New School of Cooking - Pro Baking 1 - Class 6: White Cake with Italian Meringue Buttercream

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New School of Cooking - Class #6 Cakes & Buttercreams
Classic White Cake with Raspberry and Vanilla Italian Buttercream

I'm taking the Pro Baking 1 series at the New School of Cooking in Culver City (Los Angeles) this fall/winter. For Class 6, we talked cake and frosting!

We made a lovely white cake and I. Made. Italian. Meringue. Buttercream. Did you catch that? I made something I'm way scared of...Italian Meringue Buttercream!

Italian Meringue Buttercream involves heating up a sugar syrup to 235 degrees (soft ball stage) and pouring this into a whirling meringue - being careful not to hit the whisk or the side of the bowl. Pouring this boiling liquid into a KitchenAid is nerve racking, but (whoo hoo!) I did it! I've made Swiss Meringue Buttercream in the past, but this was the first time for the Italian. I'm like the United Nations of Meringue buttercream at this point!

After pouring in the hot sugar syrup mixture into the egg whites, beat until cooled. Then we added a pound of butter...4 sticks of butter. (I think it is self-preservation that I don't care for frosting and usually scrape it off...and save a zillion calories!) The biggest mistake people make is that after the butter is added, the frosting looks curdled and they think it is ruined. However, just keep beating and it will eventually work itself out and become smooth.

We took 40% of the Buttercream and added some of this delicious raspberry fruit puree.

New School of Cooking - Class #6 Cakes & Buttercreams New School of Cooking - Class #6 Cakes & Buttercreams
The rest of the buttercream was flavored with vanilla.

New School of Cooking - Class #6 Cakes & Buttercreams
We made two 8" white cakes and split them. The raspberry buttercream filled the layers...

New School of Cooking - Class #6 Cakes & Buttercreams New School of Cooking - Class #6 Cakes & Buttercreams
...and the vanilla buttercream frosted the outside. The offset spatula is a must for frosting! Instead of a turntable, you can put the cake on a cake pan.

New School of Cooking - Class #6 Cakes & Buttercreams
Remember in Class 5 we made Chocolate Cupcakes? Well, with all the leftover cake batter, a couple cakes were made...affectionately known as the "friendship cake"! :) Chef Carol, the instructor, whipped some ganache for the filling (oh. my. god. to. die. for.) and used the vanilla buttercream to demonstrate how to frost a cake. This cake was delicious!!

New School of Cooking - Class #6 Cakes & Buttercreams
Whoo hoo! Yummy cake! Dude, I love this class. It is a lot of fun, and I'm gaining a lot of confidence in my baking.

I'm not posting the recipes from class but they don't have special powers or ingredients...the class is more about technique (like I needed adult supervision for my first Italian buttercream! ;) These recipes by Martha Stewart for Italian Meringue Buttercream and White Cake are very similar to what I made in class. Cheers, Mary

Recaps of the New School of Cooking, Pro Baking 1 course:
Baking Therapy: Going back to school
Class 1: Quick Breads
Class 2: Custards
Class 3: Soufflés & Pate a Choux
Class 4: Tarts, Pie, Crisps and Cobblers
Class 5: Chocolate
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30 comments:

Mão na Massa said... [Reply to comment]

yumm! the cake is fantastic! :3

Jen said... [Reply to comment]

That chocolate cake looks awesome. So does the white one. I'd love to take a class like the one you're taking!

Beth said... [Reply to comment]

This class looks like so much fun! I've never tried italian buttercream--seems to be something that needs to go on the list!

Tamara Marnell said... [Reply to comment]

I'm scared stiff of frosting, too. I can barely manage a milk and powdered-sugar glaze for cookies; since I don't have a Kitchen Aid /or/ an electric hand mixer everything more complicated than that is a disaster waiting to happen. Actually, it's a disaster that has occurred repeatedly in the past =/ Your white cake looks gorgeous, but I must admit I really, really want a slice of that chocolate one.

Chef Aimee said... [Reply to comment]

What a beautiful cake!

Mary said... [Reply to comment]

I'm so grateful that you're sharing this with us :-). Your classes sound fabulous.

Federica said... [Reply to comment]

complimenti!! una delizia unica!!!

Trish said... [Reply to comment]

Oh I so envy you taking classes at a real school of cooking! Sounds rather bookish to me....as this is only something I would read or dream about! Someday....some day I might have enough time to do anything but work. Meanwhile, the baking takes place inbetween everything else that runs through my life...grin! Well done!

