No Book Yet

Since yesterday was a holiday there was no chance that my book was going to arrive so I thought I would include a recipe today.  If you remember from yesterdays post about my first wedding cake, I used the white cake from the Time-Life Good Cook series.  It is one of my favorite cake recipes.  It produces a moist white cake with a fine crumb and silky texture but sturdy enough to stand up to being tiered and doweled.  It also freezes well so it can be made ahead and defrosted.

 

White Wedding Cake
From Time-Life Good Cook Series, Cakes
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Makes one 12 inch cake

1/2 pound butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
6 egg whites

Cream the butter, gradually adding 1 1/4 cups of the sugar, and beat until light and fluffy.  Blend in the almond and vanilla extracts.  Sift together all of the dry ingredients.  Add the milk, alternately with the sifted dry ingredients, to the creamed butter and sugar.

Beat the egg whites until they form peaks; gradually add the remaining sugar and bear until stiff.  Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.

Turn the batter into a cake pan that has been buttered and floured and lined with parchment paper.  Bake un a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan for a few minutes, and then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely,  Remove the parchment paper, then frost and decorate the cake.

 

To make my 3 tiered cake, make the recipe 3 times.  Divide the cake batter among 2 6-inch cake pans, two 9-inch cake pans and two 12-inch cake pans.  Bake the 6 inch layers for 20-25 minutes, the 9-inch layers for about 50 minutes, and the 12-inch layers for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.

I generally fill this cake with a thin layer of strained raspberry puree and vanilla custard but feel free to substitute whatever filling you wish.

I also used a powdered sugar based icing to frost and make the icing flowers.  I have to admit that I find this icing a bit too sweet for my taste and would ideally use a french buttercream, the best decorator icing is very easy to work with for making flowers, borders and swags and it stands up in the heat and will hold for several hours without refrigeration.  The recipe can be cut in half or doubled or even tripled.  It freezes beautifully.  I have had batches of this icing in my freezer for up to a year and still had good results with it and it doesn’t loose anyof its fresh taste when thawed.

 

Best Decorator Icing
From Amy Malone School of Cake Decorating
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2 pounds confectioners sugar
1 1/2 cups Crisco
1/2 cup water or whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons any flavoring (orange, vanilla, almond, etc.)
1 teaspoon butter flavor
4 tablespoons powdered milk or Dream Whip

 

Beat the Crisco at high speed for 5 minutes.  On low speed, add water or whipping cream, salt and powdered milk or Dream Whip.  Slowly add the sugar and flavorings.  Beat on high until light and fluffy.

While We’re Waiting

CaketopperI had hoped that my copy of Rose’s Heavenly Cakes would have arrived this past weekend.  I preordered it from my cookbook club months ago and they sent me a notice that it had been shipped so I thought it would be here by now.  Since I wasn’t able to bake along with this weeks recipe I thought I would just post about a little cake that I made several years ago.  Somewhere around 1990 – 91 I had been cooking from Julia Child’s The Way To Cook and had just discovered Alice Medrich and Jim Dodge and I had begun to realize that I really preferred baking to any other type of food preparation so I decided that maybe it was time that I took a few classes and at least learned how to use a pastry bag. I looked through the food section of the newspaper and finally found a local cake decorating school, The Amy Malone School of Cake  Decorating. I called Amy and had a nice long chat with her and signed up for Cake Decorating for Beginners. Well, after the first class I was hooked. Soon after followed Intermediate and Advanced Cake Decorating, then Icing Flowers, Borders, Chocolate Artistry, Cookie Bouquets, Candy Making and a miriad of other classes that she offered. I was having so much fun, I soon found myself sitting in as a helper at her classes because I had taken everything she had to offer. Well, finally, that summer she offered a class in making wedding cakes and I figured, “why not”?   I signed up and off I went on this two part class. The first week we went over the dull but necessary tasks of meeting with the bride,  pricing,  transporting,  and general baking.   Then we were given our assignment for the next week.   We were going to bake a 3 tier wedding cake.   Any flavor you wanted but Amy did dictate the sizes as 12, 9, and 6 inch layers. And we all had to use the same Best Decorator Icing.   Since there were about 15 of us in the class, Amy insisted that we all make the same cake design so we could get through it in one night.   I went home to decide what to do.   Well, I knew that Amy had done the cakes for the Time-Life Series Cakes.   I had tasted the white cake recipe that was in the book and I did actually own the book so the white cake was my choice.   I also included a thin layer of raspberry puree and the fluffy white decorator icing.   I have to admit I never cared for this icing as far as taste goes, I always found it way too sweet but it was great for decorating which is why Amy was making us use it.   I managed to get all my cakes baked, wrapped and stored and ready for the next class. I arrived early for the class and was ready to go.  We started at 6:00 pm and were told we would probably be there until around 10:00 but could stay as long as it took. Off we went on frosting, stacking, stablilizing, decorating and packing.  It was a night I will never forget. We worked like mules trying to get those cakes finished and by 9:30 that night there were 15 completed wedding cakes lined up.  I thought I was really something having completed that cake.  When I look at these pictures now after all these many years, it sure does look amatuerish but I still feel a burst of pride at first glance, knowing that I had achieved my first major milestone.

Cake