This week’s heavenly cake post will be my last for a little while. I have no more oven. Or sink. And all of my baking supplies are in boxes. 😦
The fridge (and everything else needed for day-to-day survival) has been moved into the dining room. Unfortunately, baking supplies somehow don’t qualify. 😉
But I have a new oven! 🙂 It just happens to be sitting in the garage :(, waiting for the kitchen to be gutted and rebuilt from the floor to the ceiling. We’ve figured out what we want for cabinets, and have an appointment to order them tomorrow evening. We’ve already bought everything needed for re-wiring the room (who builds a kitchen with 3 outlets, including the one for the fridge?), and we have 2 new sinks and 2 new faucets waiting on standby. The ‘island’ you see in the middle of the pictures above is one that Jay threw together so we could decide whether the kitchen really had enough space for one.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with my experience with the Vanilla Bean Pound cake from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes. I baked this for my grandmother’s 86th birthday, which we celebrated this past weekend.
The batter comes together really easily once the ingredients are out and assembled. You scrape the seeds from the vanilla beans into your sugar. I doubled the recipe, so this meant 4 vanilla beans. Luckily I buy mine at Costco, so this wasn’t terribly costly, though I realize it would likely have been tastier with better beans. Since I didn’t have superfine sugar, I didn’t bother rubbing the seeds into the sugar by hand, and just let it go a while longer to mix evenly and to grind the sugar a bit finer in the food processor. Next, you mix together your dry ingredients, and your wet ingredients, then add the butter and some of the wet into the dry. Mix that up, then gradually add the rest of the wet ingredients.
You end up with a fairly stiff batter, which I spread into 2 8×3″ pans. Two 7×2″ pans would have been better, but I used what I had. As you can see in the picture below, I ended up with a rather lightly coloured crust, but I assure you that it was fully baked.
After brushing with a bit of syrup (I reduced the syrup quantity, because I thought it might overdo it a bit to syrup AND frost a pound cake), it was time to make my frosting. I chose the vanilla mousseline from the Miette Tomboy, because it’s been calling my name. It looked SO good from the first moment I opened this book. It didn’t disappoint.
Like most classic buttercreams, you start by making a sugar syrup. Then beat the egg whites to a stiff meringue (adding cream of tartar and sugar at appropriate times). Once your eggs are stiff and your syrup to the appropriate temperature, beat the syrup into the meringue. Keep beating until no longer hot to the touch. Then, we put the meringue in the fridge to bring it down to 70 degrees, and start beating the butter, to bring it up to 70 degrees (Fahrenheit).
Mix the meringue into the whipped butter, add the vanilla, and you have yourself a delicious creamy mousseline buttercream.
I decided to pretty mine up a bit, since it was for grandma.
My freehand piping skills leave a bit to be desired, but I figure I just need some more practice. I’ll get to that in a month or so, with any luck!