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!
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!
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!
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!
Assembling the cake...jam, frosting, cake and repeat.
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.
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!