So many beautiful cakes!
Leave your links here for our last bake of 2017. Happy New Year, bakers – and our 2018 schedule is now up here!
We’re closing out the year with a three-layer white cake with white chocolate frosting. Posting date is December 31!
- 2 1⁄2 cups cake flour
- 3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1⁄2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 3⁄4 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 1⁄2 cups ice cold water
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 cups milk
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 1 1⁄2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- White sprinkles or white nonpareils
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust with flour, and knock out the excess flour.
- Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a large bowl. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening on medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl, add the egg, and beat until just combined. Turn the mixer to low. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the ice water, in three separate additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl, then mix on low speed for a few more seconds.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
- Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, and let cool completely. Remove the parchment.
- Using either a double boiler or a microwave oven (see page 23), melt the white chocolate and set it aside to cool.
- In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla and white chocolate and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, put the bowl in the refrigerator to chill slightly, then beat again until it is the proper consistency. If the frosting is too firm, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and beat with a wooden spoon until it is the proper consistency.
- Refrigerate the frosting for a few minutes (but no more) until it can hold its shape. Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Trim the top to create a at surface, and evenly spread about 1 1⁄4 cups of the frosting on top. Add the next layer, trim and frost it, then add the third layer. Crumb coat the cake (see page 22) and put the cake in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm up the frosting. Frost the sides and top with the remaining frosting. Garnish with a few white sprinkles or white nonpareils and refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm up the finished cake.
- This cake will keep beautifully in a cake saver at room temperature (cool and humidity free) for up to 3 days. If your room is not cool, place the cake in a cake saver and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.
Our bakers made some lovely lemon scones!
Who made scones? Leave your links here!
Fire up your ovens, and get ready to make lemon scones… posting date is December 17!
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 1⁄2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and cold
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1⁄4 cup grated lemon zest (from about 3 lemons)
- 1⁄2 cup diced candied lemon peel, optional (see book for recipe)
- 2 tablespoons raw sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ginger. Whisk until combined.
- Add the butter. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until the butter is pea-sized.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, 3⁄4 cup of the buttermilk, and the lemon zest. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and then gently knead the dough with your hands until the dough starts to come together. If using, add the candied lemon peel and knead to incorporate. Move the dough to a lightly floured surface. Use your hands to shape the dough into two discs (about 1 1⁄2 inches in height). Do not overwork the dough.
- Cut each disk into 6 wedges. Place the wedges onto the prepared baking sheet. Brush each scone with the remaining buttermilk and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake in the center of the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes (rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time) or until the scones are golden brown.
- Transfer the scones to a cooling rack; they can be served slightly warm or completely cooled.
Thumbs up for the cinnamon mocha, even for the non-coffee drinkers among us! And thank you Dafna, for tempting us with the delicious photos of your rogue Heartland Turtle Bars….
Leave Your links here for this week’s easy peasy mocha!
Another week with no need to turn on your ovens… Next up on the schedule is cinnamon mochas! Posting date is December 3.
- 1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for garnish
- 2 long shots freshly brewed espresso
- 2 cups whole milk
- Simple Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream (page 103), optional
- In a small heatproof bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, and cinnamon. Slowly add the hot espresso and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat. Add the espresso mixture and whisk until combined. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil, then remove from the heat.
- Divide the mocha evenly between two mugs and top with whipped cream, if desired, and a dash of cinnamon. Serve immediately with a small spoon.
Our bakers slogged through the chocolate tempering process to make some tasty truffles — and we have some rogue flavors!