The Goal: Light and flavorful vanilla wedding cake.
The Source: Vanilla Cake
I hadn’t quite decided yet what I was going to do this week. However, I had started test baking some cakes for another reason, and I discovered a remarkable cake recipe like I’ve never really experienced before, and I wanted to share it!
The first cake I used all purpose flour, sifted, but I think either my ingredients weren’t at room temperature and were still too cold, or I need to use cake flour, as it didn’t form a very light and fluffy cake. I decided to try again, this time making sure to put the ingredients out for at least an hour or two to make sure they’re all the same temperature.
On the first cake, I also decided to attempt a swiss meringue buttercream. However, when I was first cooking out the egg whites and sugar over the simmering water, I didn’t cook them out quite enough, so it was granular. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the general texture and flavor beyond that, so I decided to stick with a simple and delicious vanilla buttercream to coat future cakes.
My test subjects (AKA gaming group) also said the first cake didn’t have quite enough flavor. The second one, I added a whole vanilla bean, as well as the vanilla extract, and a tiny hint of almond extract. It doesn’t add a new flavor necessarily, but it adds a bit of interest to the flavor profile, and something that you can’t quite put your finger on when you taste it.
The method itself is fairly simple. Creaming together the butter, sugar and vanilla for an inordinately long amount of time, then adding the eggs one at a time. I did add one additional egg because I was using very small farm fresh eggs from young chickens.
Then add in the sifted dry ingredients and fold gently until smooth and creamy.
I think the flavor is perfect and I will keep that combination of extracts and pods and everything, but the texture needs more work. So I decided to attempt a third cake, this time with cake flour.
Also, instead of adding in the dry ingredients with the machine, I decided to fold them in by hand with a wooden spoon. I think this might have been the key, as finally the cakes managed to hold their rise and didn’t sink into density as soon as I removed them from the oven.
Next week I will be taking off, but the week following, I will be creating a birthday cake for my young nephew, and I will be using this recipe. I am also planning on brushing a simple syrup over them after taking them out of the freezer, as I believe this will help with any lack of moisture from the freezing process. I will be sure to share the recipes for the freakin’ delicious salted caramel buttercream and chocolate mint mousse I’m using as filling, and show you all a picture of the finished product! Exciting times ahead, lovelies, hold onto your butts.