So here we go...I have been baking for a while but just not sure about it. Some things work..some don't. My husband, Omar is my taste tester. He sure doesn't mind that. I work with limited equipment and an oven that is on a slant. With the equipment I try to buy myself a needed piece every month. I can keep you all posted on that. As for the oven, well living in an apartment you gotta live with what ya got.
So..my first entry :~ (by the way ~ I love to use these thingys ~ alot.)
Sky High: Irresistible Triple~Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne.
I bought this incredible book at Tuesday Mornings for $9.99. The cakes are too die for and the recipes are so thorough and easy to follow. Mind you..these cakes take work. Having 3 kids around me while baking these 3 layer decadent hip huggers is not an easy task. I manage.
Oh, before I continue I need to say that I am learning baking techniques, not photography. I need not say anymore on that topic.
I must say that I learned to have patience with this cake. I have never successfully scored a layer cake and got it too stand almost perfect. As a matter of fact I always rush the job and my cakes have a trademark lean. I am working on a new trademark.
The filling was the fun part. It wasn't stressful to make. Okay, just a little cause it took longer for the crushed pineapple to break down to a jam consistency then I thought it would. However, I was very pleased with the results.
I used an Appleton Jamacian Rum that is a medium rum with a bold flavor. I did notice that the first bite of the cake the rum was very much the dominating flavor. However, after a day that strong rummy taste mellowed out and was more enjoyable. Not to say that rum is never enjoyed.
I was too proud of my first attempt with Italian Meringue Buttercream. Actually I had to google to figure out that is what it was. The book says Coconut Buttercream...but that is because of the addition of coconut milk. This frosting scared the beegeegees out of me. I have never boiled sugar and water to a syrup and I didn't not have a candy thermomether. Ha...I didn't even use the recommended soft-ball test. Didn't know what the heck it meant. (I know now). While mixing it I thought it was a disaster, but it actually came together quite nicely. Took about 10 good ole minutes in the Sunbeam but she handles the work well. The taste is delightfully light with just a hint of sweetness. The coconut is mild but you know it is there. I toasted sweetned coconut flakes and this really topped it off great with flavor. It was described to me as "moist as a coffee cake."
So, as said. I really had fun with this. I made a great 10 buck investment. Being as the book sells on amazon.com for 23 bucks :)
Brown Sugar Cake 3¾ cups cake flour 1¾ tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp salt 2¼ cups packed light brown sugar 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1¾ cups buttermilk 5 eggs 2 tsp vanilla extract Cake method Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and line the base of three 9inch cake pans. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Whisk gently to combine. Add the brown sugar, butter and 1½ cups of the buttermilk to the dry ingredients. With the mixer on low blend to incorporate. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk the eggs with the remaining ¼ cup buttermilk and the vanilla and add to the batter in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl well and beating only long enough to incorporate between additions. Divide the batter between the 3 pans. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let the layers cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper and allow to cool completely. For the filling 1 can (20 ounce) crushed pineapple in juice (no added sugar) 1 cup sugar ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice 1 x one inch piece of vanilla bean split in half Filling method Combine the pineapple, sugar and lime juice in a pan. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the pan too. Warm over a medium-low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, 2 to 3 minutes. Raise the het to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the juices have almost completely evaporated and its turned jam-like in consistency. Let the filling cool completely before using. (Can be made a day in advance and refrigerated) Coconut Buttercream 3 eggs whites 1 cup sugar ¼ cup water 2½ sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk 1½ tsp coconut extract Buttercream method Put the eggs whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whip attachment so they are ready to go. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and place over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil and cook without stirring until the syrup reaches the sold boil stage, 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Beat the egg whites briefly at medium speed. Slowly add the hot syrup in a thin stream, being careful to avoid the beaters. Continue to whip until the meringue has cooled to body temperature. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the butter, several tablespoons at a time and continue to beat until a smooth fluffy frosting forms. Add the coconut milk in several additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl well after each addition. Add the coconut extract and mix until smooth. To assemble 9 tbsp rum – light, amber or dark Coconut flakes and thin slices of pineapple To assemble Place one layer flat side up on a cake stand. Sprinkle a generous 3 tbsp rum over the cake. Spread half of the pineapple filling over the layer, leaving a small gap around the edge. Add the second layer, sprinkle with more rum and cover with the remaining pineapple filling. Top with the third layer and sprinkle with the remaining rum. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the coconut buttercream. Decorate with some thin shreds of coconut and slices of pineapple if wished. Makes one 9inch triple layer cake