Preconceptions About Making a Cake.

 

cake-mix-box

Don’t Do This!

Many people think that baking a cake is as easy as buying a box of mix and then adding water and a couple of eggs. True, this will produce a cake — if you can call a crumbly, messy disaster a real cake. But this is a far cry from the truly perfect layer cake. From scratch is the way to go. Ingredients make a huge difference. Technique is an incredibly important factor, too. With good technique and the proper ingredients, perfection is possible.

 

cake-batter-in-the-mixer

DO THIS!! 

 

Layer Cake Recipe

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE FROSTING

  • 16 ounces semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped
  • 2 2/3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup

FOR THE CAKE

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour, not self-rising
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups milk

FOR THE ORANGE CURD

  • 12 large egg yolks
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks), plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make the frosting: Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring cream to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Pour over chocolate and let sit, undisturbed, for 3 minutes. Gently whisk until combined and smooth. Whisk in the corn syrup.

  2. Let cool to room temperature, then transfer ganache to refrigerator and chill, stirring frequently and scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula, until slightly stiff and cool enough to spread, about 1 hour. If frosting becomes too firm, briefly place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until desired consistency is reached. Frosting should be smooth and spreadable, but not runny.

  3. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans; line the bottoms with parchment paper. Butter parchment and dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside. Into a medium bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and then beat in vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until combined after each addition.

  5. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until the cakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 20 minutes. Invert cakes onto the rack; peel off the parchment. Re-invert cakes and let them cool completely, top sides up.

  6. Make the orange curd: Combine yolks, orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice, and sugar in a heavy-bottom saucepan; whisk to combine. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula (be sure to scrape the sides of the pan), until the mixture is thick, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let mixture come to a vigorous simmer and cook, continually scraping sides of pan, for 2 minutes.

  7. Remove saucepan from heat. Add salt and butter, one piece at a time, stirring until smooth. If desired, strain through a fine sieve into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin forming. Refrigerate until chilled and very firm, at least 2 hours or up to 1 1/2 weeks.

  8. Assemble cake: Using a serrated knife, trim the tops of the cakes to make level. Split each layer into two, for a total of four. Place bottom layer on a rotating cake stand and with an offset spatula, carefully top with 1/2 cup of orange curd, leaving a 1-inch border. Place the second cake layer on top, spread with another 3/4 cup of the orange curd. Repeat with the third layer; top with the final cake layer. Insert 3 wooden skewers into the top of the cake to secure.

  9. For the crumb coat, spread the entire cake with a thin coat of frosting using an offset spatula. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

  10. Spread the entire cake with remaining frosting, swirling to coat in a decorative fashion. Serve immediately, or refrigerate, covered with a cake dome. Let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.

 

 

 

Source – Layer Cake Recipe

Jack Be Frostin’ On Dem Cakes, YO!

frosting-the-cake

It doesn’t have to look like this.  Close enough will do.

Now this is where the fun is beginning! This is called the crumb coat. Take the layers out of the freezer. Unwrap the layers one at a time as you need them. Place the first layer on a cake board. Frost the cake all over with a light coat. This is the crumb coat, so it doesn’t matter if you get crumbs on the frosting or if the cake shows through. Think of this as the primer. Continue until all the layers are frosted and in place. Put the whole cake in the refrigerator for another half hour. This will really make the last beautiful coat much easier.

Remove the cake from the refrigerator. Drop a large amount of frosting on the top of the cake. This will be the final coat. Using a metal spatula, spread the frosting over the top. Then take some frosting with your spatula and, holding the spatula against the side at a 45-degree angle, spread the icing around the cake. You can put the cake board on a lazy Susan to help you turn it, if you’d like.

You should end up with frosting sticking up above the top layer. Use the spatula to smooth the frosting over the top of the cake. Dip the spatula in warm water and smooth out the top of the cake.

Cake Make Make Cake

WARNING!!!!!

DO NO ATTEMPT TO FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS WITHOUT A PROPER RECIPE!!!  THESE ARE ONLY BUT MERE TIPS ON HOW TO GO ABOUT YOUR CAKE MAKING PROCESS!!!

Once you have set out the ingredients, start with the butter. Cream that butter until it’s a lovely, creamy yellow. For best results, use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. When you get a perfectly creamy, buttery look, slowly add the sugar. Mix the butter and sugar together until they are light. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well.

When you mix the batter for your incredibly perfect cake, following the recipe until you are comfortable with the basics is a surefire way to make a great cake. Pausing the mixer to scrape down the sides with a spatula a couple of times during the mixing process will help you get everything in without making a mess. And this will ensure that the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

While the mixer is mixing the sugar and wet ingredients, you can make good use of your time by sifting the flour and other dry ingredients together into a separate bowl. Once you have combined the dry ingredients, it’s time to set the mixer to low and slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time, making sure each addition is completely mixed in before adding the next batch. Always start by preheating your oven. A preheated oven is key to even baking. If you throw a pan in an oven that’s still heating up, you will end up with a cake that is burned on the top and still batter on the bottom.

For a layer cake, grease two round cake pans. Then pour the batter into your prepared pans. Evenly divide the batter between the two pans and pop them into the oven. Position them as close to the middle of the oven as possible. This will allow for even baking. Set the timer based on the recipe. While you wait, take the time to prepare your favorite frosting recipe. Colored frosting can be a really refreshing change of pace.

When the timer goes off, testing the cakes with a skewer or cake tester is key to making sure you have baked the cake long enough to take it out of the oven. If the skewer comes out clean or with just some moist crumbs attached, take the cakes out. If not, set the timer for two more minutes and check again. Bake in two-minute increments, watching closely until the cakes are ready. Take them out and cool them in their pans on a rack.

When the cakes are cool, prepare them for decorating. Slide a knife around the edge between the cake and the pan. Invert each cake on a cooling rack. Then take a long serrated knife and carefully slice through the cake from one side to the other. This will create two layers out of one cake. Wrap each layer tightly in plastic wrap. Place the layers in the freezer for at least half an hour. This will make them much easier to work with.

Things to Consider When Making a Cake

Make sure all the ingredients are fresh.  It’s a good idea to set out all the ingredients in the beginning. That way, you don’t end up with a half-mixed batter only to realize you are out of eggs. An unplanned trip to the store (or the neighbor’s house) just might sour you on the whole baking experience.  Next, choose cake flour to increase the lightness of a cake or a whole wheat flour to increase the density of a cake. The kind of sugar you use can also make or break a cake. When you begin frosting the cake, it can be fun to add sprinkles or other decorations.  You’ll also need eggs, baking powder, butter and some good-sized pans to bake the cake in. Butter will grease the pans so the cake slides out, and the fat in the butter will meld with the sugar to make a cake that almost melts in your mouth.  The butter will need to be room temperature so that it can be creamed easily.  White sugar will make for a very light and airy cake, but for a cake with depth of flavor and texture, choose brown sugar. Chocolate cakes are especially good when made with brown sugar, as the molasses taste of the brown sugar deepens the chocolate goodness.