Monday, July 6, 2009

Patriotic cakes

I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July!!!  The heat in Houston is really getting worst, but it didn't stop me to bake cakes. Actually for the occasion I had to prepare more than one and I'm glad to share those with you! The recipe is the same for both, but for the birthday cake you'll need to double the amount of the ingredients.

The white cake is the base for this light and nice cake,  richer from this velvety frosting. I choose raspberry for the top, but you can substitute with strawberry, if you prefer. Enjoy!



flag cake (2)

1¼ cups mascarpone cheese
1¼ cups heavy cream, chilled well
5 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
1¼ teaspoons almond extract

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment,
whisk the mascarpone on medium speed until soft. Add the cream, and beat until it begins to thicken. Add the sugar, vanilla and almond extract; continue beating until the cream forms soft to medium peaks. Cover, and refrigerate until needed.


birthday patriottic cake (9)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon fine salt
1½ sticks unsalted butter (12 tablespoons), brought to room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
6 large egg whites, brought to room temperature
¾ cup whole milk, brought to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract
½ pint fresh blueberries, for garnish
1 pint fresh raspberries, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place an oven rack in the middle position. Butter a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan; line the bottom with parchment paper to help prevent sticking.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside until needed. In an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk, vanilla and almond extracts.
Reduce the mixer speed to low; add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the creamed butter. Increase the speed to medium, and add half of the milk mixture. Repeat the process until all of the flour and milk mixtures have been added in, ending with the last addition of the flour
Pour the batter into the prepared pan; smooth the top of the cake with a large, metal offset spatula to level the batter. Tap the pan on the counter one or two times to remove any air bubbles. Bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about25 to 30 minutes.

Remove the cake from the oven, and transfer to a cooling rack. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack. Remove the parchment paper, and cool completely.
Using a large, metal offset spatula, spread about 2/3 of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip with the remaining frosting.

Arrange a small square of blueberries in the top left-hand corner of the cake, about 7 to 8 blueberries down and 9 to 10 blueberries across. Pipe small rosettes on top of the blueberries to represent stars. Pipe large horizontal stripes across the cake (one on each of the long sides of the cake and three in the center), all evenly spaced apart. Do not pipe stripes over the blueberries. Fill in the spaces between the stripes with strawberries, sliced or whole, or raspberries.
Serve immediately, or place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Recipe adapted from the Viking Cooking School

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