Perfect Party Cake

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Perfect Party Cake (Dorie Greenspan Recipe)

Perfect Party Cake (Dorie Greenspan Recipe)

I've joined an online baking community - Daring Bakers! Each month, members make the same recipe and post them on the same day! To learn more about it, or join yourself, check out their website.

This month, Morven selected the Perfect Party Cake from Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours (page 250). What a perfect challenge...I just bought the book and have been going through a lot of the recipes lately.

Of course, my procrastination gene came out full force... although we have a month to complete the challenge (just post it on the same day) I baked and posted on the same day! Luckily, it's my dad's 76th birthday tomorrow so I had a perfect occasion for the perfect party cake!

Perfect Party Cake (Dorie Greenspan Recipe) Perfect Party Cake (Dorie Greenspan Recipe)
Trial #1 - Not-so-perfect party cake

I did try to make the cake on Wednesday night, but the cake came out sooooo flat. I read some other bakers had the same problem...but most of them were using all-purpose flour and not cake flour. However, I used all the correct ingredients (Swan's cake flour and buttermilk) with no substitutions. I don't know what happened!

Perfect Party Cake (Dorie Greenspan Recipe) Perfect Party Cake (Dorie Greenspan Recipe)
Yesterday, I tried again and brought all the ingredients to very room temperature in case that was the problem. I creamed the butter first and then added the lemon sugar. Also, I switched from the recommended 9-inch pans to smaller 8-inch pans. This time, I got more lift!

Perfect Party Cake (Dorie Greenspan Recipe) Perfect Party Cake (Dorie Greenspan Recipe) Perfect Party Cake (Dorie Greenspan Recipe) Perfect Party Cake (Dorie Greenspan Recipe)
Buttercream in motion! Start with egg white and sugar, whisk over a double boiler for 3 minutes (until 160 degrees to kill any yucky stuff), beat for another 5 minutes on the KitchenAid and then drop in three sticks of butter. It curdles a bit, but it all comes together with lots of beating!

Perfect Party Cake (Dorie Greenspan Recipe) Perfect Party Cake (Dorie Greenspan Recipe) Perfect Party Cake (Dorie Greenspan Recipe) Perfect Party Cake (Dorie Greenspan Recipe)
Assembling the cake...jam, frosting, cake and repeat.

Perfect Party Cake (Dorie Greenspan Recipe) Perfect Party Cake (Dorie Greenspan Recipe)
Sweetened coconut is placed on top of the buttercream. However, next time, I'm going to skip the coconut as I'm not the biggest fan of coconut.

Perfect Party Cake (Dorie Greenspan Recipe) Perfect Party Cake (Dorie Greenspan Recipe)
I liked the taste (I pushed the coconut off my slice! :) but I felt the raspberry jam was a bit overpowering. I bought this raspberry seedless jam imported from England from Surfas for $7.50. It is a nice jam for shortbread cookies, but I think I should have listened to Cook's Illustrated who rated Smuckers the best raspberry jam.

Here is a photo of my niece and nephews and their grandpa at the Hof's Hut for birthday breakfast! Happy 76th Birthday Dad!

Dad's 76th Birthday

P.S. Whew! Although I'm late in some parts of the world, I still made it under the wire by Los Angeles Daylight-Savings time! Can't wait for the next challenge!
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9 comments:

Andreia Sousa said... [Reply to comment]

Hi!

Congatulations on the cake. It looks perfect for the party you had.

~Amber~ said... [Reply to comment]

Beautiful cake! Congratulations on yet another successful challenge.

Bridget said... [Reply to comment]

It looks great! Using 8-inch pans made for a really tall, impressive cake.

marias23 said... [Reply to comment]

What a perfect, fluffy cake for a perfect occasion! May I add that you have a a beautiful family :)

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Mary -
The kids are so big and beautiful!!! Happy birthday to your pops!

Sumi

Sweet and Savory Eats said... [Reply to comment]

Great job! It looks perfect.

Claire said... [Reply to comment]

What a beautiful family you have! I love the picture of the cake with the flower...so springy!

Gabi said... [Reply to comment]

Why yes that is a Perfect
party cake! Lovely layers. Happy birthday to your Dad!
xoxo
Gabi

Maria Cosby said... [Reply to comment]

I love this cake! I made it once for Valentine's Day and had the same problem that you did on your first attempt (I used cake flour). I still built the cake up (using the same jam that you did which I loooooove!) and it tasted wonderful.

Your cake turned out fabulous and has inspired me to try again!

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