"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:27

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Buttermilk Layer Cake for Independence Day

I hope everyone had a great Independence Day!  I spent mine at church and heard two excellent sermons on how God can make you free.
My husband bought me an airbrush on Ebay a couple of months ago, but since I was planning my baby shower I had not had time to practice with it.  I thought a flag cake would be a lot of fun!  It looks kind of tie dyed doesn't it?  I still need a lot of practice, but it was a lot of fun, and my husband was having to help me a lot! 

First let me tell you about the cake I made.  I found this great new cookbook Bob's Red Mill Baking Book by John Ettinger.  My loving husband went online and found me a great deal on it.  You can get the book from their website  http://www.bobsredmill.com/bobs-red-mill-baking-book.html  or go to Amazon.com . Sometimes I want to try a new cake using whole wheat pastry flour, and what better place to get a recipe then from the company that puts the flour out?  I found a great recipe for buttermilk layer cake, it was delicious but kind of crumbly.  Here is the recipe:

Buttermilk Layer Cake
Makes two 9-inch layers or one 10-inch

*  2 1/2 cups sifted whole wheat pastry flour
*  2 teaspoons baking powder
*  1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*  1/4 teaspoon salt
*  13 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
*  1 1/4 cups sugar (I used palm sugar)
*  3 eggs, separated
*  1 teaspoon vanilla extract (not imitation)
*  1 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk

I had doubled my recipe, and I only had one cup of buttermilk left, so I had to make the other half with soured milk.  To make soured milk you can use either white vinegar or lemon juice.  I took one tablespoon of lemon juice and put it into my measuring cup and added my organic milk to the cup to make one cup of liquid.  Make sure you use a liquid measuring cup for liquids and a dry measuring cup for dry ingredients or your measurements will be off.

There is a difference between whole wheat pastry flour and whole wheat flour.  I always use organic flour.  The flour on the right is whole wheat pastry flour and is a lighter flour and does not have as much gluten.  It makes a lighter cake then regular whole wheat which is on the right.  Never use whole wheat pastry flour for bread making because there is not enough gluten.  You can use whole wheat flour for this cake, but it will have more of a cornbread consistency.

If you do a lot of baking, make sure you invest in a good sifter, especially if you use wheat flour.  You put all of the dry ingredients in the sifter and sift them together.  Whole wheat flour will have granules left in your sifter, THROW THESE AWAY, do not add them to your batter if you want a fluffy cake!  Okay, now on to the directions for the cake!  :)

Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature.  (Just pull everything out before you get started, this also helps to make sure you have all of your ingredients).  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease or line your pans with parchment paper.
(I always use three bowls to separate my eggs. The middle bowl I pour my whites into from the egg shell, and then pour the yolks into the left, and pour the whites out of the clear bowl into the bowl on the right. This is in case a yolk breaks, I don't have to pour my whites out and start over. I throw the shells into a bowl for my husband to give to our wild birds outside.)  In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Cream the butter with the sugar until light, about 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla.  

Beat the egg whites until stiff and set aside.  (do you notice how the egg whites can stand on it's own?)  Add a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, just to blend, then add half the buttermilk.  Repeat with another third of the flour, the rest of the buttermilk, and then the rest of the flour.  Gently fold in the egg whites.  (DO NOT OVER MIX YOUR CAKE BATTER OR IT WILL BE TOUGH!)

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake until the cakes are puffy and a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Cool the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans and allow them to cool directly on the rack.  (This is why I like Wilton's bake easy or even the cake release from Pam, I used the old fashioned grease and flour techniques, and they stuck and broke apart.)  I used Wilton's flag pan and 1/4 sheet pan.

I had a hard time frosting the cake because it was so crumbly, which is why I hid the sides with a zig zag border that covered the whole side.  I was not very worried about the middle since I knew the flag cake would cover it up.  I used "fluffy" icing which does not crust.  It tastes good, but is not as easy to get smooth as regular buttercream.

This was my first time to work with an airbrush, I do a lot of my experimental cakes on my friends at church!  I don't think they mind too much eating my experiments!  My husband said to always hold your airbrush like you would a pen or pencil and slowly work the little lever.  (I really do need to take an airbrush class!)  I covered my table to keep my table clean, and that night I noticed that the bottom of my feet were blue, I must have dropped some coloring on the floor, and I never wear shoes at home!  LOL 

 First I put parchment paper under my cake to keep the cake board clean.  I then colored the bottom layer blue.  Then I added the flag and colored my square blue then my red stripes.  If my icing had "crusted" I would have used parchment paper to make "stencils"

 By this time it was 10:45 and I had to leave for church in 15 minutes.  I was all ready, I just needed to add my stars.  I chose to make it a colonial flag, because it was faster!  :)  I added a border around my flag to hide all the imperfections where the two cakes met.  I then needed to pull off the parchment paper.  You can tell I started my stripes at the top.  I applied too much pressure and the color smeared.  The tie dye looks kind of neat though!

I was on my way to church, and even though I washed my hands after this picture was taken, they were still pretty red and blue!  I was still doing pretty good on time for church.  I needed to grab a piece of shelf liner to keep my cake from sliding, and I knocked an Izze over which landed on the ground, the lid popped off and and it squirted all over my shoes, up my dress, all over my arm and face into my eyes!  I had to splash my face with cold water to get the Izze off.  I did not have time to change clothes, but I was on time for church!  LOL!

A couple of pointers I learned:  1.  Make sure your parchment paper covers the entire board or your edges will be blue.  2.  Airbrushing highlights every imperfection of your frosting job.            I have to tell you the finale of my cake story.  For those of my friends who know me, they know sometimes what I am thinking in my head -does not come out of my mouth.  I held up the cake before I cut it at lunch time so everyone could see it first.  I wanted to say:  "Here is your Independence Day Cake", (remember that I go to a Baptist church and that my voice carries),  What I said is:  "Here is your St. Patrick's Day Cake!"  I still don't know why that came out of my mouth, but everyone sure got a good laugh about it!    Did anyone else have any interesting stories from this weekend you would like to share?  Any comments about my cake or questions? If you have any airbrushing hints I would love to hear them also please, I can use all of the help that I can get! I would love to hear from you so be sure to leave a comment!
Happy Baking!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You did a great job on the cake Missy, although crumble, it tasted good as always. And yes, the "Happy St. Patrick's Day" really go me going!! lol. Great post!!


"Oh taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him." Psalm 34:8