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A big beautiful cake that you can bake.

Light sponge or chocolate, for a special occasion, for up to 112 people

A large, elegant cake can provide a sumptuous finale to traditional spring celebrations. These tiered versions-designed by baker Carolyn Wail of Bette's Bakeshop in Berkeley-are lovely to took at and exceptionally good tasting.

Sensitive to the needs of the home cook, Weil has scaled cake-baking directions to accommodate any size group. Her knowhow is reflected in the recipes and charts that follow. With them, you can create a 6-inch birthday cake for 4 or a tiered

extravaganza for 112.

She offers two flavors-a light sponge cake filled with a tart lemon curd and frosted with whipped cream, and a rich chocolate torte studded with raspberries and cloaked in dark chocolate.

Time plan: bake, fill, frost

You can bake all the cake layers for either flavor up to I week ahead. Freeze them, unless you serve them within 3 days.

Two to three days before serving, make the lemon curd for the sponge cake or the ganache for the dense chocolate cake.

The next day, fill the lemon cake with the curd, then coat layers with the first round of cream. Hold in the refrigerator as long as overnight. For the chocolate cake, plaster the cake with a layer of cool, spreadable chocolate ganache. A final layer of warm ganache goes on when chocolate is firm-or cake can be chilled in this stage up to 2 days. Once the ganache is firm, layers can be stacked and held in the refrigerator up to overnight.

Frost flowers with sugar as carly as the day before the party.

The day of the party, put the final coat of cream on the lemon cake. Stack cakes if tiered; they can be kept in the refrigerator up to 6 hours.

When a tiered cake is too large to fit in the refrigerator, consider completing each individual layer at home, then stack layers, pipe on trim, and garnish at the serving site. It's often safer to carry the large masterpiece in individual parts.

What equipment you'll need

These cakes require round cake pans at least 2 inches deep. To make sure the larger pans will fit, measure your oven first. You'll find larger pans at cake-decorating supply stores (look in the yellow pages) or through mail-order catalogues. Also available through cake supply specialists are doilies, hardboard rounds, corrugated cardboard rounds, cooking parchment (also sold in supermarkets, near the waxed paper), and 1/4-inch wooden dowels (also sold in hardware stores). You can cut dowels with pruning shears.

Before you begin, make room in your refrigerator. Larger cake layers take up lots of space. Also, clean out strong-smelling foods; the cakes absorb odors readily.

How to multiply the recipes

First, determine the number of servings you'll need. A serving is a 2-inch square or wedge; plan for a few extras. Next, using the charts that follow, decide on the size and quantity of layers. Yield for each batch of batter varies slightly with type of mixer and baker's folding technique. Check chart for amount of batter required to fill pans.

Organize and measure your ingredients. We've limited the largest batch size (4 x basic recipe) to about 20 cups. You'll need at least a 6-quart bowl for that amount. This is more than enough to fill the largest pan.

When separating eggs, crack each individually into a small bowl in case a yolk should break; separate yolk and white, then add to those already separated.

For maximum volume, don't whip more than 6 egg whites at a time (you don't need to rinse bowl and beaters after each round). You can, however, combine all the egg yolk mixture in a single bowl if you have one large enough. Add whites, as whipped, to yolk mixture.

Lemon Sponge Cake

For amounts, pan sizes, and baking times, refer to charts.

Butter the bottom of a round cake pan or pans. Line bottom with cooking parchment or with waxed paper. Butter paper and dust with flour.

In a bowl (2 to 3 qt. for 1 x recipe), stir together extra-large egg yolks, butter, vanilla, and lemon peel. Set aside.

Measure extra-large egg whites, cream of tartar, sugar, and cake flour In a large bowl of an electric mixer at high speed, beat 6 whites (about 7/8 cup) and 1/4 teaspoon of the cream of tartar until mixture will hold very soft peaks, Gradually add 1 cup sugar, beatinguntil completely dissolved (rub whites between fingers to see if mixture feels smooth) and whites hold stiff, shiny peaks. Add whites to yolk mixture and sift 1 cup flour over whites; gently fold in. Repeat to whip remaining whites, and add remaining flour.

