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Archive for June, 2019

June…

… added another success story to the year of cakes. I’m starting to sound cocky at this point, but the cakes just keep turning out so well! This month marked our 10 year anniversary, so I decided to make a version of our wedding cake. I skipped the original fondant and went for rich buttercream, and it was quite worth it. Having a brand new oven from this century (heck, this decade!) certainly didn’t hurt, either.

For a classic white layer cake with raspberry-almond filling from America’s Test Kitchen, you need:

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour (plus some for pans)
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temp
  • 6 egg whites, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened

Heat the oven to 350 with the rack in the middle position. Grease and flour two 9- inch (8 works, too) cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment. Whisk the milk, egg whites, and extracts together.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, just until combined. USE THE LOW SPEED. Flour, etc. will otherwise go everywhere. Bump the speed up to medium-low and beat in the butter, one piece at a time, until you have moist crumbs (about 1 minute).

Add all but 1/2 cup of the milk mixture you made, then bump it up to medium and keep going until you have a smooth, fluffy mixture (about a minute). Turn the speed back to low and stream in the rest of the milk mixture until your batter almost looks curdled. The recipe says this takes about 25 seconds; mine was closer to a minute.

Stir the batter with a spatula to make sure you got everything incorporated. Scrape into your pans, smooth off the top, and tap the pans on the counter a few times to settle.

Bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Rotate the pans halfway through the bake. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then loosen edges with a knife and turn them out onto a rack to cool completely. Peel off the parchment and turn the cakes right side up. To speed things up, I popped mine in the freezer to finish cooling.

For frosting, you need:

  • 16 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced, toasted almonds (chopped coarse)
  • 1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam

Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla, milk, and salt on low speed until the sugar is moistened, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until creamy and fluffy; pause a couple of times to scrape the bowl.

Put one layer of cake on a platter (you can line the platter with parchment to keep it very clean; I did not). Mix about 1/2 cup frosting and the almonds. Spread the mixture on top of the first layer of cake.

Top the almond layer with the jam.

Place the second layer on top, and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake.

Fondant looks beautiful, but this icing did just fine. It’s a very rich, sweet cake, and the raspberry jam provides a nice bit of tart relief. Happy anniversary, Schatzi! Here’s to another 10, and many more.

*sc

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