Cake 4: Upside Down Peaches ‘n’ Cream Cake

It’s ugly, but tastes good. It may have peaches in it, but don’t let it fool you – it is not healthy in any way. This thing is loaded with sugar and butter frmo top to bottom, and not even the sliced peaches can make up for how deliciously bad for you it is.

Cake

  • 2.25 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup real butter at room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 0.5 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 fresh peaches – peeled, cored, sliced
  • A small handful of brown sugar

Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup room temperature butter
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Directions

Mix all ingredients except the peaches together. Blend well. Grease and flour two round 9-inch pans. Toss the sliced peaches in the brown sugar, get them coated well. It will be very sticky. Line the bottom of each pan with the sugared peaches. Pour the batter on top. Bake at 325 degrees for about 40-45 minutes, or until browned. Once the cake halves have cooled, turn one upside down out of the pan so the peaches are facing up. Ice with the traditional buttercream frosting, then flip the second cake layer onto it. Bam – done.

Strawberry Mountain Princess Cake

This is not one of the weekly cakes for the 52 Cakes project, but instead a commissioned cake!

The heat and my impatience threatened to ruin this cake, but there is a very special little girl out there who is turning 6 who needed a pretty princess cake – so I stayed strong! I call this “Strawberry Mountain.” It’s a traditional pound cake recipe with fresh strawberry halves baked into each layer, with a strawberry puree sauce drizzled over the top of each. I made a delicious pink buttercream frosting with fresh strawberry puree mixed in. On top I have handmade white and red icing “jewels” and three biiiig whole strawberries to serve as the peak of Strawberry Mountain. Then, took it to the lovely family’s house and added a tiara and more jewels to take this cake to the next level for our pretty, pretty princess.

I learned a lot in this cake – like to be patient, wait for things to cool completely, don’t overmix, etc. It tasted great, but I have a lot of things I would do differently on the appearance next time. Regardless, I hope our now-six-year-old had a wonderful birthday party and enjoyed the Strawberry Mountain Princess Cake!

Strawberry Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 package of fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup room-temperature real butter
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Strawberry Sauce Recipe Ingredients

  • About 8-10 pureed strawberries
  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cup room temperature butter
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 drops red food coloring
  • About 3 fresh strawberries pureed

Cake Decoration

  • White icing
  • Red icing
  • Tiara
  • Fake jewels

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beat well. Blend in the sour cream. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir it into the creamed mixture and blend well. Spread the batter into greased and floured round pans. Press sliced strawberries into the top of the cake. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. In a small saucepan, stir the pureed strawberries, cornstarch and lemon juice to turn it into a sticky sauce. When the cakes have cooked, poke holes in it with a skewer and pour the strawberry sauce over it. For the buttercream frosting, blend the butter, milk, powdered sugar, vanilla together until creamy. Add the 2 drops of red food coloring and pureed strawberries and blend well. For thte icing flowers, I simply squeezed out a dollop of white onto waxed paper, and then squeezed out a small dab of red using a ridged cap and then tossed ’em in the fridge to solidify while the rest of the cake steps got done. Topped it with three whole strawberries, then adorned it with the princess tiara and gems.

Cake Fail: Cake #4 Postponed

So I had a lot going on tonight. I started baking the cake at about 10:15 or so. Turns out I had a British recipe… and my conversions weren’t so good… and I didn’t exactly have all the ingredients… so I tried to be clever and do some substitutions. Not only was the cake a complete and utter failure, but it might even be the worst dish I’ve ever created in my life. In. My. Life. So it’s midnight. Two hours, a huge mess and 12 bucks later… I’ve got this.

It’s ok. You can laugh. I did. It’s almost good enough to go on Cake Wrecks.

Lessons learned? No, 2.5 cups of margarine will not make up for the fact that you don’t have shortening or real butter. Forgetting to toss peaches in brown sugar to ensure they get caramelized is not “okay.” And tossing a crap ton of baking powder into the batter will not make up for the self-rising flour you forgot to buy. (“How bad could it be?” she asks. “Cakes are pretty forgiving,” she says.) This thing is downright gross.

Sorry dudes. Will have to reattempt with a better recipe and all the ingredients this weekend and make it up to you Monday. Peaches ‘n’ cream is still the challenge, and I’m up to it. You WILL have cake.

Update: The cake fail has been declared a state of emergency at the office.

Cake 3: Hot Orange Sauce Cake

Not hot sauce. Hot orange sauce. As in orange sauce that is hot. Get it?

Thanks to my colleague in the Print Design team, Mikey, for making the “Cash for Cake” box and QR code to make the 52 cakes project a little more affordable, and thanks to my colleagues who have tossed their spare change and bills in there so far. You guys rock!

