Labor of Love
Moving on, we were hosting a baby shower for a colleague at work and I volunteered to bake something. After perusing pinterest for inspiration, I decided that I would try to make my mom's famous birthday cake recipe from Betty Crocker (not to be confused with the Betty Crocker Cake mix that can be purchased at Loblaws or Gristedes).
I sincerely hope that my co-worker's labor goes better than my cake. This cake itself was a labor of love. Like Alana's drawers, I appreciate absolute perfection, this cake did not.
Everything was going well until I went to remove the two cake layers from the pans (which had been greased with Crisco). They were stuck, like really really really stuck. I used every apparatus in my kitchen including my fingers to pry the cakes out which resulted in some severe breakage and compromised the structural integrity. Most people, would have cried, I whimpered. I also crawled back into bed numerous times throughout the process.
Having recently attended a cake decorating class with Sherri, we were taught that you can fix anything with frosting. Here was my chance to put that theory to the test. I whipped up the Magnolia Vanilla frosting and after two batches of frosting and four coats - this cake came very close to perfection (minus the chunk that fell out several minutes before the cake was served, minus the crumbles of cake that were embedded into the first layers of icing and minus the icing ending up being a weird tint of mint green and not baby blue).
Here is the evolution of my cake:
In speaking with my advisor (my mom), she explained to me that I should have used Crisco, Pam with flour and parchment paper:
1. Place the cake pan on top of the parchment paper.
2. Trace the outline of the pan onto the parchment paper with a pencil.
3. Cut out the shape just inside the penciled line.
4. Butter or Crisco or Pam with Flour the pan, place the parchment on the bottom, and Butter/Crisco/ Pam with Flour again.
5. Follow the recipe to finish the cake.
A few additional tips - frosting did in fact save the day. The trick is to frost it with a thin layer at first and put it in the fridge to set for 20 minutes and then frost again. You can keep frosting until your cake looks perfect, it will hide any imperfections and mask the original shape of the cake.
Also, if your frosting is masking a colossal disaster, serve the cake straight from the fridge. I let mine get to room temperature and unfortunately this is why I lost a chunk of it prior to serving.
Last tip, don't use food color for the icing, use cake tints that our specially made for frosting.
Here is the recipe, better luck to you all. Also, for the record - my co-workers devoured it and gave it two thumbs up!
Betty Crocker’s Silver White Cake
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (Do not use self-rising flour in this recipe)
1 2/3 cups sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup milk
2/3 cup shortening (Crisco)
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 egg whites
Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour rectangular pan, 13x9x2, 2 round pans, 9×1 1/2 inches, or 3 round pans, 8×1 1/2 inches.
Beat all ingredients except egg whites in large bowl on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly.
Beat on high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
Beat in egg whites on high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
Pour into pan (s).
Bake rectangle 40-45 minutes, 9 inch rounds 30-35 minutes, 8 inch rounds 23-28 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center.
Cool rectangle on wire rack. Cool layers 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.
Magnolia Vanilla Frosting