Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My adventures in cake baking / the fail proof cake recipe

Ok. so this is what this past Saturday was supposed to look like:

7 - 8am: Leisurely wake up.

9am: Breakfast with the hubby and time reading my bible.

12pm: Tea with a dear friend.

2pm: Make frosting for five layer cake that was baked the night before and show off outdoor furniture to potential buyers.

3pm: Assemble cake and make adorable topper like so.

5pm: Shower and get dressed for uncle-in-law's 50th birthday party that evening (for the which the cake was made for).

11pm: Fall into a deep sleep after a wonderfully balanced day or relaxing, cake decorating, and time with friends and family.

Here is what really happened:

7:30 - 8:30am: Leisurely wake up. (Off to a good start!)

9:30am: Breakfast and bible time at the best bakery with the hubby. So lovely. (Day still going wonderfully so far!)

11am: Snuggle with hubby while watching tennis.

11:45am: Decide to make frosting ahead of time. (I'm so on top of it!)

12pm: Message mother-in-law to confirm time of party tonight.

12:05pm: Receive call from mother-in-law stating that party starts at 12:30pm. (Yes, in 25 minutes.)

12:10pm: Ditch making frosting and hubby runs to store to buy pre-made frosting. I quickly change and put some make-up on to look semi-human.

12:20pm: Start frosting cake.

1pm - Abandon cute topper idea and sprinkle edible pearls that were never used from brother-in-law's wedding.

1:10pm - Get in car: I hold the cake, sitting in the passenger seat; hubby drives.

1:12pm - I decide cake is too heavy for me to hold the entire way there and ask hubby to swap with me.

1:13pm - Car stops. Hubby runs around to passenger side; takes cake from my hands. I get out of passenger seat; take cake. Hubby sits down in passenger seat, puts seat belt on, holds cake.

1:14pm - I close door to passenger side of car, run back to driver's side and slip, falling directly onto my tail bone (coccyx is always hard to say and even harder to spell).

1:50pm - Arrive at party venue with cake in tow.

1:55pm - Cake is safely displayed on a stable table.

3:30pm - Leave party early due to a extremely painful bum.

4pm - Arrive home again; lie on couch for the rest of the day.

So, I share all that to a) share a ridiculous story that I am still feeling the effects of and b) to give you the recipe for said cake!

The cake that I made this fateful weekend, is the same that I made for my brother-in-law's wedding and it's delicious and fail proof! Ok, not completely fail proof but 98%! I'll tell you how to get around the other two percent and some of the ways I changed the recipe for my purposes.

White Chocolate Rose Cake with Strawberries
makes 1 three layer 9-inch cake

For the Cake:
4 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup white chocolate chunks

For the Frosting:
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons rose water
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Filling:
1/2 cup finely chopped white chocolate chunks
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
fresh rose petals, for topping the cake

1) Mix dry ingredients, 2) Mix sugar and butter, 3) Mix sugar and butter with wet ingredients, 4) Combine dry and wet ingredients.

Chop white chocolate chunks and fold (mix) into cake batter.

Pour cake batter into round pans. The recipe makes three cakes so make sure you distribute batter evenly. Also, don't use the glass dish I'm using on the left; it makes the cake come out too rounded.

Bake cake. Observe well cooked layer in middle. Observe mushy layer on the right. A few times with this cake, I have had trouble getting it cooked all the way through (the outside will start to burn before the inside is thoroughly cooked). Depending on your oven and the altitude of where you live, trying turning down the temperature a bit and keeping the cake in the oven longer. When I did that this past weekend, every single layer came out perfectly!

Chop strawberries and white chocolate for the filling, in between layers. 

Make frosting. The frosting picture here is the whip-cream based frosting that Joy the Baker uses. It's Amazing! I have also used butter cream for this cake and it tasted great (just a bit sweet since it was store bought...during the mayhem of Saturday).

Assemble cake. 

Frost cake completely. This picture is of the wedding cake I did. With the whip cream based frosting, I find that it helps to let it set in the fridge for a little bit. The day of the wedding was extremely hot, but this frosting held it together. 

Then, decorate it how you want! I've baked this cake three times and done three different things:

1. Mother's Day. Decorated just like Joy the Baker did.

2. Wedding. Decorated as bride wanted: with gerbera daisies and edible glitter all around the perimeter.

3. 50th Birthday Party. Inside was done in an ombre blue and had five layers. Outside was white with edible pearls on top.

This cake is delicious, easy, and so versatile. I would love to see photos of you guys trying it out! And I'm sure Joy would too. :)

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