Hot Orange Sauce Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 3 eggs (separate yolks and whites)
  • 1 cup sour cream (room temperature)
  • 1.75 cups sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • One orange worth of grated orange zest
  • Juice of two whole oranges (about 1 cup)
  • Juice of one whole lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 cup sugar

Directions

Orange Cake: Cream the room temperature butter and sugar. Add egg yolks, room temperature sour cream and the grated orange zest and beat until the batter is light and fluffy. Sift in the flour, baking soda and baking powder and mix thoroughly. Beat the egg whites in a separate container until they are a little stiff, then fold into the batter mixture. Pour your orange cake batter into a well-greased and well-floured round ring bundt pan. I emphasized the well-greased and well-floured because this may help you avoid what I ran into – a broken cake when I flipped the pan. Bake at 325 degrees for about an hour.

Hot Orange Sauce: Squeeze as much juice as possible out of two whole oranges, and combine it with the juice of a fresh-squeezed lemon. In a small saucepan, add the juices, 3/4 cup of sugar and a pinch of salt. Stir the sauce over low heat until the sugar dissolves into the mixture. Then bring the sauce to a boil for 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let stand for about 10 or 15 minutes, then turn it over onto a plate with a rim. Pierce the cake repeatedly and deeply with something like a wooden skewer. Spoon your hot orange sauce over the top of the cake slowly to soak it into the cake. This cake isn’t always beautiful, but it is delicious and tasty.

The cake alone is delicious, but that hot orange sauce moistens it up and takes it to a whole new level. The cake is even better the second day than the first.

Want to help me live the dream? Help support my adventure by funding cake ingredients and supplies with a small donation! 

Cake 2: Angel Food Cake with Fruit Floral Arrangement

This cake was perfect to serve for breakfast at the office. The angel food cake is naturally fat free, and the beautiful floral arrangement of fresh fruit and the plain low-fat yogurt as “icing” were the perfect morning treat for coworkers. The second cake idea drawn out of a hat by my colleagues was a cake “made of fruit.” I could have designed a cake shape out of just fruit, but I really felt that defeated the purpose of a cakes challenge. So I decided an angel food cake would be the perfect complement to some of my favorite things – fruit and yogurt. I was so fortunate to have my mother-in-law, Dawn, in town from beautiful South Carolina. She is a baker and chef extraordinaire, so having her by my side putting this beautiful cake together was truly a blessing. The inspiration for this cake was “architecture” — and let me just say that it didn’t turn out at all like architecture. There were spirals and such in mind for the original sketches, but given our deadline, it just wasn’t happening. What did I learn on this adventure? Cream of tartar is not, in fact, tartar sauce. And cartons of egg whites can’t be used in place of cracking your own egg whites for angel food cake because they’re pasteurized. Fascinating! Regardless of the obstacles, cake 2 was a huge hit.

Angel Food Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 12 egg whites whites
  • 1.25 c. sifted cake flour
  • 1.5 c. sugar
  • 0.25 tsp. salt
  • 1.5 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 0.25 tsp. almond extract

Directions

Angel Food Cake: In a mixing bowl, sift together cake flour and 3/4 cup of the sugar. Sift it really, really well. Put the 12 egg whites in another large mixing bowl and allow to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes or so. (Normally one would leave them sitting out for 15 minutes, but we wanted a denser cake to support all the skewered fruit, so thought maybe less room temperature time was better.) Beat egg whites with salt and cream of tartar, and the remaining 3/4 cup of the sugar, a little bit at a time. Beat it at high speed until the egg mixture forms soft peaks. Add almond extract and vanilla extract and beat that in. Then, sift in the flour/sugar mixture just a little bit at a time, mixing at low speeds until it is completely blended. Pour it into your ungreased tube pan. Cut through the batter a few times with a knife or spatula to level the center and remove air pockets. Back on the lower rack in the oven for 35 minutes (we baked closer to 40, again because we wanted a denser cake to support the fresh fruit) at 375° and it will be a little browned on the outside. As soon as you pull the cake out of the oven, turn the pan upside down to cool.

Decoration: We used a tall, cylindrical vase in the center of the cake and filled it with a whole container of lowfat plain yogurt, then filled it the rest of the way with fresh blueberries. We skewered sliced strawberries and raspberries and arranged them around the angel food cake. Then, we put green, purple and red grapes around the base of the cake and filled in the gaps. On the morning of the big reveal, I filled in the gaps with fluffy whipped cream and put a dollop of whipped cream on top of the blueberries with raspberries in it. Yum!

Want to help me live the dream? Help support my adventure by funding cake ingredients and supplies with a small donation! 

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