Monday, October 12, 2009
Dorie Greenspan's perfect party cake...
The recipe that jumped out to me was her 'perfect party cake'. Looks, taste, budget and method-wise, this cake is truly perfect for birthday celebrations! The steps are not overly complicated and they're just enough to be a challenge for a novice baker like me :D This blog is still lacking in layered cakes and what better way to start than from the very basic.
The 4-tiered-cake is a lemon buttermilk cake filled with a more subtle lemon buttercream and raspberry preserves. Since lemon is very versatile with all fruits, the raspberry can be substituted with strawberry, blueberry, blackberry or whatever berry you have on hand!
After tasting the buttercream, I decided to double the lemon juice and add sugar+toast the coconut flakes. Surprisingly, the combination of these flavours worked and the cake was delicious! The cake flour made the buttermilk cake soft and there was no overly sweet after taste. Nothing disastrous also happened thanks to Dorie's clear and easy to understand instructions.
Given it's my first attempt to make a multi-layered cake, I'm quite satisfied with how it turned out. This recipe is definitely a keeper and I can't wait to try out her other ones!
Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake
adapted from Baking: from my home to yours.
1 cup of sugar
4 large egg whites
3 sticks (12 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Put sugar and egg whites in a large heatproof bowl, and fitting the bowl over a pan of simmering water, whisk constantly for about 3 minutes, until the bowl feels hot to the touch. The sugar should be dissolved and the mixture will look like shiny marshmallow cream. Remove bowl from heat.
2. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is cool, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the butter on stick a time, beating until smooth.
4. Once butter is in, beat on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, about 6-10 minutes. It's okay if it curdles or separates during this time, just keep beating and it will come together again.
5. Gradually beat in the lemon juice on medium speed until it is all absorbed, then beat in the vanilla.
6. You should have a shiny, smooth, velvety, pristine white buttercream.
For the finishing
2/3 cup blackberry jam
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut, sweetened and toasted
1. Cut each of the cake layer into half.
2. Spread the blackberry jam and topped it with the buttercream
3. Put another layer and repeat the sequence.
Layering cakes turned out to be quite difficult if you're after a perfectly tiered one! If the cake is uneven, cutting off the lopsided part helped a lot.
4. Use the leftover buttercream to frost the whole cake and then pressed the coconut into the frosting.