Well it’s Wednesday evening. I had a semi-snow day today. We got another 8 inches or something over the course of last night and today on top of the two feet we already had sooo I didn’t make it downtown to work today. The work phone chain informed me to work from a remote location if possible. Since I can’t work from home, I trekked over to the conveniently located Bloomfield branch to work.
I kind of wish I could work there all the time except…I’ll be living in Troy Hill come June. Let’s not talk about that. I NEED TIME TO ADJUST.
Also, I’m glad you all seem to have enjoyed Aaron’s guest post! I finally read it in it’s entirety today and enjoyed it very much! He’s a pretty good story teller, eh? Maybe soon there will be a MOIP blog?? Exciting??!
So today I worked for a while, walked to Shur Save to buy Greek yogurt for lunch(who knew they would carry Chobani) and then the branches closed at 3:30 so I got to leave early.
I took advantage of my extra time and did a Dave Farmar podcast that pretty much killed me. It was a 75 minute power vinyasa class. I wore this:
Sweeeet ….and listened to the podcast in the dark while occasionally googling poses that I didn’t know. I fell down doing Crow and almost smashed my laptop.
Uhhhh anyway, if you’re interested, there are a bunch of free podcasts on his website — Dave Farmar.
Moving on to the cake that I mentioned on Saturday though. I’m about to post another recipe! What is this? A food blog?? So this past Saturday, as we were snowed in, I baked a cake for the future mother-in-law’s birthday. Sadly, she never even got to taste it because of the bad weather. 😦 It’s okay though. Future MIL, if you’re reading, I promise I’ll bake you another cake soon! Also, Happy Birthday!!
On to the CAKE!
Perfect Party Cake Recipe
Very slightly adapted 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 (I used 3/4 cup buttermilk & 1/2 cup whole milk)
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (zest of one lemon)
Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter three 8 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 (or two).
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. 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 three pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 20 to 25 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.)
For the Whipped Cream (in between layers)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
Using a stand mixer with whisk attachment or hand mixer, whip the heavy cream at medium speed until it begins to thicken. Increase speed slowly and add sugar. Continue to whip until soft peaks form. Do not over whip or you’ll make butter…
For the Buttercream (outside and piping)
- 1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes (I used my stand mixer with the whisk attachment). Reduce speed to medium. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. (After every 2 additions, increase speed to high, and beat for 10 seconds, then reduce speed to medium-high).
Add vanilla, and beat until buttercream is smooth. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (If refrigerated before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth.)
And here is the step-by-step pictorial thanks to Aaron:
Make the batter and put in three disposable aluminum baking pans because you don’t have nice bakeware (but soon will once people buy me things from the registry…!)
Place in the oven on baking sheets and use an oven thermometer if your oven sucks like mine.
After the layers have cooled, spread the whipped cream between each:
Apparently we missed a picture of frosting the outside of the cake but that did happen. I used an offset spatula and tried to focus while Aaron commented on how GREAT I would be at spackling.
Next up was covering the sides with slivered almonds. This happened for two reasons.
- Aaron’s mom said she liked almond cake.
- You don’t have to do a good job frosting the sides at all.
I put pieces of parchment on the cake round to pull off after I was done to keep it neat.
Frosted and covered with almonds:
Letting Aaron take pictures of my unshowered self in SWEET apron:
Next up was piping the edge. I separated a portion of the buttercream for the piping bag and then thinned out the rest of it with additional vanilla extract for frosting the actual cake.
I’m not great with piping but I’m working on it. The frosting was a bit too thick too.
Annnd added the sugar paste flowers from the other day and DONE:
Aaron and I shared a slice. Delicious!
Here is our slice:
The cake was definitely lemony and pretty dense but good. I would make it again for sure but I think I’d add more frosting on top. My frosting layer ended up being really thin because I wasn’t sure if I had enough to cover the whole cake. I definitely did have enough in the end.
Aaron took the rest of the cake to MOIP practice and then him and his roommates eventually finished the rest so it didn’t go to waste.
Alright, it’s 8:17 PM now. TIME FOR READING IN BED. Have a nice night all!