- Tried & Tasted -

Monday, 14 April 2014

I have found Christ, have you?

I did a trial bake for a church event. This time I was thinking of making a 8", 4 layers frosted cake. Knowing me, I usually do not make things simple for myself, I like to put a twist into the things I do (自找麻烦), either by adding healthful ingredients to the original recipe or make it look interesting. I was looking on the internet for some interesting ways to decorate cakes. And usually it involves decorating the outside of the cake. But lo and behold, I found this: http://iambaker.net/category/i-am-baker/. She made cakes that looked beautiful both on the inside and the outside. After being inspired by her, and since it was for church, I decided to make a cake with a hidden cross within. 

The recipe, from Cook's Illustrated, was quite easy to follow and was not as challenging as I thought it would be.The only difficulty I had was the 25 egg yolks that was leftover after making the cake layers and the Swiss meringue butter cream frosting. I told my husband that this cake can be made in tandem with either a kueh lapis cake(which uses 30 yolks for a 2kg cake) or a huge batch of ice cream. That will be in another post.

I baked the 4 white layers and 1 red layer. Assembling the cake was the tricky part. I needed to find the center of the cake layers.

I decided to use the Swiss meringue butter cream frosting because it yielded a very smooth frosting that stand up to the humid weather in Singapore and it was not too sweet. But it did involve more steps to make than regular buttercream.

After the layers were measured, cut, frosted and stacked, then came the frosting for the outside of the cake. To achieve the even, smooth and sharp edges, it requires a lot of practice and patience and that was what I do not have. I need to frost and re-frost a few times before I get to what you see in the pictures.

As for the design, I was thinking of keeping it simple. simple turned out to look child like. :( But when I cut into the cake the next morning, after letting the cake firm up in the fridge overnight, my anxious heart was at peace, seeing the cross within.

A teaching moments for me and my girls - 'No matter how we looked like on the outside, if we have Christ within us, all is well. Amen'

The cake is moist with tight crumb, like a pound cake but with way less calories (whose counting calories when eating cake anyway), as it is made from egg whites rather than whole eggs. I have a friend who told me that eating this cake makes her feel like she is eating a cake. 

Making this cake to me is like solving a mathematical problem. Hope you enjoyed journeying along with me through this post, solving this mathematical problem too. :)

As the week approaches Good Friday and enter into Easter Sunday, have you ever wondered why Christians celebrate Easter? What is the link between bunnies, chicks, eggs and pastel colored things with Easter? If you do not know or are wondering, I would encourage you to visit a church this coming Sunday and you will be able to find the answer. 

I have found Christ, have you? 

Christ's victory over sin and death and ours to claim.

The Perfect White Cake

Make two 8" round cakes
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup milk at room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but still cool
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8-inch cake pans.
  2. Make sure milk and eggs are room temperature.
  3. Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into medium bowl and mix with fork until blended.
  4. Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter, cut into cubes and continue beating on low for about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to flour mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat for about 1 minute.
  6. Pour batter evenly between two prepared cake pans.
  7. Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 27 to 30 minutes.
  8. Allow cake to cool to room temperature.

Swiss Meringue Butter Cream 
(adapted from Martha Stewart cupcakes)

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 198g plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 454g unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1. Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips)
  2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.
  3. With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day.
  4. (Optional) To tint buttercream, reserve some for toning down the color, if necessary. Add gel-paste food color, a drop at a time (or use the toothpick or skewer to add food color a dab at a time) to the remaining buttercream. You can use a single shade of food color or experiment by mixing two or more. Blend after each addition with the mixer (use a paddle attachment) or a flexible spatula, until desired shade is achieved. Avoid adding too much food color too soon, as the hue will intensify with continued stirring; if necessary, you can tone down the shade by mixing in some reserved buttercream.

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