Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Almond Cake with Strawberry Mousse from Life of a Modern Housewife

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Christy from Life of a Modern Housewife is guest posting today!  I had the honor of guest posting for her the other week!

 

Today I have the privilege of guest posting here at Southern Color.  Elizabeth and I knew each other from college; we were in the same sorority together.  We actually lived next door to each other in the sorority house, and that is where our friendship grew!  As you know, Elizabeth and Julia are wonderful people with great personalities and I absolutely love their blog!!!  It has been a great way for us to keep up with each other’s lives since we live in different cities. 

Today I’m going to share with you one of my favorite cake recipes and buttercream recipes, almond cake with white chocolate buttercream icing.  I love to bake!


So here’s to delicious cake and happy baking!

Almond Cake:
4 eggs
1/3 cup plus ½ cup sour cream
2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp. baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup finely  ground toasted almonds
1 cup sour cream
½ lb softened unsalted butter
½ cup walnut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 3 9-inch layer cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
In mixing bowl, combine 4 eggs, 12 cup plus ½ cup sour cream, almond and vanilla extracts.  
In another large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, soda and salt.  Add 2 cups sugar and ground almonds.  Stir together. 
Add 1 cup sour cream, ½ pound butter and oil.  Mix until creamy. 
Add egg mixture in 3 portions, beating after each addition for 1 minute and scraping bowl.
Spoon batter into pans, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let cake cool in pans for 10 minutes, and remove from pans and allow it to fully cool on wire rack.

White Chocolate Buttercream Icing:
18 oz white baking chocolate coarsely chopped
¼ cup milk
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup butter, unsalted & softened
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
8 cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup milk


Microwave chocolate with ¼ cup milk in microwavable bowl on medium-high for 1-2 minutes; stir chocolate halfway during cooking time.  Do not overheat.  Chocolate will continue to melt while being stirred.
Cream butter and shortening with electric mixer.  Add vanilla.
Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed.  Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often.
When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
Beat in chocolate.

To prepare cake:
You can either have 3 large cake layers, or you can slice the three 9-inch cakes in half creating a 6-layer cake.  Whatever your preference.  Once you have decided, using a spatula, add icing on top of cake and spread out evenly, then add another layer of cake.  Repeat until last cake layer is on top.  If you decide to use the mousse (recipe below) as the filling between the layers, I suggest putting some of the buttercream icing in a piping bag and cupler.  Squeeze out the icing 1/2-inch from the outer edge tracing it.  Then fill the mousse inside of the icing—the icing makes a border so that the mousse does not squeeze out between the layers.

When fully icing your cake, you must make a “first” layer of icing over the entire thing, creating a “crumb coat”.  This layer is thin, and you will see crumbs in the icing—don’t worry it’s supposed to look like this.   Put the cake in the fridge, until layer has hardened (about 3 hours).

Once this layer has hardened, I use a piece of parchment or wax paper and a metal spatula to smooth out the icing.  You place the paper against the icing and rub the spatula smoothly and evenly to create a new smooth surface. 

After it is smooth, add your next layer of icing, This one, you should see no crumbs.  Repeat with fridge steps and smoothing it out.  Then you can decorate however you choose.   You might need to do 3 coats.

Now with this design I did (a pretty basic design especially for beginners), I used a star-tip, 1M tip.  You can purchase this at your local Michaels or Hobby Lobby.  Practice using this tip on wax or parchment paper before on the cake.  I start piping around the top edge of the cake, going around the cake.  Work your way into the center.  (Side note: When squeezing out this icing, release your pressure in the “squeezing” before lifting up the tip.)


Once I’ve piped the top, I work my way up the sides in rows.



Strawberry Mousse: (optional)
   2 cups whipping cream, cold
  ¾-1 cups confectioners' sugar (depending on how sweet you want the mousse)
  1 pint box strawberries, cleaned, hulled, and mashed

Preparation:
Whip cream until thick but not stiff. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, a little at a time. Fold in mashed strawberries. Spread in an 8-inch square dish and freeze until firm.
Recipe: Adapted from Dianne Rattray via About.com
 

 



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