Friday, March 9, 2012

Cake Desecration 101- part Two

I had my second decorating class.  We were to use a transfer pattern for the top of the cake, shell border along the bottom and the rest was up to us.

Despite my knowledge of the color wheel and perusal of many color schemes on my Pinterest pages, I succumbed to the pretty colors in the little jars and ended up with a lavender, light green and cream cake.  That purple tint was too hard to resist and the little flowers looked so springlike, kind of like little violets.  With more petals.  And not as purple.  Okay, they didn't look like violets.

My daughter pointed out that the cupcake was running over on one side.  Just like my cupcakes  usually turn out!

See the clever ribbing on the cup part?  Our instructor showed me how to do this using a rose tip and a leaf tip.  The white cupcake part is using the multi-tip that makes grass like strands.

I had to pick the one spot with cake showing through to photograph.   At least it's blurry.

Oh, the cute little purple flowers.  The color did get darker as the evening progressed.  It started out lavender.  You can see a bit of the shiny gel from the transfer

This was a yellow cake recipe from Cook's Illustrated.  I used a single layer for the class, splitting it and filling it with some nice quality strawberry preserves.

                         Fluffy Yellow Layer Cake

  2 1/2           cups  cake flour -- plus extra for dusting pans
  1 1/4      teaspoons  baking powder
     1/4      teaspoon  baking soda
     3/4      teaspoon  table salt
  1 3/4           cups  sugar (12 1/4 ounces)
  10       tablespoons  unsalted butter -- (1 1/4 sticks) melted and cooled slightly
  1                cup  buttermilk -- room temperature
  3        tablespoons  vegetable oil
  2          teaspoons  vanilla extract
  6              large  egg yolks -- room temperature
  3              large  egg whites -- room temperature

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch-wide by 2-inch-high round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Grease paper rounds, dust pans with flour, and knock out excess. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 1/2 cups sugar together in large bowl. In 4-cup liquid measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and yolks.

 In clean bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium-high speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. With machine running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar; continue to beat until stiff peaks just form, 30 to 60 seconds (whites should hold peak but mixture should appear moist). Transfer to bowl and set aside.

Add flour mixture to now-empty mixing bowl fitted with whisk attachment. With mixer running at low speed, gradually pour in butter mixture and mix until almost incorporated (a few streaks of dry flour will remain), about 15 seconds. Stop mixer and scrape whisk and sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium-low speed and beat until smooth and fully incorporated, 10 to 15 seconds.

Using rubber spatula, stir 1/3 of whites into batter to lighten, then add remaining whites and gently fold into batter until no white streaks remain. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans. Lightly tap pans against counter 2 or 3 times to dislodge any large air bubbles.

Bake until cake layers begin to pull away from sides of pans and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen cakes from sides of pans with small knife, then invert onto greased wire rack and peel off parchment. Invert cakes again and cool completely on rack, about 1 1/2 hours.

  "Makes two 9-inch cake layers. Published March 1, 2008. From Cook's Illustrated."
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NOTES : Nonstick cooking spray can be used for greasing the pans (proceed with flouring as directed). Bring all ingredients to room temperature before beginning. Frost the cake with our Foolproof Chocolate Frosting (see related recipe) or your favorite topping.

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