The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Champagne custard cake

  • Pin It
Sandaidh's picture
Sandaidh

Champagne custard cake

Back when I lived in California, I used to get a champagne custard cake from the bakery at a local supermarket.  The original supermarket has now been gone many years, and for the life of me, I CANNOT remember the name of it.  However, after that market closed, I was able to get them at the bakery in Albertson's.  Since moving to New York, I have searched the internet for a recipe and come up empty-handed.  Does anyone know of this cake and/or have a recipe or know where I can get the recipe?  Description-wise, the cake is a two-layer, round, white cake, with a champagne custard "filling" between the layers.  Frosting is white with pink shavings on it, and usually some cherries on top.  Flavor-wise, the best I can come up with is that it tastes...pink.  LOL  Probably calorie laden to the extreme, which is why I always saved it for my birthday.  Any ideas?  Thanks in advance.

newman14n's picture
newman14n

While searching for the exact same thing, I came across this:

1 cup dry champagne or other sparkling wine
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
5 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 tablespoons chilled whipping cream

1. in large metal bowl, whisk the champagne, sugar, cornstarch, yolks and corn syrup to blend
2. set bowl over a bain marie
3. whisk constantly until mixture has tripled in volume and candy thermometer registers 160°F., about 15 minutes
4. transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer, beat until completely cool, about 5 minutes
5. in a clean bowl, beat cream to soft peaks
6. fold cream into cooled custard
7. cover and store in fridge until ready to use (can be prepared 1 day ahead)

I hope it is what you are looking for.

kayakgirl's picture
kayakgirl

You can still get this cake in the Napa Valley at Butter Cream Bakery.  They use a white chiffon cake with champagne custard filling and buttercream frosting. 

Aidan's picture
Aidan

I grew up in the Napa Valley and this is also why I'm trying to make a champagne custard cake. Every year for my birthday I got a chiffon with champagne custard cake for my birthday and my mother got a chocolate with champagne custard filling cake for hers. About 5 years ago they switched management and stopped making the champagne filling, but it's back. I don't live in Napa anymore, however. I found some recipes by googling champagne custard, I'm about to try them out and let you know which one is good.


Does anyone have any suggestions for the above custard recipe for those of us with only basic kitchen equipment? Does anyone have any tips for a first time bain marie user?

davidg618's picture
davidg618

just means bath, or water bath. Think double boiler, which you can fabricate from any metal bowl and a matching sauce pan. I use a wide top (12"), small bottom stainless-steel bowl over a 5-quart dutch oven half-filled with simmering water. The intent of a double boiler is to control temperature below 212°F.

David G

Sandaidh's picture
Sandaidh

Yes, I know, but I don't live in the Napa Valley any more, and somehow I doubt they'd be able to ship me one since I now live in western NY.  That's why I'm trying to find a recipe.

inspmark's picture
inspmark

To set the record straight, the FAMOUS Champagne Chiffon Cake originated at the Vallejo Home Bakey, on Toulomne Ave, over 50 years ago.  That one recipe placed the Vallejo Home Bakery on the San Francisco Chronicle's 10 best bay area bakeries for over 10 years in a row.  My family lived in Vallejo and we had that cake any time we could come up with an excuse.  I think we actually served it at a funeral or two.


Unfortunately the bakery closed shortly after the loss of one of their major customers, Mare Island Naval Shipyard. 


I am pleased to note, however, that the Butter Cream Bakery in Napa actually now provides that identical cake to customers.  I know because I bought one and it has the same white cream outer frosting, light sponge cake and the champagne custard that the Vallejo Home Bakery was well known for. 


I just wish it was closer.  I live in Concord now and the trip is a bit long in the tooth, but after over a decade without that cake (and severe champagne cake withdrawal) it's great to find it out in the public domain again.


I give that cake 11 stars out of 10 and just save one for me.

jmcd's picture
jmcd

My grandfather, Stanley Kuduk was a baker at Home Bakery and he developed the Champagne Cake.  He and my grandmother later owned a bakeries in Monte Rio and in Santa Rosa (Stella's Pastry Shop) where they continued to make Champagne Cake.  I still go back to Napa to see family and always stop at Buttercream Bakery for a slice or two.  It is my all-time favorite cake.

josister71's picture
josister71

I know this is an old post that I am replying to and it might be lost out in cyberspace for years to come but I came across it and wanted you to be able to get a little taste of home! Here's what I have on the topic. . .


