tags: Amazing, cake, cream cheese, Delicious, frosting, icing, probably the best thing to happen to a kitchen
In retrospect, this entry may seem trite and kind of stupid. But let me tell you something my little shits, hindsight is always 20/20. Two weeks ago from tomorrow as far as i was concerned THE WORLD WAS GOING TO END. As you can imagine, this is somewhat bad news for a youthful boy like me with his entire life ahead of him (well, aside from the fact that i probably have a mild case of Alzheimer’s, my hair is falling out, and i think i have arthritis in my knees) (actually, more realistically i’m probably knockin’ on Heaven’s door. Whatever.) . Well anyways, i have goals – I want to get out of the Navy, i want to become a pilot, i want to have a garden that yields multiple 500 pound pumpkins and i want some damn backyard chickens! Is that too much to ask?
Apparently not, because God called the whole thing off. Whew. Anyways, before i knew that God canceled the end of the world, i decided that if i was getting taken out by the Almighty, i might as well celebrate. So i baked a cake to outshine all other cakes. It put all other cakes to shame. Other cakes came from miles around to bow before it – and then God smite those cakes for idol worship.
Seriously, this cake is amazing.
The only flaw in this otherwise glorious came ironically comes from it’s creator’s hands (that’s me, for all of you not paying attention out there). I am not a cake decorator. I am also not a chef, but i can at least delude myself to some extent because i as well as other people enjoy eating my food. There is no mistaking the fact that i am not a cake decorator. If you have ever seen my handwriting (which looks like Andy’s from Toy Story), just translate that over to decorating a cake and you’ll have a good idea. It looks like you gave a 5 year old a pack of crayons and told him to go to town on a blank sheet of paper.
HOWEVER, this does not in any way decrease from the awesomeness that is the Apocalypse Cake, because it still “takes the cake” so to speak in every other department other than design.
Joy of Cooking has this to say about the cake:
This recipe is amazing, in that it can be multiplied by 8 and still give as good a result as when made in the original quantity. We once saw a wedding cake made from this recipe that contained 130 eggs and was big enough to serve 400 guests.
Ok, I think i’ve built it up enough. Now it’s time for you to make it!
One of the most important things to realize about cooking in general, but baking especially is that it’s all chemistry. Different chemicals reacting to each other and to the heat (or cold if you are chilling something) transforms the ingredients into a finished product. Just like when working in a lab with test tubes, it is important to follow certain instructions. I am all about flying by your coattails on this blog, but you need to have the knowledge to know what rules need to be followed and which ones were made to be broken.
This is a rule that you should follow: All of the ingredients for this cake should be at room temperature, about 70 degrees. This keeps the butter at just the right consistency. Cold butter will not disperse properly, melted butter will prevent the proper incorporation of air into the batter.
One final thing – The original recipe makes way too much cake for a prudent person to have around the house, so i halved the recipe when i made it, hence the sometimes weird measurements of ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk together thoroughly in a medium bowl1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour 2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt
Combine in a separate bowl1/2 cup milk 1
tsptbsp vanilla paste (you can use vanilla extract if you must, but if you don’t at least make an effort to find vanilla paste you are a terrible little shit) 1/8 – 1/4 tsp almond extract flavoring
Now, this next part is important. This is where we beat the butter and sugar together. This is a bit of an art, which i will detail here.
Creaming butter and sugar is the essential first step in mixing butter cakes: The butter and sugar are beaten together until the mixture appears lighter in color, smooth, even, and creamy or fluffy, because of the incorporation of air. While creaming the sugar crystals cut air holes in the fat;m these holes, or air bubbles, are essential because they will expand with leavening gases during baking, enabling the cake to rise. Regular granulated sugar, not confectioners’ or superfine sugar, must be used. Well-creamed butter and sugar creates the initial structure of the batter, enabling the addition of other ingredients without causing that structure to collapse.
The butter is creamed with the sugar, which is added gradually, until lightened in color and texture; this takes from 3 to 10 minutes on medium-high speed, depending on the quantity of ingredients and the type of mixer. (For heavy duty mixers with a choice of paddle or whisk, use the paddle; the lower times and speeds given in a recipe will apply.) When adding the eggs, if they are added too fast or if they are too cold (i.e. not room temperature), the emulsion with the butter “breaks” and the mixture looks curdled. If this happens, volume may be lost and the cake may suffer in texture. Turning the mixer briefly to a higher speed can sometimes smooth out the batter and restore the emulsion.
Beat in a large bowl until creamy1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
Gradually add and beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes:1/2 + 1/3 cup (or 13 1/3 tbsp) sugar
On low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the milk mixture in 2 parts, beating until smooth. Using clean beaters, beat in another large bowl on medium speed until soft peaks form:4 large egg whites 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Gradually add, beating on high speed:2 tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp sugar
Beat until stiff but not dry. Use a rubber spatula to fold one-quarter of the egg whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining whites. Pour the batter into a greased (with shortening) 9×9 square baking dish.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. After removing the pan from the oven, cool the cake briefly in the pan on a rack about 10 minutes, then cool completely out of the pan, on a rack. Turn the pan over a plate or another rack or put a plate on top of the pan and then flip gently.
I used two different kinds of icing to finish this cake off. First i slathered it with some Cream Cheese Frosting, then I decorated it with some Creamy Decorative Icing.
To make the Cream Cheese Frosting, combine in a food processor and pulse just until smooth and creamy. You don’t want to overbeat the cream cheese, and make sure the cream cheese is really cold – not softened. Make sure the butter is at room temperature, and sift the confectioners sugar after measuring:4 ounces (1/2 package) cold cream cheese 3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened 2 tsp vanilla paste 1/8 tsp almond extract flavoring 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
If the frosting is too stiff, pulse for a few seconds longer; do not over process.
Spread the frosting over the cake using a spatula, butter knife, drift wood, or whatever else you find helps you accomplish the task with relative ease.
To make the Creamy Decorative Icing, sift into a large bowl:2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Add and mix well with an electric mixer:1/4 cup vegetable shortening 2 to 4 tbsp milk or heavy cream 1 tsp vanilla paste 1/2 tsp almond extract flavoring
Continue beating until icing is smooth. It will be slightly stiff. Add more liquid for the proper consistency if needed. Spoon icing into decorator’s bag and pipe onto cake in whatever designs you desire!
After you finish this cake you need to clear your schedule, because it takes a while to eat an entire cake by yourself - which is exactly what will happen no matter how firm your resolve to only eat one piece. It may be wise to actually have someone in the house with you to bring you out of your delicious cake coma, but what will actually end up happening in all reality is that the both of you will fight each other to the death for the last piece of this phenomenal gastro-culinary perfection. Which reminds me, I am NOT responsible for deaths resulting from the deliciousness of this cake.