Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jingle Bell Cake!

Sooo.... I'm pretty late on the Christmas post but that's because I was too busy enjoying the holiday to write! This was one of my best Christmases in recent memory, it was filled with family, friends, and delicious food. The gifts weren't to bad either. Like every other year I baked and baked 'till I couldn't bake no more! I had a kitchenaid pro mixer finally so finally I was able to try so many recipes that I previously could not. For this post I will tell you all about the cake I called Jingle Bell cake. Its my personal take on the blog post over at Love and Olive oil. The recipe consist of the Cooks Illustrated white cake and the Martha Stewart White Chocolate Buttercream. The cake was fairly easy to make and it definitely was moist. I think next time I will experiment with the flavors a bit and the colors. The next recommendation would be to reduce the amount of butter in the buttercream, it was just too buttery for my taste and it made the cake unbearably rich...even for the holidays. My friends and family said it was a really good cake but no one could easily finish an entire slice in one sitting, especially the frosting. I used cheapo brand liquid food coloring from the supermarket and it did a wonderful job so theres no need to make a major investment in the dye you will use, I also want to note that I used 9 inch pans for the cake recipe and it had enough for the four layers without problem.
The 9in layers before I finished frosting.

 Making the icing wasn't as hard as I thought it would be but I can tell you that it took about 15 minutes for my baby(my red kitchenaid pro) to cool down the meringue. Everything else was fine but I would like to note again that it was just too much butter in the recipe. When I was frosting my cake there was extra chunks of butter in the frosting. I'm not new to buttercreams, and this was just too much...I'll definitely cut back next time because the extra butter chunks I took out wasn't even missed.
Overall I really loved this cake, it is such a showstopper and I will make again for a next occasion with some modifications.
The finished cake

A yummy slice

White Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream
the recipe says it serves 12 but this rich recipe can easy serve about 18-20 persons
2 1/4 cups cake flour (9 ounces), plus more for dusting the pans
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites (3/4 cup), at room temperature
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar (12 1/4 ounces)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened but still cool
Red and Green Food coloring

- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray the paper rounds, dust the pans with flour, and invert pans and rap sharply to remove excess flour. 
- Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended. 
- Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining. 
- Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer. 
- Divide batter evenly between two prepared cake pans; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops. Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes. 
- Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Reinvert onto additional wire racks. Let cool completely.

 White Chocolate Buttercream
2 1/2 cups sugar
10 large egg whites
2 pounds (8 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, softened
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 pound best-quality white chocolate, melted and cooled
- Put sugar and egg whites in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer, and set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture registers 140 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
- Transfer bowl to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and cooled, about 10 minutes. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
- Reduce speed to medium-low; add butter by the tablespoon, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and white chocolate. If not using immediately, refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Bring to room temperature before using; beat on low speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.

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