Spread batter into cake pans, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake in a 350[deg] oven until tops spring back when lightly touched. Bake on only 1 oven rack at a time if

layer is larger than 10 inches.

Set cakes on racks to cool. Cut around edges of cakes to release. Invert layers onto matching-size corrugated cardboard rounds. Peel off paper. If made ahead, wrap airtight and freeze up to 1 week.

With a long serrated knife, cut each layer in half horizontally (step 1 on page 209); as a cutting guide, push toothpicks around cake sides to mark. Brush off loose crumbs. Lift off top half. Spread cut surface with lemon curd (recipe follows) to within 1/2 inch of cake edge (step 2), using the amount specified for layer size. Replace top layer, cut side down, on filling. Repeat with remaining layers.

Make about 1/2 of the total amount of sweetened cream (recipe follows). With a long, thin spatula, spread top and sides of cakes with a thin, smooth layer of cream, using all (step 3). Chill in refrigerator until cream is firm, at least 40 to 60 minutes. If made ahead, cover, once cream is set, and chill until the next day. Whip another 1/3 of the total amount of sweetened cream needed and frost cakes with a second layer of cream, using all. If made ahead, chill up to 2 hours.

To assemble tiered cakes, set largest layer on a slightly larger hardboard, another corrugated cardboard round, or a flat plate covered with a large doily.

Plunge a 1/4-inch wood dowel straight down through a spot where you intend to set next layer step 4. (We arranged dowels so layers aligned at edge of cake; this requires less skill than centering layers.) Mark dowel so it is 1/8 to 1/4 inch taller than layer. Remove from cake and cut dowel at the mark with pruning shears. Cut additional dowel lengths (number depends on size of layer; use 4 or 5 for a 12inch layer).

Insert the dowel pieces into the cake layer several inches apart (step 5); these will support the next (smaller) layer.

Lay a piece of plastic wrap slightly smaller than the next layer on top of the dowels. Position that layer on the plastic (step 6). If you are aligning the layers offcenter, near the circumference, set in about 1/2 inch from edge of layer below; this leaves room for decoration to be piped on later. Repeat for remaining layers.

Slice lemons (see chart on page 210 for number) as thin as possible and remove seeds. Gently press slices around side of each cake layer (step 7); if slice is taller than cake, trim on 1 edge to desired height and place with cut edge down.

Make remaining 1/3 of sweetened cream, and spoon into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4- to 3/8-inch decorative tip. Pipe cream around base of each layer (step 8). Serve, or keep assembled cake in a cool place up to 2 hours; chill up to 8 hours. Decorate with fresh nontoxic flowers, plain or frosted (recipe follows).

To serve, lift off top layer if you want to reserve it for the honorees. Remove plastic wrap and dowels. Next, cut a circle 2 inches in from side of cake's top layer. Slice this outside ring into 2-inch wedges and serve. Cut another circle, 2 inches in from cut edge; slice cake into 2-inch wedges and serve. Repeat until you have a 3- or 4-inch section left in center, then cut into wedges. Lift off cardboard. Repeat to serve each layer. Carolyn Weil, Berkeley, Calif.

Per serving: 292 cal.; 4.9 g protein; 19 g fat; 27 g carbo.; 50 mg sodium; 225 mg chol.

Lemon curd. (See chart on page 210 for proportions and total amounts.) In a pan (1 to 1 1/2 qt. for 1 x recipe, 2 to 3 qt. for 4 x recipe), whisk together extra-large egg yolks, extra-large whole eggs, sugar, minced lemon peel, and lemon juice. Add unsalted butter.

Stir over medium-low heat until mixture thickly coats a metal spoon, about 8 minutes for 1 x recipe, about 20 minutes for 4 x recipe. Pour into a bowl and cover surface of curd with plastic wrap. Chill until cold, at least I hour or up to 3 days.

Sweetened cream. (See chart on page 210 for proportions and total amounts.) In a bowl, beat whipping cream on high speed with a mixer or whisk until softly whipped. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat until cream holds stiff peaks.

