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Surprise!

October 28, 2010

Steel yourselves.  This may come as a surprise to some of you (and comical to others who know me well.)

I’m not Superwoman.  I’m just a mere mortal who spends a lot of time in her kitchen.  A mere mortal with a lot of help/support.  (I’m also not Betty Crocker, but that’s a different announcement! LOL)

This post goes out to those helpful & supportive people:

My aunt (and now uncle) for having the faith that I could even do this.  Before they asked to make their wedding cake, I never would’ve pushed myself to just do it.  Of course the idea had registered somewhere extremely far back in my subconscious to make a stacked layer cake, but a wedding cake is a big deal (at least to me.)

My friends, co-workers, and neighbors for being my guinea pigs and ridding my kitchen of the mass amounts of “practice cake”, for being honest and giving me your opinions, and your constant encouragement and praise.

The real Superwomen – the food bloggers who come up with the amazing recipes I know I can count on.  Each of you really should have a cape.

And finally,.. Mr. Cheesehead.  There has never been a better jack of all trades.  From an amazing (and handsome) dishwasher, kitchen-cleaner, last-minute-grocery-store-runner, kitchen assistant, none of this would’ve been possible without you, your devoted support, encouragement, brainstorming, and honesty.  And thank you for running out and picking up take-out all those nights without a single complaint!

After the past two months of “studying”, the final exam is over:

    

I haven’t really posted recipes up until now because I was tweaking them as I went.  I present to you the recipes to make up White Cake with Blueberry & Cream Cheese Filling, covered in Swiss Buttercream.

White Cake

From: The Way the Cookie Crumbles, Bridget’s Adaptation

  • 2¼ c. cake flour (9 oz), plus more for dusting the pans
  • 1 c. + 2 T. whole milk, at room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites (¾ c.), at room temperature
  • 2 t. almond extract
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1½ c. + 2 T. granulated sugar (11.35 ounces)
  • 4 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. table salt
  • 12 T. unsalted butter (1½ sticks), softened but still cool

FYI: This made three about-perfect thickness 8″ cakes.  Obviously, you could make this into two cakes; the layers would just be thicker.  For the wedding cake, I scaled the recipe up and down to fit the 6″ and 9″ requirements.  If you’re looking for those sizes, please email me and I’ll be happy to share.

Prepare pans by cutting out parchment circles (or using pre-cut ones, which is easier.)  Grease each of your pans and one side of each of the parchment circles.  Line the greased pans with the greased parchment circles (making sure the greased side of the parchment paper faces up.)  Dust the pans with flour; with each pan upside down, rap sharply against the counter to remove excess flour.

Preheat oven to 310° and arrange rack in the center.

In a small bowl or large measuring cup, blend the milk, egg whites, and extracts with a fork.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, stir together the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on slow speed.  Continue mixing slowly, adding the butter a half stick at a time, until mixture resembles moist crumbs but no powdery streaks remain.

With the mixer on slow-to-medium speed (I started on slow speed but then found it worked best to adjust the speed up as I went), slowly add all but 1/2 cup of the milk mixture.  (I had to turn the speed back down after the mixture became more fluid to avoid sloshing.)  Turn the mixture to medium speed and beat for ~1 1/2 minutes.  Scrap the bottom & sides of the bowl, add the remaining 1/2 cup milk mixture and continue beating another 30 seconds.  Scrap again, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat 20 additional seconds.

Divide the batter evenly amongst prepared pans.  Bake in oven, evenly spaced apart, for ~25-28 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  (Bridget suggests there should be 3″ between your oven walls and pans, and about the same distance between pans, so I followed it.)

Remove pans and allow to cool several minutes.  Run a knife or skewer around the edges of the pan before inverting to release the cakes onto a cooling rack to cool thoroughly before frosting.

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 T. + 1 t. pure vanilla
  • 75 g granulated sugar

Using a hand mixer, blend all three ingredients thoroughly.  When filling, pipe a border around edge of cake circles with buttercream of choice.  Using an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of cream cheese filling before adding additional filling or topping with additional cake layer.

Blueberry Filling

  • 24 oz. frozen blueberries
  • 60g granulated sugar
  • ~1 T. cornstarch

Boil all ingredients in saucepan until desired thickness is reached.  Allow to cool entirely before filling cake.

The Swiss Buttercream I’ve made before, but I lessened the amount of butter slightly:

Swiss Buttercream

From: Slightly modified from smitten kitchen

  • 8 egg whites
  • 375g granulated sugar
  • 40 T (5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 t. vanilla

In a glass or metal bowl above a simmering pot of water (or in a double boiler) whisk egg whites and sugar.  Continue cooking egg white-sugar mixture, whisking frequently until candy thermometer reaches 160°.  (Some sugar granules will stick to the bowl but don’t scrap them down.  You want to keep the egg white mixture smooth, so any crystallized sugar shouldn’t be mixed in.)

Carefully remove bowl from pot.  Set bowl on towel (paper or cloth) and wipe off condensation.  Carefully transfer egg white-sugar mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and allow to cool slightly until almost room temperature.  Beat on medium-to-high speed until mixture holds firm peaks when beater is lifted from the mixture.  (If not already, your mixture must be  room temperature before continuing.)  Beat in vanilla.  Add butter, a half stick at a time, beginning on a fairly low speed, but increasing speed until fairly high (this helps keep the mixture nice and fluffy.)  Continue until all butter is added, then beat on high speed until thoroughly incorporated.  (It can sometimes look horrible and like it’s splitting, but stick with it.  It comes back together eventually and is worth it!)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Michelle permalink
    November 8, 2010 2:06 pm

    That looks AWESOME Paula! You should be so proud!

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