As quoted from a 1963 ARBA Convention (held in San Francisco) pamphlet;


"Pink Champagne Cake courtesy of Ivan Albro, Home Bakery, Vallejo, California


Use 2 silver chiffon layers. Split one. Use thin layer on top and bottom of regular layer. This gives two fillings. Fill with parfait vanilla custard with sherry wine and a dash of brandy. Frost with pastel french buttercream (pink). Use star tube to make ten dots, parfait cream on top to appear like champagne bubbles, shower on top and sides with small amount of 000 silver dragrees.


Parfait custard: 2/3 custard cream, 1/3 whipped cream, Sherry wine and dash of rum to flavor."


Unfortunately, the 'recipe' is only in perportions but you get the idea. Julia Child's has a wonderful butter cream recipe in her 'The Art of French Cooking' book - so, I plan to use that.


Alternately, there is a semi-homemade version of the cake floating around . . . if you are into short cuts this might be for you.


1 pkg Betty Crocker White Cake Mix, 2 eggs plus 1 egg white, 1-1/4 cups water, 1/3 cup vegetable oil


Follow package directions for mixing cake. Line two 9-inch pans with parchment paper and bake the cakes according to the package directions. While cake is cooling, whip togehter the filling:


1 pkg Instant Vanilla Pudding (or French Vanilla), 1-1/2 cups milk, 2 cups Pastry Pride Whipped Topping (happens to be available at Smart & Final in Vallejo, CA - you might have to research for your area), 1/3 cup sherry (to taste)


After the cake layers have cooled, split one layer in half and stack one half layer on the cake round or serving plate. Add half of the filling, spreading evenly. Add the full cake layer and then spread the remaining filling. Ad the final half layer.


After mixing up your favorite Butter Cream Recipe, mix in few drops of red food coloring to make a light baby pink. Frost the cake, reserving some of the frosting to pipe onto the top for the champagne bubbles.


For the sides of the cake you can melt Guittard's Pink Chocolate Candy Melts and form into a bar. After it has cooled, shave it and use a vegetable peeler and press the shavings onto the sides of the cake. 


I used this recipe once to make cupcakes for a kids birthday party - using a very basic butter cream and filling the cupcakes with the custard. They were a huge hit with the adults as well as the kids - go figure!


I hope this helps you get a little taste of home. Be Magnificent! - K.


 

dONNAJANE's picture
dONNAJANE

I also grew up in Vallejo and have fond memories of this delightful cake. I'm going to give it the old college try. Just wondering of any others "favorites" from Home Bakery. I've been looking for the receipt for the three layers fruit cake I believe had three flavors of whipped cream and fruit?


 Donna

mom_is_tired's picture
mom_is_tired

OMG, we used to have this cake on special occasions, if anybody had a birthday or just because we were passing thru Vallejo.   We sometimes bought several and kept them in the freezer, just in case.  

The Fruit Basket cake had a layer of strawberry, banana and pineapple, whipped frosting and those wonderful pink shavings.  I'm guessing it was pink dyed white chocolate?  

I would love to find a similar cake for my mother, if anyone has an idea of where to get it.  Does the bakery in Napa have something?  

 

DBirch's picture
DBirch

I also grew up in Vallejo with Champagne cakes - for which I am grateful to have a reciepe to try out - thank you! But I have been looking for YEARS for a reciepe for the cookies they would make for Holidays - almost any holiday! They were a large cookies - about a quarter inch thick with hard frosting on top. I can't quite seem to find the right mix of cookie/frosting. The closest I can get to purchasing them are Gianna's cookies that also come out during the holidays. But those usually have chocolate on them and really... All I want is the cookie and the frosting!!! :)  I've tried basic Royal Icing - but the taste is off and it wasn't so stiff. Does anyone remember these cookies and have a reciepe I can try? Thanks in advance!

josister71's picture
josister71

I just saw this post, I realize it is really old but I wanted to let you know that the cookies at Home Bakery that you speak of . . . which I loved! were shortbread cookies. They had a simple powder sugar, milk and vanilla based icing on them, applied with a flooding technique. I think they used a bit of powdered egg whites to make it stiff but not as much as you would for royal icing. They used true royal icing for accents like eyes on the cookies. I hope that helps. 

Jcook's picture
Jcook

I also grew up in Vallejo and have great memories of picking up holiday shortbread cookies from Home Bakery. Hands down, they were the best I've ever had. The hollowen pumpkins were amazing. I remember the eyes tasting like real chocolate. I would kill to have those cookies again. So here I am. In my 30's, living hours away from the Bay Area, and dreaming of Home Bakery sugar cookies at 10 o'clock at night. Lol. 

karelannie's picture
karelannie

Home Bakery created my wedding cake of champagne.  They were the best Bakery around .  To bad vallejo not only is bankrupt there is no champagne cake to  enjoy to.  I see a trip to napa will get you a fix.  next trip to vallejo champagne cake is on the list. 

karelannie's picture
karelannie

What a great website. 

