Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I have been taking a cake decorating class now for about 2 months at my neighborhood Michael's. And i have to say, I've enjoyed the classes so much that it keeps me wanting to learn more. Who ever thought I'd be able to make flowers, decorate a cake and make it look all pretty! So for my final class, we had to bring in a cake so that we get to do a basket weave on it and place all the flowers we had made during the entire course. We made daisies, pansies, apple blossoms, violets, roses, daffodils and primroses. I had so many flowers that i could have covered my entire cake with the flowers. But, i chose not to! I decided to try a Sponge cake from a cookbook my dear friend got me for my birthday. This recipe is adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book. So far, the sponge cake is the only recipe I've tried from it and have been pretty pleased with it. It's a great book with delicious recipes. I layered my sponge cake with some blackberry jam. You could use any flavor that you like. So for those of you who have had challenges baking a good sponge cake, here's the recipe :)
Note: I like using baking spray for my pans instead of using butter and flour to grease the pans. With the spray, you get a nice even coat and always have you cake come of easily without any issues.
Adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book
1/2 cup cake flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large egg white (room temperature)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks (room temperature)
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1) Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 8 - or 9- inch pans
2) Whisk flours, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Heat milk and butter together in a small saucepan over low heat until butter melts. Off the heat, stir in the vanilla and cover to keep warm.
3)In a large bowl, whip the 3 egg whites and the cream of tartar together with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase to medium-high speed and whip the whites to soft, billowy, mounds, about 1 minute. Gradually whip in 6 tablespoons of sugar, about 30 seconds. Continue to whip the whites until they are shiny and form soft peaks, 1 to 3 minutes.
4)In a separate large bowl, whip the 3 eggs yolks and the 2 eggs together with an electric mixer on medium high speed and gradually add the remaining sugar, about 1 minute. Continue to whip the mixture until very think and voluminous, 4 to 6 minutes.
5)Scrape the whipped whole egg mixture on top of the whipped white mixture, then sift the flour mixture over the top. Very gently fold everything together with a large rubber spatula until just combined, about 12 folds. Pour the warm milk mixture against the side of the bowl and continue to fold batter until evenly combined and no streaks of flour remain, about 8 folds.
6) Immediately scrape batter into prepared pans. Bake the cakes until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 12 to 18 minutes. (Do not rotate cakes while baking)
7) Immediately run a knife around the edges of the cake and flip them out onto a parchment lined plate to protect the delicate top. Peel off the parchment paper and transfer cakes onto a cooling rack. Cool completely, about 2 hrs before filling or frosting.