My final class for the Wilton Course I was this past week. I present to you, my final cake:
It could be worse. My roses are a little limp b/c my icing wasn't quite stiff enough. And there are crumbs all over the cake (which at one point brought tears to my eyes...). And if I showed you a different picture, you would see it is leaning at a similar angle to a certain tower in Pisa. So, I still have some practice to do. BUT regardless of all of that, it tasted WONDERFUL! I got mucho brownie points from the guys at work for bringing this in. And the crumbs didn't seem to bother them one bit.
As for the Wilton class, I highly recommend it. This class went over the basics, but with just a little instruction on technique and some practice under my belt I am a completely different cake decorator. Ha - its easy to go up when you are starting at ground level. Seriously though, its worth it. At some point I may take the second class (flowers and borders), but our waistlines need a break over here.Strawberry Layer Cake
adapted from Good Things Catered
2 1/4 c. cake flour* (see substitution below)
3/4 c. strawberry puree, room temperature** (I made my own, see below)
1/4 c. milk , at room temperature
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 c. sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened (not melted)
* Cake flour is recommend. As a substitute: 1 c. cake flour = 1 c. all-purpose flour minus 2 Tbsp, plus 2 Tbsp cornstarch. So, 2 c. cake flour = 1 3/4 c. ap flour + 1/4 c. cornstarch.
** For the strawberry puree, I blended ~ 24 oz fresh strawberries with 1/4 c. sugar. This made ~2 cups? I used the rest for the filling (below), and still had some leftover. I would use half the amounts if you don't plan to fill the cake.
Bring 1 cup of the strawberry puree to a boil in a small saucepan. Wisk in 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch and let bubble for about a minute. Remove from heat, sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
1 recipe Wilton buttercream, or a buttercream recipe of your choice
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 8 in pans: line outside with heavy duty foil and spray inside with baking spray with flour. (I used 9 in pans.)
2. In small bowl, combine puree, milk, egg, vanilla and mix with fork until well blended.
In bowl of stand mixer, add sifted flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix to combine.
3. Continue beating at slow speed and add butter. Mix until combined and resembling moist crumbs.
4. Add liquids and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute or until full and evenly combined.
5. Stop mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl and hand beat for 30 more seconds.
6. Divide the batter evenly among the pans and smooth tops. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (time will vary).
7. Let cakes rest in pan for about 10 minutes and turn out onto wire racks. Let cakes cool completely (about 2 hours). (Now, make buttercream while they cool.)
8. When cakes are cooled, level tops. Pipe medium consistency icing 1/4 inch from the edge of one cake. Make this a thick/high line to accommodate the height of your filling.
9. Fill border with thin layer of buttercream. Top with a layer of the strawberry filling. Make this a good sized layer, but don't go any higher than the border you piped or else your top cake will slide around.
10. Top with second cake, top side down. The bottom is the smoothest part and is best to frost this as the top of your cake.
11. Dollop about 3/4 of the buttercream mixture onto the top of the cake and using a spatula, spread icing over the top and down the sides. Use additional frosting to ice the sides and fix any mistakes.
12. Wait until frosting forms a crust to decorate (about 30 minutes). You may need to make an additional recipe of buttercream to decorate with, depending on the design you have in mind.REVIEW:
This cake was SOOOO good. No one seemed to mind it was lopsided except for me. My top layer slid around on the strawberry filling a bit, but I think if I make the buttercream border thicker between layers I won't have that problem next time. Katie (where I got the recipe from) used chocolate buttercream, and I can only imagine that would be great as well.