In addition to the Wine & Food Festival which kept Charleston in good eats all weekend, Corby and I got engaged! Which now of course means I need suggestions on food and recipes to serve at the wedding. Not one for long engagements, April 20th is the day- yes of this year. I know most people focus on the dress, flowers, music, and of course the list- but we have all that done. It might turn out to be a disaster, but I want to make our cake- this is what I am focused on. While I have clearly made lots of cakes before and they have turned out well, decorating a cake- especially a wedding cake is not my great forte. But I figure, as long as it tastes good, I can cover it with flowers and that should make it look pretty enough. So onto a wedding cake recipe. I found this recipe for a Butter Cake- what could be wrong with a Butter Cake? My thought is to make two 9 inch cakes with a filling and then two 6 inch cakes with filling for a small 2 tier cake. The filling that I want to try is a vanilla custard, and found a great recipe for that- see below. And then of course, what kind of icing to use- I think butter cream to go with a butter cake of course! I will be attempting to make a test cake this weekend with all of these recipes. Stay tuned to see how it turns out, and clearly the picture is how I assume it will turn out! Any suggestions, tips, etc are incredibly welcome!! Should be a piece of cake right- haha!
Butter Cake (from www.wilton.com)
1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon no color almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray pans with vegetable pan spray, or use Cake Release.
In mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla and almond flavor. Mix flour with baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, starting with the flour; mix well. Pour into prepared pans. (for me- two 9 inch pans and two 6 inch pans)
Bake the 6 inch pans for 25-30 minutes and the 9 inch pans for 30-35 minutes
Cool 10 minutes in pan. Loosen sides and remove. Cool completely before decorating.
Vanilla Custard Filling (from www.wedding-cakes-for-you.com)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks or 2 whole eggs
2 cups milk
1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
On a piece of plastic wrap , or in a small bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt. In a saucepan combine and whisk together the egg yolks and milk, or whole eggs if you are using them.
Gather the corners of the plastic wrap, or the bowl and pick up the starch mixture, pour it on top of the eggs and milk and whisk well to be sure that all of the cornstarch and flour are dissolved.Add the vanilla bean. (if using the extract add it at the end of the recipe.
Set the pan over moderate heat and cook the custard for about 12 minutes, until thickened and brought to a boil. To do this stir on and off for the first 5 minutes, then stir constantly for 7 minutes longer until the cream really thickens and reaches a boil.
Remove pan from the heat. The cream is done when smooth and thick enough to leave a clearly defined line when you draw your finger through the cream coating the back of the spoon.
Remove the vanilla bean, rinse it, and set it aside to re-use. If you are using extract instead of the bean add it now. Add the butter and whisk until melted and blended in.
Pour the cream through a sieve into a bowl. Stir in any additional flavoring if using it. To prevent a film from forming on top of the cream, press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface. Cool cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Butter Cream Icing (from www.smittenkitchen.com)
For a wedding cake (or most of one, depending on the size)
2 cups of egg whites (approx. 12 large)
3 cups sugar
5 cups butter, softened (2 1/2 pounds, 10 sticks)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For a 9-inch cake (plus filling, or some to spare)
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
26 tablespoons butter, softened (3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk egg whites and sugar together in a big metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk occasionally until you can’t feel the sugar granules when you rub the mixture between your fingers.
Transfer mixture into the mixer and whip until it turns white and about doubles in size. (Here’s a tip: when you transfer to the mixer, make sure you wipe the condensation off the bottom of the bowl so that no water gets into the egg whites. This can keep them from whipping up properly.)
Add the vanilla.
Finally, add the butter a stick at a time and whip, whip, whip.