Sunday, March 30, 2008

Perfect Party Cake : Daring Bakers 1st challenge

I feel good about my first Daring Bakers challenge. I loved the recipe at the first sight, the explications were easy to follow. The only thing hard to make was the buttercream. First it was too loose and then too firm. But I managed it. I let it stayed in the fridge for some time.
I never baked this kind of cake before. It was a huge cake with 2 adults and 2 kids in the family we were able to eat only half of it! But it was delicious !!! Even my kids not too fond of desserts ( they love only chocolaty dessert) loved it!

Instead of using Rasperry jam I made some Strawberries maemelade, pureed it in the blender and it gave in my opinion a wonderful flavor.

Perfect Party Cake

For the cake

2 1/4 cups cake flour (updated 25 March)
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups whole milk
4 large egg whites
1 ½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon lemon juice

For the Buttercream
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For Finishing
1 cup homemade Strawberries marmelade. Blended.
About 1 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut

Getting Ready
Centre a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9 x 2 inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

To Make the Cake
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
Add the butter and working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.
Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed.
Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated.
Add the rest of the milk and eggs beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
Finally, give the batter a good 2- minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.
Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean
Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unfold them and peel off the paper liners.
Invert and cool to room temperature, right side up (the cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to two months).

To Make the Buttercream
Put the sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl or another large heatproof bowl, fit the bowl over a plan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes.
The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like shiny marshmallow cream.
Remove the bowl from the heat.
Working with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the meringue on medium speed until it is cool, about 5 minutes.
Switch to the paddle attachment if you have one, and add the butter a stick at a time, beating until smooth.
Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes.
During this time the buttercream may curdle or separate – just keep beating and it will come together again.
On medium speed, gradually beat in the lemon juice, waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding more, and then the vanilla.
You should have a shiny smooth, velvety, pristine white buttercream. Press a piece of plastic against the surface of the buttercream and set aside briefly.

To Assemble the Cake
Using a sharp serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion, slice each layer horizontally in half.
Put one layer cut side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper.
Spread it with one third of the preserves.
Cover the jam evenly with about one quarter of the buttercream.
Top with another layer, spread with preserves and buttercream and then do the same with a third layer (you’ll have used all the jam and have buttercream leftover).
Place the last layer cut side down on top of the cake and use the remaining buttercream to frost the sides and top.
Press the coconut into the frosting, patting it gently all over the sides and top.


Claire said...

Beautiful! You did such a good job on your first challenge.

kellypea said...

Congrats on your first Challenge! It looks lovely. It was a wonderful recipe to work with, wasn't it? I love the idea of strawberry marmelade. YUM!

Nan said...

Your cake looks so fluffy and spring-y. Congratulations on your first DB challenge!

Anonymous said...

Welcome to DB! What a wonderful job on the challenge.

Foodie Froggy said...

Et ben, il est super beau ton gâteau!! En plus, il a l'air aérien ! En tous les cas, il donne vraiment envie !! :-))

Deborah said...

Great job on your first challenge!!

Jenny said...

Welcome to the Daring Bakers - I love the addition of coconut between the layers. Yum!

SweetDesigns said...

Congrats on your first challenge!! It looks great!!!

Big Boys Oven said...

you did it so well and amazingly this is you first challenge! congrats!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Strawberries sound wonderful for this tasty cake. Great job on your first DB challenge! Welcome!

confituremaison said...

Bravo Celine! Je reve de faire une fois (au moins) un gateau comme le tien! Tu as vu le coconut cake de Alton Brown avant hier je crois? Surement pas aussi leger que le tien, mais tu vois, ce genre de gateau americain avec de la creme, des layers, presente a l'americaine sur pied au milieu de la table... super tentant!