Lots of recipes and photos. Tons of comments and emails that have put hundreds of smiles on my face. So many wonderful people I have lost track of.
These are the results of 2 years of blogging – one of the most positive things I have ever done.
I read “The Hairy Ape” almost ten years ago and that book kept me thinking about several things. One of them was the feeling of “belonging”. That is something I used to have trouble with – I just did not fit in. The people I knew were very different from me – we did not have anything in common. I felt like a stranger most of the time. And my love for cooking and the idea of having fun in the kitchen were considered weird by others.
Blogging has opened an entire new world to me and knowing people who share my passion for cooking and baking has changed my life in many levels. I do feel like I belong now. And you, my dear readers and fellow bloggers, are responsible for this.
Thank you for standing by me for so long. I wish I could send each and every one of you a slice of this cake, with a big hug on the side.
Polka dot cake
Cake and filling recipes adapted from The Whimsical Bakehouse; buttercream recipe from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes
Golden butter cake:
170g (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups (300g) sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons (370g) cake flour*
1 tablespoon baking powder
generous pinch of salt
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (270ml) milk
Grease two 20x5cm (8x2 inch) round pans. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the yolks and vanilla and beat on medium speed until fluffy.
At low speed, add the dry ingredients, alternately with the milk, beating until incorporated.
Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool the cakes on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes before turning them out of their pans. Let them cool completely before continuing with the recipe.
½ cup (120ml) water
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Place water and sugar in a small saucepan and mix well to combine. Heat over medium heat until it boils. Remove from heat, add the vanilla and set aside to cool.
Cookies and cream filling:
450ml heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
15-18 chocolate sandwich cookies, such as Oreos, crushed into medium pieces (place them inside a thick plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin)
In the bowl of an electric mixer at high speed, whip the cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff. Gently fold in the crushed cookies.
1 cup (200g) sugar
¼ cup (60ml) water
3 egg whites
1 ½ cups (340g/3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a small heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and water, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to boil without stirring, occasionally washing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush, until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage, 238ºF (114ºC) on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove from the heat.
In a large mixer bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the egg whites until frothy. Continue beating while gradually adding the hot syrup in a thin, slow stream, pouring it down the sides of the bowl; avoid hitting the beaters, or the syrup may splatter. When all the syrup has been added, raise the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is very fluffy and cooled to body temperature.
Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and gradually add the softened butter, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, beating well between additions. As you're adding the last few tablespoons of butter, the frosting will appear to break, then suddenly come together like whipped butter. Beat in the vanilla extract.
To assemble the cake: using a long, serrated knife cut each cake in half. Place a cake layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or serving plate. Brush it lightly with the syrup and spread 1/3 of the cookies and cream filling. Repeat the procedure with the remaining cake layers and filling, brushing all the cakes with syrup and finishing it all with a cake layer. Frost the sides and top of the cake with a thin layer of vanilla buttercream frosting. Place the cake in the refrigerator until the crumb coat firms up. Frost the cake completely with more buttercream.
Tint the remaining buttercream with desired colors and decorate the cake as you desire.
* there’s no cake flour here in Brazil, so I used the following: 1 cup cake flour = 7/8 cup (123g) all purpose flour + 2 tablespoons corn starch