Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Daring Bakers : My Perfect Birthday Cake

Today is daring baker's day!

This months challenge was a cake by Dorie Greenspan recipe. Lucky me I have her "Baking From My Home To Yours" book and I have already tried and love couple recipes from her.

That challenge gave me a nice opportunity to try this recipe. In the meantime it became a birthday party cake. Its really a perfect cake and marvelous butter cream.


Perfect Party Cake, adapted from Dorie Greenspan:

For the Cake:
2 1/4 cups cake flour (1 cup cake flour = 1 cup all purpose - 2 Tbs)
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups whole buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 ½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons grated Meyer lemon zest
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon pure lemon extract

For the Buttercream:
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup fresh Meyer lemon juice

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 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch – 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, unfold 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 two months).

To Make the Buttercream
Put the sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl or another large heatproof bowl, fit the bowl over a plan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes.
The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like shiny marshmallow cream.
Remove the bowl from the heat.
Working with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the meringue on medium speed until it is cool, about 5 minutes.
Switch to the paddle attachment if you have one, and add the butter a stick at a time, beating until smooth.
Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes.
During this time the buttercream may curdle or separate – just keep beating and it will come together again.
On medium speed, gradually beat in the lemon juice, waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding more, and then the vanilla.
You should have a shiny smooth, velvety, pristine white buttercream. Press a piece of plastic against the surface of the buttercream and set aside briefly.

5 comments:

Jenny said...

What does the inside look like, because the outside looks beautiful. Inquiring minds want to know - did you omit the jam? How was the flavor of the Meyer lemons?

Tartelette said...

You did a beautiful job with the decorations! I bet it tasted as good as it looked!

Lunch Buckets said...

Look at you with the basket-weave! Great looking cake:)

Sweet and Savory Eats said...

What a special birthday cake. Great job on the detailed icing. It looks like it took a while.

Sheltie Girl said...

Your cake is fabulous and I love your decorating work. Great job!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

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