Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Vanilla Birthday Cake

All dressed up for the Pyrate's 13th birthday party!!! This full sheet version requires 6 times the recipe below.

This buttery delish cake will not disappoint.  I made it for the first time a few weeks ago for the Pyrate's birthday dinner and everyone loved it!  I filled it with sun-sweet fresh organic strawberries and bavarian cream using vegetable gelatin instead of traditional gelatin, and a butter cream frosting on the outside with a few drops of organic vegetable food colors to represent the concrete color of the "skate park".  The sprinkles are from a local cake decorating supply store... they are simply gold, silver, and dark green sugar crystals.   You can frost or glaze this cake however you like, or not at all!  It's wonderful on its own, or even with a few berries macerated in a tablespoon or so of demerara sugar to release their juice and make a light syrup.  As I was decorating this cake we snacked on the uneven edges I'd trimmed off before frosting. De-lish!

The best cake recipes I've had usually call for cake flour which basically is bleached all purpose flour that has been sifted 7 times, so to stay on point, I took my unbleached flour through a sifter 7 times.  It only took a couple minutes to do this and the light fluffy texture of the cake is worth the effort.  
This recipe is for two 9 inch round cake layers.  For the double decker full sheet cake I made above we multiplied this recipe by three for each layer so a total of 6 times the recipe.    Unless you have a restaurant style kitchen setup I don't recommend trying to do more than a triple batch of batter at once.  You can easily end up over mixing and your cake will be like a brick!  DON'T DO IT!!  You'll be sorry if you go to all the trouble to make those huge layers and discover it's dry and tough and not like you want it.  Stick with 3 or less multiplied batches at a time.  

Here we go! 


The players:

1 3/4 cups Unbleached Organic White Flour sifted 7 times. 2 tsp Baking Powder. 1/4 tsp Sea Salt. 1/2 cups Unsalted Organic Butter.  1 cup Turbinado, Demerara, or Evaporated Cane Juice.   2 Organic free range brown Eggs, whites and yolks separated.  1 tsp pure Vanilla extract. 1/2 cup Organic 2 % Milk. 1/8 tsp Cream of Tartar.

The plan:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and generously butter two 9 inch round cake pans.  Line the bottom of pans with parchment paper then butter paper as well.
1. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. 
2. In an electric mixer bowl, beat butter til soft. 
3. Add 3/4 of sugar to butter and beat again til fluffy
4. Add yolks 1 at a time. 
5. Add vanilla and beat til combined. 
6. Add flour and milk alternately in 3 additions beginning and ending with flour. 
7. In another bowl, whisk egg whites til foamy. 
8. Add cream of tartar & beat whites til soft peaks form. 
9. Gradually add the rest of the sugar to egg whites and beat til stiff peaks form.
10. Fold about a third of the whites into the batter to lighten up the batter. 
11. Fold in another third til just mixed in. 
12. Fold in the rest of the whites into the batter being careful not to over mix. 
13. Fill pans and smooth the surfaces with an offset spatula. 
14. Bake on the center rack in your preheated oven for about 15 minutes then check with a toothpick in the center.  If it comes out clean it's done.
15.  Cool in pan at least half an hour before inverting onto rack to cool completely.

1 comment:

  1. The mark of a truly gifted cook/baker (imho, of course) is if you can taste how good the food was by looking at a picture of it! LOL

    That cake hit my taste buds through my eyes and I thank you for that, ma'am! :)


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