This is what I did for most of the weekend: ran, baked, swam, baked, and then ate. Meanwhile, I took about 200 photos. Hahaha. I would say I’m fast at multi-tasking, but kind of sloppy in the overall process. While this cake looks kind of whack-a-doodle, it tastes like a classic, rich berry shortcake. I made the “White Out Cake” - a vanilla cake recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. This book is so good I’ve checked it out twice from the library and made Ray photocopy numerous recipes. I should just buy it right?! I tried to go all out for this White Out Cake. It is filled it with a triple berry filling (strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries) and slathered with a cream cheese frosting. People had seconds and thirds. This one is a winner, albeit a bit labor intensive.
The White Out Cake
Beat butter and a tiny bit of shortening for about 3 minutes.
Add some sugar and beat 3-5 minutes.
It called for vanilla extract, but I used my vanilla bean paste. The paste has flecks of real vanilla bean and (I think) a more intense vanilla flavor.
Add an egg and beat for another minute.
Sift the dry ingredients in another bowl.
Alternate the dry ingredients with a bit of ice water, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
Third of the flour.
Half of the water.
Third of the flour.
Last half of the water.
Last third of the flour.
In another bowl (this isn’t a one bowl recipes like normal!), add 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar.
Add three egg whites.
Now I tried to beat the egg whites to soft peaks by hand. After ten minutes, I felt like my arm was going to fall off and got out the mixer. MUCH quicker!
Very gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter with a spatula.
To make the tiered cake, I used one six-inch pan and one 10-inch pan. I believe the recipe calls for three eight-inch pans. My baking times were very different because I used such different shaped pans. I believe the small pan baked for 30 minutes and the larger one for 45 minutes at 325 degrees. To test the cake’s “doneness” just press with your fingertip on the top. If it springs back it is done. If it leaves a dent it needs a bit longer. (So says Gesine from my King Arthur Flour baking class!)
Meanwhile, I chopped up some strawberries and dusted them with sugar.
I added some blackberries and mashed everything together. Then stirred in some blueberry jam. I didn’t measure anything, but made a medium-sized bowl of macerated berries.
Cream Cheese Frosting
This recipe is excellent. I doubled it and added a bit more powdered sugar to make a stiffer frosting.
Take your cakes out of their pan after 10 minutes of cooling. I transferred mine to a cooling rack.
I bought a cake cutter (there are SO MANY tools for cake decorating! Sheesh!) so my layers would be level. If you wanted to go all out, you could double the cake recipe and have two ten-inch cakes and two six-inch cakes. You wouldn’t need to cut layers to have your layer cake. I thought that one cake recipe was enough cake to be eating, so I cut my one layer in half.
I took a piece of cardboard and transferred the top to the side.
I spread a thin layer of frosting and left a thick edge.
Filled it with my berries.
And put the top back on. The cut layer was smoother than the top layer, so I made sure that was face-up.
I spread a thin layer and refrigerate the cake and then add a second layer. This makes the frosting go on smoother. (Although my frosting never looks that smooth.)
Repeat the same procedure with the six-inch cake: cut in two layers, frost, add berries, put top back on, frost entire cake, refrigerate, frost again.
Whew! Then I cut four dowel rods and placed them in the bottom cake to support the top layer. Otherwise, the top-tier would sink into the bottom cake. I also add a larger dowel rod through both layers so the top-tier doesn’t fall off.
I made a bunch of royal icing flowers during the week and saved them in Tupperware and egg cartons. I started out trying to make roses (not easy), moved on to lilies, and then started making colorful blobs that didn’t resemble any real flowers. This must be why Ray told me my cake was very Tim Burton-like!
My final cake. Everyone commented that it looked “Island-like”. Again, I think I had the Lost finale on my mind. I am STILL thinking about the end.
I actually walked down to cake decorating class, and the cake was too fragile to carry home. I had to have someone come pick me up! I invited friends over to eat my monster cake. There was no way I was bringing this home to an empty house.
The berry filling was delicious! It really made the cake.
We ate the top layer and a good portion of the bottom layer.
People really did go back a few times for more pieces. Ah, warms my heart. No one did that for the fondant cake.
Here is my piece.
The group enjoying Monday night cake time. I heart Liz who sampled ALL of my cakes:) I think she liked the peanut butter and chocolate cake the best. I am bummed because she’s leaving me and moving to Asheville, NC in a few weeks. Sob!
Here is the recipe for the White Out Cake (and for the white chocolate frosting that I did not make). It comes highly recommend as a stunning summer cake.