Let them eat cake

30 Nov

As much as I have enjoyed my Baking & Pastry Class at Kendall College, I’m starting to feel the effects of eating all of the sugar. I’m one of those people whose pretty good with portion control at everyday meals… but when it comes to sweets, I might as well raise a white flag. Taking this class and with all of the holiday treats floating around, I’m afraid I’m going to resort to sweatpants as my usual attire.

Did you know my trip to Hawaii is in a month??! Ugh, this thought looms over me with every lick of my spatula I take. I must find some will power some where. If only I could bake in my skinny jeans instead of the standard houndstooth print pants with an elastic waitband. You’d think such an unflattering pair of uniform pants would keep you in check. Not!

Luckily, I have only 2 more weeks of class left! This week, we made cakes & itailan buttercream frosting. This cake will be our final project and big percentage of our grade. I must say, it took me a couple attempts to get the buttercream right. I had no idea it was such a delicate item to make. I also need to practice my frosting technique. Frosting a flat sheet cake is pretty easy but to make a layer cake pretty & smooth is something I need to do a few times before my final.

I did learn some helpful tips I’d like to share. We did two layers of frosting on the cake. After frosting the first time, put your cake in the freezer for 10 minutes. That will create a good base and on your second layer, you’ll be able to cover imperfections. *Second tip* When trying to make the sides of your cake smooth, dip your off-set spatula in hot water. Dry it off and tilt the spatula to a 45 degree angle when dragging it along the side of the cake. You will need to repeat this process a few times.

My first layer cake

Sooo this is my finished cake. It needs some technique touch ups, but overall, I’m pretty proud of my first layer cake. Our Chef Instructor made us the lemon curd filling and the passion fruit glaze. To make the layers moist, we put a passion fruit simple syrup on each layer with a pastry brush before putting on the filling. The lemon curd filling & buttercream went between the cake layers and the passion fruit glaze went on top of the cake.

Yellow Butter Cake

yields 10” cake pan or ring

315 g                                    cake flour
383g                                     sugar
1 tablespoon                        baking powder
1/2 teaspoon                        salt
230g                                    butter, diced, at room temperature
240g                                    whole milk, divided
4                                           large eggs
2                                           large egg whites
1                                            vanilla bean

Tools: Parchment for the pans & Non-stick cooking spray (or butter)


Coat the pans with a light film of fat and line them with parchment circles.

Combine the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt.

Combine the milk, eggs, egg whites, and vanilla.

Blend the butter with the dry ingredients and half of the milk mixture and mix on medium speed with the paddle attachment for 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl periodically until smooth.

Add the remaining milk mixture in there additions, mixing for 2 minutes after each addition.

Bake at 350 F until the cake springs back when slightly touched in the center, about 35 minutes

Cool the cakes in the pans for a few minutes, and then transfer to racks to cool completely.

When the cake has cooled, cut cake into thirds vertically. Fill layers with an outer rim of buttercream and then spoon & smooth the lemon curd.

Once the layers are put together, frost the whole cake with buttercream.

Italian Butter Cream

Egg white                     100g

Sugar                             200g

Water                             50g         

Butter room temp          300g

Orange blossom            1tbsp 

Tools needed: Electric Mixer with a whip & paddle attachment and a Digital Thermitor


Combine ¾  of the sugar with the water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the wire whip attachment.

When the sugar syrup has reached approximately 230°F, whip the egg whites on medium speed to soft peak consistency. Gradually add the remaining ¼  of sugar and beat until the egg whites hold to medium peaks.

When the sugar syrup reaches 240°F, immediately stream the hot syrup into the egg whites directly from the pot. Pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites with the mixer running on medium speed. As soon as all of the syrup has been added, increase the speed to high and continue to whip until the meringue has cooled to room temperature.

Switch the whip attachment with paddle attachment. Add the cubed butter gradually, mixing after each addition until fully incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Blend in the orange blossom. The butter cream is ready for use or may be tightly covered and stored at room temperature for 24-48 hours. Paddle it before icing the cake for a silky, smooth texture.

Lemon curd Recipe

4 eggs or 8 egg yolks

245 g sugar

145 ml fresh lemon juice

70 g butter room temp

7 g grated lemon peel


In the top of a double boiler, beat eggs, sugar and lemon juice. Cook over simmering water until the temp reach to 176-185 degrees. It usually takes 12-15 minutes, the mixture should be thickened.

Make sure don’t curdle the eggs as it result a omelety flavor in your final product!

Let it cool for 20 minutes then add butter and mix it with a burr-mix blender or whisk it until silky. Refrigerate over night. Willl keep in the fridge for 4-5 days or freeze until needed then defrost at room temp.


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