Friday, December 11, 2009

Cake Time!

I don't have a lot of time right now because I have to get up early to work tomorrow but I wanted to post some photos of the cake I made today. 

It's not really my best work, but the cards were kind of stacked against me.  I think it turned out okay though.  I had used the candied lemons once before, on my grandmas cake back in november:

and I thought they were kind of pretty...and they tasted awesome!  I'll post a neat little tutorial sometime on how to make them.  I've had them turn out really nicely, and I've had them turn out kind of wet and mushy.  But I think I've figured it all out now, and I'll gladly share so no one out there will have to throw away lemons (and waste the hour or so it takes to get them just right).

On to the cake!  It was Dorie Greenspan's recipe for her "Perfect Party Cake"
From Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: From My Home to Yours”

Makes 12 to 14 servings

For the Cake:
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk (both Dorie and I suggest the buttermilk).
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-x-2-inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

To Make The Cake: Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.

Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the tough – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. (The cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.)

The frosting was a simple buttercream.  I chose to go with my own recipe instead of Dorie's.  I'm sure her's is great, I just was pressed for time and wanted something easy, reliable, and familiar.  ...and I know what it tastes like.  It's good!

  • 2 c. crisco (not butter flavored)
  • 1 2lb bag powdered sugar
  • Pure lemon extract, to your taste
  • Pure vanilla extract, to your taste
  • Enough water to get the right consistancy.  Start with a few tablespoons.
1. Cream the crisco and the extracts for a minute or so until they're well mixed and the crisco is smooth. 

2.  Add the powder sugar a little at a time, Adding water as neccessary.  Do this until you get your desired consistancy of frosting.

The filling of the cake was also really simple.  I took some raspberry preserves, probably about a half a cup and mixed it with Chambord liqueor in a small saucepan.  I heated it until the preserves were smooth enough to spread on the cake.   This part was my favorite!  Chambord spiked jelly sounds like a pretty nice breakfast to me!

Well I'm off to bed... Tomorrow I'll tell you all about how I came home from the bridal shower deal and made my husband a huge pot of Jambayala at 11:00pm.  He plays chess for his work team on Friday nights and doesn't get home until late, and he's been talking about jambayala forever, so I thought...  How hard could it be?  It's actually a really quick and tasty recipe! And he gave it an A+, which is unusual! 


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