Mary said... [Reply to comment]

omigod...I must have a slice of that cake..I am so excited for you that you made italian meringue buttercream yourself...you go girl.

Janssen said... [Reply to comment]

Oh, this looks so so fun!

DailyChef said... [Reply to comment]

As always, your pictures make me crave dessert! The buttercream looks incredible.

Girl Japan: April Marie said... [Reply to comment]

That is one chic, adorable cake! Love the photo props.

Steph said... [Reply to comment]

SMBC is still my favourite because of how its so much easier to make! I'm really enjoying your baking school posts.

Janice said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks for sharing the results from your Pro Baking class. It must be fun to take risks with your baking in a "safe" environment. My daughter made a MS frosting where she had to add a hot syrup to whipped eggwhites, and I was glad she made the frosting before she could become "afraid" to do it. I would have passed the frosting by and missed out on something delicious. I can't wait to see what else you did in your class!

Memória said... [Reply to comment]

OMG! The cakes look fabulous!!!! I love white cake. Congratulations on making your first Italian meringue buttercream! I think I've made that frosting only one time, and I enjoyed every minute of it. :) I'll be looking forward to more creations!

ButterYum said... [Reply to comment]

Vanilla IMBC is my absolute favorite! Closely followed by strawberry and raspberry IMBC. Which ever flavor you choose, IMBC is remarkably stable if you heat your sugar syrup to 248-250 (as directed by Rose Levy Beranbaum, author of The Cake Bible).

Great job with your cake!

:)
ButterYum
PS - you might find a bench scraper more helpful in getting the buttercream on the sides of you cake smoother. Stop by and take a peak at what I mean.

http://butteryum.blogspot.com/2009/10/wedding-cake-for-my-baby-sister.html

Rachel said... [Reply to comment]

meringue buttercream is something that fails me most times...yours looks beautiful

Jelli Bean said... [Reply to comment]

This looks beautiful! I always use a large flat-bottomed bowl turned upside down as my turntable for frosting. It works perfectly and rotates nicely. If the cake board slips a bit, placing a damp dishrag underneath keeps that from happening. Good work! I would love to take a class like that.

Maria said... [Reply to comment]

That is a tall piece of cake. Can I have a fork please? :)

The Duo Dishes said... [Reply to comment]

That is not an easy buttercream to do, but you did it! You may have inspired a few others to try. :)

Anna M. said... [Reply to comment]

Nice! Ok, I really want to take these classes now. And what do you do with the cakes after your finish making them? My coworkers would hate me so much if I brought those into the library the next day :)

Eliana said... [Reply to comment]

I absolutely LOVE the swiss kind but the italian kind has aluded me. You've insired me to give it a whirl :)

Amy said... [Reply to comment]

This is so awesome - I SO wish I could take a class like this. You are so lucky to have this close to you! There's nothing like this in Dallas!

-Amy
www.singforyoursupperblog.com

steph- whisk/spoon said... [Reply to comment]

that cake's a beauty! love the princess pink raspberry filling!

Sherry G said... [Reply to comment]

I made a cake just like that! The raspberry frosting is so good right? Take a look at mine if you get the chance!

http://sherrystartscooking.blogspot.com/2009/09/white-celvet-cake-day-3.html

Di said... [Reply to comment]

Wow, that looks fantastic, Mary! I love raspberry. =) Great job on the buttercream. I think I've made Italian meringue buttercream once, but I'm usually lazy and do Swiss instead. Oh, and I love the tip about using a cake pan as a cake stand while frosting.

Trisha said... [Reply to comment]

I've always wanted to tackle IMBC, but have always been too scared of the hot sugar. Excellent job on getting this down pat! The cake looks perfect!

SUGAR B said... [Reply to comment]

Wow, I am impressed by these classes you're taking!

Ruchi said... [Reply to comment]

Wow, these classes sound great! How did you pick this school? I am thinking of taking this class, and trying to decide between new school, Chefs Inc, and Checf Eric's. I'd appreciate any inputs.

The Food Librarian said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Ruchi, A few other bloggers took the class and I spoke to one of them and they raved and raved. Especially about the instructor, Carol. She has been teaching for over 20 years. In this class, each student makes their own stuff. I really liked that part of the class. You can sit in and observe a class - I would try that! Hope that helps - mary the food librarian

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Thanks for visiting! Sorry for the word verification but I've been getting so much spam recently I hope the word verification helps. -mary

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