Daring Bakers March Challenge :: Dorie's Perfect Party Cake
this little number's in the freezer now waiting for next saturday when she'll come out for a small family gathering we're having. i'll deck her out in fresh raspberries. maybe a little candied violet or 2 and she'll be feeling real sassy and ready to party. she is the perfect party cake, after all!
well, i'm off to check out everyone's cakes. . .
DORIE'S PERFECT PARTY CAKE
For the Cake:
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp pure lemon extract
For the Buttercream:
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
About 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2- minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unfold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature, right side up (the cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to two months).
You should have a shiny smooth, velvety, pristine white buttercream. Press a piece of plastic against the surface of the buttercream and set aside briefly.
The cake is best the day it is made, but you can refrigerate it, well covered, for up to two days. Bring it to room temperature before serving. If you want to freeze the cake, slide it into the freezer to set, then wrap it really well – it will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer; defrost it, still wrapped overnight in the refrigerator.