Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Red, white and blue cake


If your Fourth of July is as happy as this cake is, then I'd say you're having a very good holiday. 

Since I'm not too much a fan of summer, I had nothing better than to work on my coloring/crafting skills, perhaps in a sincere endeavor to make up for lack of a few years' worth of July Four posts.

Not to reduce this beautiful display of pastry art to mere simpleton aspirations/techniques. Though, it may stem from a likeminded concept- to just. let. go. Like you would in a situation you've nil control over. When doing so, it gives you that creative edge and an end product with enough enterprise, in varied texture, taste, mouthfeel and crumb. Yes, people, the party in your mouth can be a true story.

Today's cake is designed with the flag in mind, decorated in patriotic berries, purchased specially for the purpose. It warrants the standing ovation, open mouthed aaahhss!, a possible salute or two, and  can be assured total Grand Entry Status to any venue it's showcased at.

The three layers are noticeably distinct from one another, not only visually, but in flavor nuances a trio of independent cakes should give off. The blue and red are velvet cakes. I used separate recipes, because I wanted to have more of a cocoa touch in one and less in the other. The white layer is lemon-ish and has enough stand-out quality to perk up anything that might be taken for granted in this three ring show. 

I bid you to try, then thank me later.

Happy fourth y'all🎉 🎇 and happy birthday, America🇺🇸

Recipes will be soon be up💥 Update July 4, 2019 *** They are up*** Scroll down to see⬇︎
Red velvet cake-
(Adapted from Live Well Bake Often)
Ingredients:
  • 2 ⅔ cups cake flour 
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup salted butter 
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs 
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3-4 tbsp no-taste red gel food color
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • ⅓ cups buttermilk 
Red cake -
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.
  • In a large bowl, sift together cake flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. 
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, eggs, oil, red food color, vanilla extract, and vinegar.
  • With the mixer running on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Make sure to mix each addition until just combined.
  • Distribute batter between prepared cake pans. 
  • Bake at 350°F for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Place cakes in their pans, on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. 
  • Remove the cakes from the cake pans and invert cakes onto the racks directly to cool.
Vanilla(white) cake-
(Adapted from Joy Of Baking)
Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • zest of one lemon, finely grated
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup whole milk
  • ⅔ cup vegetable oil

Vanilla cake-
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.
  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt.
  • In mixer, cream together sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Stir together the milk and oil.
  • With mixer running on low, alternately, add the dry ingredients to the batter in three additions with the milk mixture, starting and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined.
  • Distribute batter between pans.
  • Bake for 25- 30 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Place cakes in their pans, on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. 
  • Remove the cakes from the cake pans and invert onto the racks directly to cool.

Blue velvet cake:
(somewhat adapted from Food Network's Blue velvet cake)
Ingredients:
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp royal blue gel food color
  • 1 toothpick amount violet gel food color
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
Blue cake-
Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.
  • In a large bowl sift together flour, cocoa ,baking soda and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer ( or handheld mixer) cream together oil, sugar, coconut sugar, food colors, vanilla, vinegar and eggs.
  • With the mixer running on low, alternately, add the dry ingredients to the batter in three additions with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined.
  • Distribute batter between prepared cake pans. Bake 28-30 minutes or until cakes have pulled away from sides and toothpick inserted in center of cakes is clean.
  • Transfer cakes to cooling rack. Allow cakes to cool in pans for 10 minutes, after which remove from pans and place directly on racks to cool to room temperature.
Soaking syrup(optional)
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tbsp rum
Soaking syrup
Instructions:
  • Bring water and sugar to a boil until sugar dissolves. Let simmer for an additional minute. Turn off heat and add alcohol.
Cream cheese frosting-
Ingredients:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp heavy cream
Cream cheese frosting
Directions:
  • Beat  cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  • Add sugar and vanilla until frosting is light and fluffy. 
  • Beat in heavy cream until well combined.

Whipped cream frosting-
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Whipped cream frosting-
Directions:
  • Beat 2 cups heavy cream until until it starts to become thick.
  • Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Assembly:
Stack cakes with red cake at the bottom, white in the middle, blue on top. Brush each layer with cooled soaking syrup. Fill and frost between the cakes between with cream cheese frosting. Ice the entire cake with sweetened whipped cream.
Decorate with berries or fruit of choice.

Notes:
Eggs, butter, milk and buttermilk should be at room temperature.
No buttermilk? No worries :-) Combine 4-5 tablespoons of regular milk in enough plain yoghurt to equal the amount required in the ingredients.
It is beneficial to line the bottom of your cake pan with parchment. Just trace out a parchment circle using the cake tin as your guide and place it in after the pan is greased and floured. Be sure to remove before you frost.
Tap the pans on the counter 2-3 times before cakes go into the oven to remove any air bubbles.
If you are baking all the cakes in succession, then one preheat is fine and the oven will remain on throughout your baking. That being said, you can space out baking the layers. Cakes can be made several days in advance, sealed with wrap and stored in the freezer.
When whipping heavy cream, chill bowl and blade (s) in freezer for 5-10 minutes prior to beating. 
Each recipe yields 2 cakes, which in my household is not a problem. Desserts are dietary requirements here, so I freeze the extras, including any shaved off remnants, in lots of plastic wrap for later use.

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"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12(NIV)