Tuesday, July 17, 2007

One Cake, Many Recipes

Well, it's been a long time. Between work and family visits for the 4th of July and a hellishly hot day (about 95 with about 95% humidity) it took us awhile to get back to the Cake Bible, but today we did.....

Today we made the White Velvet Butter Cake (pg 46). This is the one used to make the White Lilac Nostalgia cake (pg 167) that requires 1/2 recipe of the Raspberry Mousseline (pg 245) and 1 full recipe of the Creme Ivoire Deluxe (pg 246). You are supposed to use crystallized lilacs (pg 326) but we didn't.

Ok, honestly, I grumble and complain about baking day. I'm that way about anything that I "have" to do. So imagine just how much grumbling I can do when it takes 4 separate and completely different recipes to create a cake. Well let me tell you, it's a lot. I spent quite a bit of time trying to get my head around all the parts of this cake.

The interesting thing is that it's no longer the actual cake part that makes me slightly nervous. I now understand what her process is for putting together a butter cake -- one would hope I could do it after what, 17 cakes!

The cake portion is a wonder to behold. It's light in color, almost crepe like in its crispy edge (hope it's supposed to be like that, 'cause it was tasty) and blonde almost white interior with a really fine crumb.

One learning of ours -- our butter has been consistently too soft -- runny butter isn't room temp butter, now is it?

This cake batter came together like none of the others. And baked in the alloted time. Seriously, I think this is my new favorite white cake. It reminded me of a cross between a white butter cake and an angelfood cake. Janet said it was very much like her Granny Martin's white cake. High praise indeed.

The raspberry mousseline was fabulously rich and wonderful. It did require a bit of orchestration and I did make the raspberry puree/sauce (pg 337) the night before. Trust me this sauce was worth every single bowl and strainer in my kitchen being raspberry-ified. The secret is in boiling down the raspberry juice from 1 cup to 1/4 cup. It's tart and sweet and has a depth of flavor. I gave Michael a taste of the sauce and he said, it's like the berry just explodes in your mouth. Truly it was perfection.

You add this sauce to the Mousseline buttercream. That was a bit of a bother, but honestly well worth it. It's similar to the Silk Meringue Buttercream we did back in mid June. The difference is that you add butter to the beaten whites and firm ball sugar syrup. We did it this time with a hand mixer so that we could do a steady steam of sugar into the egg whites. This offered a seemingly smoother version, but since we didn't do a side by side with the stand mixer, we don't know for sure.

There is a liqueur option and we choose to use it, but instead of the Grand Marnier she suggests, we thought Chambourd with its dark, cherry taste would be better suited to the raspberry sauce -- raspberry Stoli was dismissed outright, but got us thinking.

Raspberry Sauce/Puree Recipes: (You only need 3/4 cup of it, so you will have left overs):
Add a bit of the sauce to your lemonade or your favorite lemon lime soda. For an adult version, add it to Raspberry Stoli and ice.

There is a moment in the middle of the mousseline when you may feel that it's all over. It's not, don't stop, bake through. It is devine decadence in a non chocolate form.

The real bother and part that made us scratch our head more than once was the Creme Ivoire Deluxe (pg 246). Basically you melt all the ingredients white chocolate, cocoa butter (which is very, very expensive), clarified butter, a flavorless oil (we used canola).

Once melted, you cool and whip into a buttercream. This wasn't the case for us. By hand it never seemed to whisk to cool, although it did have the whisk marks on top, right away. We put it in the stand mixer and put the pan of iced water under it, like we did a couple cakes ago when we realize that over 90 degrees in Janet's house isn't good cake baking weather. We did add 4 tablespoons of butter at room temp. This helped, but it took a very, very long time. (I consulted my mother about this recipe and she said "That's insane!" and agreed with us that we followed the recipe, and that it does seem a stretch to make a glaze and then through magical whisking somehow it will turn into buttercream. -JM)


We spread the Mousseline between the layers (they were cut in half horizontally, thus making the four layers you see). Then, we crumb coated -- see our learnings from before. Then we put it in the freezer to cool. Then frosted it, but the frosting was warming up and getting strange so we put it in the freezer again. (See we can learn from previous mistakes.)


Then we sat down and had a nice bit of lunch and while I know that we're doing the Cake Bible, Janet came up with a wonderful chicken salad that I thought we should share:

Janet's Chicken Salad

Shredded cabbage & carrots (bag of cole slaw mix)
sour cream & a little teriyaki sauce
grapefruit vinegar
toasted sesame oil
chinese 5 spice powder
leftover jerked and grilled chicken, shredded
celery, sliced
water chestnuts, diced
toasted almonds, chopped
salt & pepper

I don't have amounts (& I hope that's everything that went in it), but think of making cole slaw and taste as you go. It was a recipe that Robb described that prompted me to purchase the slaw mix, but I couldn't remember what was in his aside from the slaw and chicken. This was good served with cantaloupe and cracked pepper. -JM

She served it over thinly sliced cucumbers and it was so good. I hope you don't mind that we included it here. It just needed to be published.

After we finished eating, the cake was a bit too cool. But we finished decorating it. Notice the zinnia, pretty huh?

This cake was the best one we've made, really. We ate the whole piece that we cut to taste. Very rare for us.

Only one cake, but what a cake it was.

Bake Through

Robb

1 comment:

KimberlyKV said...

Your cake looks beautiful! I am making the lilac cake this weekend for a tea party. I so hope it will turn out well. However, I've been unable to find cocoa butter (for the creme ivoire deluxe) in the local supermarkets. I could have ordered it, I suppose, but now it's too late. Any idea what I could substitute? I am thinking of trying a little extra white chocolate or maybe adding more oil.