Place the bowl over simmering water and whisk constantly until the temperature of the mixture reaches 170ºF on a sugar thermometer. Immediately transfer to the stand mixer and whisk on high until the meringue is stiff and the bowl is cool to the touch.

Add the butter, a tablespoon at a time, counting to 10 between each addition. Continue mixing until all the butter is added. Once the mixture has thickened and has smoothed out, continue mixing for 3 minutes.

Pipe flowers on small pieces of parchment and freeze. Take the flowers from the parchment with a small offset. Pipe a small dollop of buttercream onto the cake and gently place the flower on the dollop.




For the CHECKERBOARD cake layers:


You will need 8 layers total!

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Make the two batters, chocolate and red velvet (recipes follow). Butter the bottom of four 8” round cake pans. If you only have two, bake-off the cakes 2 at a time and hold back the remaining batters in the fridge. No problem. Line the pans with parchment, place a checkerboard cake ring in the first pan. Fill one pastry bag with chocolate batter and another with the red velvet batter. Pipe the chocolate batter in the middle and last ring and pipe and red velvet in the middle ring. Lightly tap the pan and remove the checkerboard cake ring. Rinse it off and place in the 2nd cake pan. Pipe the red velvet cake batter in the middle and last ring and chocolate batter into the middle ring. Bake at 350ºF for 20-25 minutes or until the cakes bounce bake when gently poked. Allow to cool completely before assembling.


DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE BATTER

4 cups (480 grams) King Arthur Flour all-purpose flour

½ cup (42.5 grams) Dutched cocoa powder

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (236 ml) freshly brewed hot coffee

8 ounces (212 grams) bittersweet chocolate (60%), finely chopped

½ cup (113 grams) Cabot sour cream https://www.cabotcheese.coop/sour-cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 ½ cups (3 sticks/336 grams) unsalted Cabot butter, room temperature https://www.cabotcheese.coop/unsalted-butter

3 cups (594 grams) granulated sugar

¾ cup (117 grams) neutral oil, such as canola

6 large eggs, at room temperature


In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt for 30 seconds to combine.

In a small saucepan, combine the coffee and chocolate and stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted. Add the sour cream and vanilla and stir to combine. Set aside.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until light and fluffy, up to 5 minutes. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl and add eggs, one at a time, scraping and mixing in between to make sure each egg is completely incorporated. Add the oil.

With the mixer on low speed, add one third of the flour, then half of the chocolate mixture, and then continue to alternate between the flour and chocolate until the ingredients are just combined. Take the bowl from the stand mixer and, using a large rubber spatula, fold the batter a few times, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, to ensure everything is well incorporated. Fill a large pastry bag with batter.


RED VELVET CAKE BATTER

5 cups (600 grams) King Arthur Flour unbleached cake flour

¼ cup (21 grams) unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutched)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 cups (473 ml) buttermilk

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks/170 grams) unsalted Cabot butter, room temperature https://www.cabotcheese.coop/unsalted-butter

3 cups (594 grams) granulated sugar

¼ cup (51 ml) neutral oil, such as canola

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 tablespoons (5 gram) red gel food coloring


In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder for 30 seconds. Set aside.

In a liquid measure cup, combine the buttermilk, vinegar, and vanilla. Set aside.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and cream until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the oil and mix until combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix well after each addition. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the food coloring and mix until just combined.

With the mixer running on low speed, add a third of the flour mixture, then half of the buttermilk mixture, and continue to alternate between the two until just combined. Take the bowl from the stand and, using a large rubber spatula, fold the batter a few times, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure everything if fully incorporated. Fill a large pastry bag with the batter.


FUDGY CHOCOLATE FROSTING

3 cups (340 grams) confectioner’s sugar

1 ½ cups (127 grams) Dutched cocoa powder (I use Cacao Barry Extra Brute)

½ teaspoon salt

15 ounces (420 grams) bittersweet chocolate

3 ½ cups (7 sticks/784 grams) unsalted Cabot butter, very soft but not melted https://www.cabotcheese.coop/unsalted-butter

¾ cup (171 grams) Cabot sour cream https://www.cabotcheese.coop/sour-cream

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

¾ cup (177 ml) freshly brewed coffee


In a mixing bowl, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder, and the salt. Set aside.

Place the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl and place over simmering water to melt. Set aside.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the confectioner’s sugar mixture and turn the mixer speed to low to combine. Add the sour cream and vanilla and then slowly add the coffee. Mix to combine and then add the melted chocolate and mix on high speed until smooth and combined.



To assemble:


Place a cake layer (Red/Black/Red) on a cardboard round. Smooth a thin layer of fudgy frosting over the layer and place with a second cake layer (Black/Red/Black). Continue adding thin layers of fudgy frosting and adding layers of cake, making sure to alternate between the Red/Black/Red layers and the Black/Red/Black layers. Refrigerate to set the frosting for 20 minutes. Use the remaining frosting to coat the sides and top of the cake. Refrigerate to set the frosting, 45 minutes to an hour.

Just prior to serving, add the fondant features and the wafer/ rice paper ears (see the video above). You cannot refrigerate the fondant or the rice paper.



Top the cake with the flower bundt and pipe leaves with any remaining buttercream on the Bundt to fill any gaps in the flowers and along the edge where the Bundt meets the chocolate/red velvet cake.



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