Sunday, August 8, 2010

Master Recipe

  You probably know by now that I love baking.  My favorite cakes to make are prepared with the one-bowl method.  Using this method, you can make a homemade cake as easily as using a boxed mix.  And you should want to make homemade cakes because boxed cakes taste cloyingly similar, it's like they came from some sort of fascist bakery.  Also, with homemade cakes you have control over the ingredients.  You can choose to make a cake with varying amounts of sugar, flour or eggs.  You also have control over how much cake you are making.  If I am baking for a party I make a 9-inch 3 layer cake and if I am having only a few friends over I'll make an 8-inch layer cake.  I have the recipes for each of these sizes of cake as well as everything in between.

  The recipe for today will be for a 3 layer cake.  When I was in Philadelphia a couple weeks ago, I made this cake for my nephew's birthday.  For Eddie's cake I made it plain vanilla with chocolate frosting and  I baked it in a 9x13 layer pan, to make it easier to serve and store.  When I got back from Philadelphia, I had another birthday cake to make.  This one was for Gillie, my mother-in-law and I made a coconut cake.  Again I baked it in a 9x13 layer pan.  But this time I used 2/3 of the batter for the layer cake and used the remaining batter to make mini bunt cakes. 

  And I have another birthday cake to make later in August.  It is for John's niece, Mia.  She wants an orange cake like Gillie makes.  I knew that Gillie's orange cake was a one-bowl cake, but I wanted to know how she flavored it so I could doctor my Master Recipe.  So I spent the afternoon with her and she told me her secret recipe.  Details to follow. 

Here's the recipe:

Triple-Tier Party Cake 
from Spry Shortenings' pamphlet, 10 Cakes Husbands Like Best, no date.

2 3/4 c cake flour [I use Soft-as-silk]
1 3/4 c sugar
2       t  baking powder
1/2    t  salt
1       c Spry [Since Spry is no longer sold, just use your favorite vegetable shortening]
3/4    c milk
1       t  almond extract
1       t  orange extract
4          large eggs
1       c  finely cut coconut [OPTIONAL]

1.  Prepare (3) 9" cake pans and preheat oven to 350°F.
2.  Dry measure the dry ingredients into your mixing bowl and stir to thoroughly combine.
3.  Add the Spry and cut into the dry ingredients.
4.  Add the milk, flavoring and 1 egg.   Beat on high speed for 2 minutes.
5.  Add the remaining 3 eggs and beat an additional 2 minutes on high speed.
6.  Stir in the coconut.
7.  Divide among three 9-inch layer pans and bake for 25-30 minutes.
8.  Frost with 7 minute frosting and sprinkle with coconut.

*   If you want to make a plain vanilla cake, use 2 t vanilla extract and don't use the coconut.
*  To make Gillie's orange cake:  Add 2 T of grated orange rind and 1 T of orange juice and change the flavoring to 2 t orange extract.  Also, don't add the coconut.  But you can if you want!  : ) 

Fool proof Seven Minute Frosting

You will need to have a hand mixer that can reach the stove top, a large metal bowl and a large sauce pan.

2 t powdered egg whites
1 1/2 c sugar
2 T water
2 t light corn syrup
1/8 t cream of tarter
dash of salt
1/3 c water
1 t flavoring extract

1.  Combine all ingredients into the metal bowl and stir until the sugar is mostly dissolved. 
2.  Add 2 cups of water in the large sauce pan and bring the water to a boil.
3.  Place the metal bowl over the boiling water and turn burner to low.
4.  Beat the egg white mixture with the electric hand mixer on high for at least 7 minutes.  At the 7 minute mark the mixture should be fluffy, yet firm enough to spread. 

I've tried making this with fresh egg whites, but the result is very drippy.  If you use egg whites use less water.  With powdered egg whites I know exactly what I am getting each time.  Save yourself a headache and get some powdered egg whites.

Gillie's Orange Frosting

2 Lb bag of confectioners sugar
1 T grated orange rind
1/4 c soft butter, Spry or oleo

1.  Combine the sugar, orange rind and butter into a large bowl.
2.  Cut the butter into the sugar.
3.  Add milk a teaspoon at a time and beat with a spoon until the mixture is spreadable.  ONE EXTRA TEASPOON OF MILK CAN MAKE YOUR FROSTING A SOGGY MESS.  BEWARE!

Note:  I think this will frost a large triple-tier cake.  I doubled Gillie's original recipe which frosts an 8-inch tube cake. 

That is the recipe. Please leave comments, especially if you make this recipe. 


P.S.  You may want to read my entry on Devils Food Cake from January 9, 2010.  It is also a one-bowl method cake.