Frosted flowers. Select blossoms of nontoxic, pesticide-free flowers such as roses, orchids, or alstroemeria (Peruvian lily). Trim stems, leaving 1 inch. Gently rinse blossoms (avoid bruising) and drain, inverted, in a single layer on paper towel until dry. With a fine soft brush, gently coat petals with slightly beaten egg white (1 extra-large white will coat 8 blossoms, 2-in. size). Sprinkle with superfine or regular granulated sugar to coat petals. Dry on a wire rack at room temperature at least 2 hours or until the next day.

Bittersweet Chocolate Torte

For proportions, pan sizes, and baking times, refer to charts on page 214.

Butter bottom of a round cake pan or pans at least 2 inches deep. Line bottom with cooking parchment or waxed paper. Butter paper and dust with flour.

In the top of a double boiler or large metal bowl, combine the chopped bittersweet chocolate and unsalted butter and set over simmering water. Stir until melted.

In a bowl (1 1/2 to 2 qt. for 1 x recipe), beat extra-large egg yolks and 3/4 of the total sugar at high speed with an electric mixer or whisk until pale yellow. Add flour and mix well. Add chocolate mixture; stir until blended.

Measure extra-large egg whites, salt, and sugar. In a large bowl of an electric mixer at high speed, beat 6 whites (about 7/8 cup) and 1/4 teaspoon salt until foamy. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, beating until mixture holds soft moist peaks. Add to yolk mixture; gently fold together to blend. Repeat to whip remaining whites.

Spread batter into prepared cake pans, filling abOUt 213 full. Sprinkle raspberries evenly over the surface.

Bake in a 325' oven until a toothpick inserted in center of cake (not in a berry) comes out clean.

Meanwhile, if you plan to frost the cake the same day, make chocolate ganache (recipe follows). Pour 1/3 of the mixture into another bowl; set larger portion aside. Stir the small amount occasionally until cool (it should have the texture of whipped butter), about 2 hours for 2 cups.

When cake is done, let cool in pan on a rack (cake settles considerably as it cools). Press edges of cake down to make an evenly thick layer; or if needed, trim away edge to make top flat. To release, cut around sides of cake; invert onto matching-size corrugated cardboard round. Brush off crumbs. (If made ahead, wrap airtight and freeze up to 1 week.)

With a long, thin spatula, smoothly spread a thin layer of the chocolate ganache (from the small amount) over sides and top of each layer. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days; cover when ganache is firm. Combine any leftover ganache with reserved ganache. Cover; hold at room temperature up to 2 days.

About 30 minutes before adding the second coat of ganache, set mixture over simmering water, stirring often, just until warm (about 100[deg]), fluid, and the texture of heavy cream, If too hot and thin (it will melt first coat of ganache on cake), remove from water and let cool to about 100[deg], stirring occasionally,

Place 1 cake layer on a wire rack set in a larger rimmed pan; or, for large layer, set rack over 2 rectangular rimmed pans placed side by side.

Pouring in a continuous heavy stream, cover top and sides of layer completely with the liquid ganache; start at center, then move toward edge in a circular motion. Let stand until drips cease. Lift rack from pan, replace with another, and set another layer on it. Repeat until all layers are coated. Let stand until ganache firms, about 2 hours at room temperature, or I hour to the next day in the refrigerator. Scrape ganache drippings back into bowl. Let cool at room temperature untit the texture of whipped butter; reserve to use for decorative borders.

For tiered cake, assemble as directed for lemon sponge cake (preceding); omit lemon slices and sweetened whipped cream.

Spoon reserved ganache into a pastry bag with a 1/8-inch decorative tip. Pipe a border around the base of each cake layer. Serve cake, hold at cool room temperature up to 6 hours, or cover lightly and chill until the next day Just before serving, garnish with nontoxic, pesticide-free flowers or frosted flowers (recipe on page 212). Cut and serve as directed for lemon sponge cake (page 212).

Per serving; 406 cal.; 6.5 g protein; 32 g fat; 34 g carbo.; 81 mg sodium; 181 mg chol.

Chocolate ganache. (See charts above.) In the top of a double boiler or a metal bowl set over simmering water, combine chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate and whipping cream, stirring often. until melted and blended.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:May 1, 1989
Words:2357
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