This cake was very similar to the Banana Friendship Cake Kristina and I had made for Michal’s wedding, the main differences being that this one was made to be three layers rather than two, and it called for regular flour rather than pastry flour.
Since this cake called for three layers, and I had never needed three cake pans, I had to go buy one. I had hoped to get one exactly like my other two, which are 8-inch Wilton pans from Michael’s, but when I went to Michael’s all they had was this weird new brand called “Buff”. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it but apparently it is a male baker who specialized in edible airbrush paint cake decorating. Weird. But I needed the pan right away and it was similar in style to my wilton pans so I went with it. I noticed “Buff” gives some tips on his stuff so I read what they were and one of them was new to me; he says that if a cake calls for baking soda (rather than baking powder), make sure there is an acidic component in the ingredients as well, such as vinegar, citrus juice, or buttermilk. Otherwise the cake may taste like soap. I found this tip very helpful because one of the first cakes Kristina and I tested out was a coconut cake that tasted like soap when it was done, and it also didn’t seem to rise properly. Now I am wondering if we accidentally omitted something like vinegar in the ingredients which caused it to turn out so horribly! It was very eye-opening regarding that cake and we are both determined to try it again.
We have both been on a tea kick since the Downton Abbey premier, so I made us a pot of Rose tea from the Florian café in Venice from April when Ian and I went there. It was made in my happy new Royal Albert teapot set that Mimi & Pa (Kristina and Paul) Elseth bought me for Christmas. Tea is such a happy thing!
(Like below, many of the images are VERY yellow. I think a setting unknowingly got flipped in the middle of picture taking and at the time I was very much ignorant of how to change settings on our camera)
So far these cakes all begin the same way once the pans are prepared; sifting the dry ingredients together, and then creaming the butter with the sugar separately. Then the eggs and the standard dry, wet, dry, wet, dry additions:
I like to make sure the batter in my pans is perfectly even, so I use a measuring scoop to distribute the batter.
Next, the frosting. This is where it got more interesting. Frostings can sometimes be extremely easy and simple (like my German Chocolate Cake frosting), or they can be very complex. The ease of the frosting does not determine the tastiness of it, but sometimes you just need it to be of a certain consistency in order to compliment the cake. As you may have guessed, this one was a bit more complicated.
I had to separate 5 eggs. I know that you can freeze yolks and whites of eggs, so when I made the Harvey Wallbanger cake, I had frozen 5 egg whites. If I had looked in the freezer the day before making this cake, I could have removed the whites from the freezer and made perfect use of them in this cake! Ah well. Now I have 5 eggs, separated, in my freezer.
However, I should get points for thinking to toast the walnuts *almost* first thing in this recipe, since I couldn’t toast them while the cake was baking. I sped up their cooling process by sticking them in a dish and placing them in my freezer.
Then came the egg white part. Important to get these egg whites hot, but not too hot. I don’t have a candy thermometer (yet), and a meat thermometer just doesn’t do the trick unfortunately, so I had to go by touch.
Then to the mixer to get these guys whipped up!
This frosting recipe was similar to the frosting we used for the strawberry cake, but that recipe called for cold butter in slices dumped in, and this one called for room temperature butter in cubes one at a time.
After this my beautiful photographer had to leave so I was on my own for photos. I just had to add a mixture of bourbon, pureed walnuts, and instant coffee grounds to the buttercream mixture, to create a lovely and light frosting for the cake.
The cakes were a little domed so I used my trusty saw to even off the tops.
To prevent the frosting from being removed with the parchment, I chill the cake a little to stiffen it up, and then the parchment comes out without ruining the cake. I often forget this tip and then I’m frustrated with the way it turns out.
With just a few slices leftover, this one was a big hit at Community Group this week. It always makes me happy when people like my food 🙂