Happy Birthday to my blog!
It's been a great year! I started my blog, my home bakery, I taught a 4-week baking course at Williams, and most importantly, I've done a lot of baking! This weekend, I'm participating in the Northern Berkshire Food Festival in North Adams, so if you're in the area, stop by!
If you've been following my blog at all, you'll recognize the almond cake in this recipe. I used it for my birthday cake this year with brown butter frosting, and with chocolate raspberry ganache and chocolate frosting for a client. It's extremely versatile, and a great addition to your repertoire! And this frosting may be my new favorite. It's not as heavy as some buttercreams can be. It's light and fluffy, with a beautiful pink hue and raspberry taste. You may not want to make it without a stand mixer; there's probably a good 20-25 minutes of beating with the stand mixer. But if you need any more reasons to get a stand mixer, swiss meringue buttercream is it. No heavy, dense, sugary mouthfuls here, this frosting is more reminiscent of a smooth, high quality ice cream with a more subtle sense of sweetness. You'll see this frosting again soon, I'm sure of it.
And now, to celebrate my blog's birthday, I'm off to make a cake of course! A chocolate butterfly cake for my niece's 4th birthday tomorrow. Happy baking!
p.s. Stop by my Zucchero Dolce facebook page for more pictures, or to become a fan.
Almond Cake (adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum)
1 1/3 cups sour cream, separated
2 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/3 cups cake flour, sifted
2/3 cups finely ground almonds, toasted and preferably unblanched
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 sticks butter (12 ounces), room temperature
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 3 9" round cake pans with baking spray, line with parchment paper, and spray again.
In a medium bowl, stir together the eggs, 1/3 cup of the sour cream, and the extracts. Set aside. Don't worry, it won't be smooth or pretty.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the dry ingredients - mix for 30 seconds. Add the butter and the remaining 1 cup of sour cream, and mix on low until combined. Mix on medium for 2 minutes to aerate batter. Add the egg and sour cream mixture in 3 additions, beating 20 seconds after each addition.
Split the batter between the cake pans, and smooth with a rubber spatula. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick just comes out clean.
Let the cakes cook in their pans for about 10 minutes, then turn on to cooling rack. Cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and chill until ready to frost.