1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
(1) 4 inch piece of vanilla bean, cut into 4 pieces
4 large egg whites
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
For Topping: (optional)
To Fill and Frost a 3-layer cake:
To Make Frosting:
Blend sugar and vanilla bean in processor until very finely chopped, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Strain through sieve to remove any large pieces of vanilla. Transfer sugar to large bowl. Add egg whites, lemon juice and salt; whisk to blend. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bowl to touch water). Using electric mixer, beat mixture over medium-low heat until candy thermometer registers 140 degrees F (60 C), about 8 minutes. Continue cooking 3 minutes, beating constantly (mixture will resemble marshmallow creme).
Remove bowl from over water and continue beating until cool and thick, about 8 minutes.
To Make Raspberry Filling and to Assemble:
Melt jam in a heavy small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Place 1 cake layer on platter. Tuck 4 strips of waxed paper under cake to keep platter clean. Spread 1/4 cup jam over cake layer. Cover with 1 cup frosting. Top with 2nd layer, spread remaining jam over layer and cover with 1 cup frosting. Top with 3rd cake layer. If desired, spread remaining frosting in thick swirls over top and side of cake. Arrange raspberries over top of cake.
Makes enough to fill and frost a 3-layer cake.
Date: November 16, 2002