Thursday, May 31, 2007

Birthday Cake

It's the big 2-5 and I figured that if no one can buy my cake or make my cake, why can't I? The idea was actually spawned out of a lemon and blackberry wedding cake on Epicurious

Have no fear about tackling a layer cake, there are how to's on their website, under the topic of wedding cakes. Bottom line, patience and a little confidence and you'll do fine. Cake and Icing are courtesy of Vegan Chef
Preparation: grease and flour your baking pans (9x13 or two 8 inch rounds), if extra keen, line the pans with parchment, cut to the size of the pan bottom, and grease the top of the parchment paper.

Sift dry ingredients - simplest method is to use a fine colander and dump everything together and shake the colander until everything comes through into the bowl you have below.

Preheat oven to 350 and make sure there is a rack in the middle of the oven.

1 1/3 cups unbleached cane sugar
1/2 cup vegan margarine (ROOM TEMPERATURE)
3 cups unbleached flour
1 T. baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups soy milk or other non-dairy milk
1 T. vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

Beat margarine, add sugar and beat on high for at least 2 minutes, creaming the sugar and the margarine together. Once sufficiently creamed, add milk and sifted dry ingredients alternating - starting and ending with milk. Once combined add vanilla and almond. Bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool, remove from pan by placing a cookie sheet or rack over the pan, flip and out it pops. Wrap in parchment and freeze. Remove about 2 hours before using

Icing (if doing the entire cake as I did, plus filing then double the recipe)

All ingredients must be ROOM TEMPERATURE
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/2 tub vegan cream cheese
2T-3T lemon juice
3 lemons zested
1tsp vanilla extract
splash soy milk
3-4 cups vegan icing sugar

Whip margarine, cream cheese together, add lemon juice once smooth, add zest and vanilla, and then icing sugar. Add soy milk to get the right consistency. If you are doing the layer cake the same then use the first batch for the filing and crumble coat. And make a second batch while the cake sets in the fridge

Take thawed cake and slice horizontally into layers, basically in 1/2, use whatever flat item you have to slide between the layers to separate them after being cut - I used the bottom of a springform pan - but a stiff clean piece of cardboard would work just as well. Place the bottom piece on the serving dish, brush off crumbs and then brush with any kind of warm jam mixture. I used 1/4 c. raspberry jelly with 1-2 T lemon juice. Apricot with pineapple juice and a splash of rum or apricot, lemon juice and Amaretto works. Take a little less than 1/4 of the icing, smooth out and then layer fruit. Repeat with the additional layers. When the top layer is reached, icing the whole cake, starting with a pile of icing on the top of the cake. If you are worried about movement, take two or three wooden skewers, cut or break them to be just short of the height of the cake and ram them on in. Refrigerate the cake once the "crumb coat" is on. Then once firm ice again.

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