Monday, October 15, 2012

Lady Baltimore Cake

I was enlisted by my mother to make a Birthday cake for my Oma (grandma) recently, who just turned 89 years old! Wowza- and that's nothing if you compare her to my Opa, who is now 93! I have to admire them, they are still living in their home with not much support other than a house keeper and the occasional drop-ins from family. Unfortunately that doesn't mean they're doing great anymore, and so we cherish the times that we do have together.

I had a lot of things go wrong with this cake- so I can't honestly comment on how it might have turned out had everything go smoothly. For starters, the raspberry curd that I was going to use for the filling never thickened up as much as I wanted to. I attempted to thicken it further by cooking it down more and creating a slurry (mixture of cold water and corn starch) to add in, which seemed like it might have worked at first. However, for some reason later on clumps of cornstarch started appearing (despite my using the correct slurry) and you could taste the cornstarch. So if anybody has any hints or tips as to why this happened, you can let me know. THEN, I didn't read the directions properly and failed to whip the egg whites (added them into the butter-sugar mixture), which is what contributes to a light and fluffy cake. And lastly, about 5 minutes into baking the cake I accidentally turned the oven off without realizing it until 20 minutes later, so I'm not sure how that affected things. Regardless, the cake tasted fine but was somewhat dense and a little dry- which I attribute to the non-whipped egg whites and the baking time.

ANYWAYS, I imagine that the cake would taste amazing if done correctly, so I'm still going to give you the recipe! I divided the original recipe to fit 2 6-inch pans (to make a 4 layer cake). You also can use really whatever you'd like for the filling, but I think something light and fruity works best. I used a Vanilla Italian Meringue Buttercream that I have used many times before, which you can find in my post on Strawberry Cupcakes. Simply multiply the recipe by 1.5 x if using a different filling for the cake, and you will have enough.

Yield: 1 9-inch cake
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
grated zest of one lemon
3 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
6 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 9-inch cake pans with shortening or butter and line bottom with parchment paper. Grease on top of the parchment paper and flour lightly.

Cream butter, sugar and lemon zest together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in a separate bowl and set aside.

Combine milk, water and vanilla. Add a third of the flour mixture to creamed butter mixture, alternating with the milk mixture until everything is incorporated. Beat until just smooth.

Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff and gently fold into batter. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The cakes shouldn’t get very brown on top. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then transfer cakes to wire wracks to cool completely.

Source: Sing for Your Supper

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