Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, Geneviève!

It's a little surreal for me right now... my baby girl is 9 years old today, and I'm about to pop with baby #3 any time!  Luckily for Geneviève, this baby stayed in long enough so that I could make a half-decent birthday cake for my special little lady.

I asked for a bunch of recipe ideas on my Facebook page and got some fantastic ideas (you should really check them out if you love cake, and really, who doesn't love cake?)  Unfortunately, I was limited by the ingredients in my pantry, so I couldn't try out some of the fabulous suggestions.  I did, however, have a supply of mango buttercream in the freezer that my fancy chef sister left here after making my mom's wedding cake in the fall.  I absolutely love my sister's raspberry mango wedding cakes, so I thought I'd use those flavours as inspiration for my adaptation of this recipe for a simple white cake.

3 c. cake flour (or apparently you could substitute with 2 1/3 c. all-purpose flour)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4 egg whites
1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
1 c. raspberry yogurt
4 egg yolks
1 tbsp. vanilla
red food colouring (optional)

Sift dry ingredients together and set aside.  Beat egg whites until stiff (3-5 minutes) and gently transfer to another bowl.  Beat butter, sugar, and yogurt until creamy, then add in egg yolks, vanilla, and food colouring and continue beating.  Gradually add dry ingredients, mixing well.  Using a spatula, gently fold in the egg whites.  Transfer to cake pans that have been lined with parchment paper.  (I only have two 8" cake pans so that's what I used, although the original recipe suggests using three 9" pans.)  Bake at 350 F (original recipe suggests 20 minutes, but since my cakes are smaller and there are only two of them, I baked them for about 35 minutes.)  Transfer to a cooling rack.

When cakes are cool, slice off the top of one cake so that it's flat.  Turn the other cake over so that you have two flat surfaces.  Spread one cake with raspberry jam, and the other with mango buttercream (my apologies, I don't have an actual buttercream recipe for you since my sister made it... but find a good one on the internet, and then mix in some mango purée.)  Turn the unsliced cake right-side-up and set it on top of the other cake (so your two fillings meet in the middle), and then ice with regular icing.  (Unfortunately my mango buttercream looked a little chunky after being thawed out, so it wasn't an option to ice the cake with this stuff, even though it tastes delicious!)

My icing skills are what some would consider appalling, so I whipped out the other bag of frozen goodness that my sister left in my freezer -- fondant icing!  I defrosted it, rolled it out on a floured surface, and then laid it on top of the cake and trimmed around the edges.  It's not as smooth and flawless as my sister's cakes are, but that's why people used to pay her the big bucks to make wedding cakes!  She can also make amazing sugar flowers and all sorts of fancy sugar designs.  I, on the other hand, can go buy some flowers to decorate my cake.
Happy Birthday to my amazing daughter!!
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