 

laverian's picture
laverian

Hummingbird Bakery in Vallejo makes a champagne pound cake and also a champagne cake that is to die for!  They are located at 2037 Springs Road in Vallejo, right next to Sprint and Subway Sandwich shop.  They are open Tues-Sat from 10:00am -7:00pm and Sun 10:00am -5:00pm, closed on Mondays.

Does anyone have Home Bakery's  prune cake receipe?

laverian's picture
laverian

Hummingbird Bakery in Vallejo makes a champagne pound cake and also a champagne cake that is to die for!  They are located at 2037 Springs Road in Vallejo, right next to Sprint and Subway Sandwich shop.  They are open Tues-Sat from 10:00am -7:00pm and Sun 10:00am -5:00pm, closed on Mondays.

Does anyone have Home Bakery's  prune cake receipe?

jmcd's picture
jmcd

I think I have this recipe in my grandfathers recipe box.  I will look and post if it is in there.

inspmark's picture
inspmark

I last posted the fact that the Famous Champagne Chiffon Cake that was once made by the late great Vallejo Home Bakery can now be found in Napa at the Buttercream Bakery on Jefferson Street.  I am pleased to note that they now also offer a variation of that cake and, instead of using the heavy icing that has been used on this cake since the very beginning, they now offer a "lighter" whipped cream (white instead of pink) icing on this cake in addition to the original.  They also offer small portions of the original Champagne Chiffon cake for $3.95 each, although I don't consider this a bargain when each cake costs $24.95 to purchase.  I recently purchased two of the original cakes to serve as "thank you's" to the Concord Army Base (formerly Naval Weapons Station) Fire Department for providing a vehicle and honor guard to several funerals for former Mare Island Fire Department firefighters, including our last Fire Chief, Rod Ribeiro, who all passed away within weeks of one another.  I'm pleased to note that the comments I got back from those firefighters were to let me know that the cakes were just as wonderful as I have known for decades, and well worth the money.

julesd's picture
julesd

I have a question about the original champagne cake from Home Bakery that is now available at Buttercream Bakery: What is the custard filling flavored with besides sherry? Is it brandy or rum? Would a vanilla pastry cream (custard with folded in whipped cream) be the right consistency? 

If anyone has tried the recipe above, will you please share your results? I have read this recipe is copyrighted and therefore not available to the public. 

josister71's picture
josister71

I have tried the recipe I posted above a few years ago and sherry does work out great for the filling. I have also made it with rum, which worked well but gave it a little different flavor. I will mention that the amount of pastry pride or whipped topping the recipe calls for is off. I use quite a bit less and that keeps it the right consistency. I have also used this same basic recipe idea for cupcakes and filled them with the pastry cream - that has been a big hit as well.  I hope that helps. Good luck!

jmcd's picture
jmcd

I have the recipe from Home Bakery.  My grandfather is the baker who developed the recipe.  I do not know if the Home Bakery copyrighted the recipe or not.  The custard is flavored with sherry.  For years I used a powdered custard mix I had from the bakery (my grandparents later owned bakeries in Monte Rio and Santa Rosa where they made and sold the cake).  However I now use Bird's custard mix.  It is the closest thing I've found to the custard mix we had from the bakery.  I fold whipped cream into my custard to achieve the right consistency.  The cake is excellent.  Just like what I buy from Buttercream Bakery when I visit family in Napa.

julesd's picture
julesd

Thanks for your answer about the sherry in the custard filling. Do you recommend just plain white cake? Also, my buttercream is the one where you cook a base on the stove and whip it with butter and sugar when it's cooled. Sound ok to you?

I got really curious about this cake after buying the book, "Vintage Cakes" by Julie Richardson. She explained that when she took over an old bakery there was a stash of old recipes in the shop. She packed them away and a lot of people started calling her and asking if she was making the pink champagne cake. She pulled out the recipe and she says she was horrified to learn it was a 'white cake with sherry custard filling and white frosting tinted pink'. So she reformulated the recipe and created an updated version, whick looks nothing like the original. It's maddening because the customers were still calling after all these years for that cake recipe and she decided hers was better! She removed the sherry, added sparkling wine and added whole eggs to the batter. She chose to frost it with a whipped cream frosting as well. 

I am so curious to try an original version of this cake. It sounds like the one cake your grandfather made is similar to the old one from this Oregon bakery. Thanks for your input... it's important to keep these traditional recipes alive.