4/2/10

White on White Buttermilk Cake with Jack Daniel's Buttercream


This time of year I tend to reminisce about my childhood friend, Caridad (I called her Cari), who used to push me fierce hard, and even dared to  wake me up at an ungodly hour, every Sunday morning,  to drag my heathen carcass to church.

“C’mon, I know you’re in there! I’m not leaving until you open the door!” Cari demanded. 

One thing about Cari, she was no quitter.

I would ceremoniously wait 10 minutes, before answering the door, allowing myself ample time to fabricate another  alibi, in order to stay in bed...if I played my cards right.

 Once, desperation led me to blurt out that I had come down with  Beriberi. An open-and-shut case, I thought. 
There was a long, awkward pause, as it became glaringly-obvious that Cari wasn't biting.
Look, I was 10 years old  at the time.  It didn’t seem wildly absurd then.

 And, as luck would have it,  Cari was  a few years older—and wiser—than me. But,  she meant well, so  I will never forget the  kind, thoughtful, and punctually-persistent little twerp that she was.
Besides,  it was her  persuasiveness that  often  led me to pray,  and selfishly implore…“Please, make Cari take a hike, and relieve me of my suffering.”

What does any of this have to do with a baking blog? Not a blessed thing.
But I’m doing the Bunny Hop because now that I’m  (allegedly)  an adult, I’ve taken back Sunday.

 And here is a cute birdhouse cake I made for Easter Sunday.   This Buttermilk Cake is light, both in texture and in color, it's also  very moist, and pairs well with an array of  buttercreams, but  a simple  glaze would be just as good.
This cake is unparalleled served buck-naked, with fresh, summer berries.


White on White Buttermilk Cake with Jack Daniel’s Buttercream
Yield: 12 to 14 servings

1½  cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/3 cups sugar
3 large egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ cups buttermilk

Place baking rack one-third from the bottom of the oven, and the second two-thirds from the bottom. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line three 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper, and lightly grease.
Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl on medium speed about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the egg whites and vanilla, about 1 minute.
Combine cake flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add  one-third of the flour mixture to the batter and beat on medium speed until incorporated. Add about half of the buttermilk and beat on medium speed until incorporated. Continue adding dry and wet ingredients alternately, scraping the bowl down and beating until incorporated after each addition. End with the dry ingredients.
Pour the batter evenly into the cake pans. Stagger the pans on the oven racks so that no layer is directly over another. Set two layers on one rack and the third on the other. Bake  25 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Monitor the cakes for doneness; each one may be done at a different time.

Cool the cake pans on wire racks  for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks and cool completely before frosting.  At this point,  the cakes can be  wrapped in plastic, and a layer of aluminum foil and frozen up to 3 weeks.


Jack Daniel’s Buttercream

Using a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the eggs and yolks in a large bowl on high speed about 5 minutes. In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar; simmer until it reaches the soft-ball stage, registering between 234-f degrees and 240-f degrees on a candy thermometer. Immediately transfer the syrup to a large heatproof liquid measuring cup.
In a slow, thin stream, add the sugar mixture to the egg mixture, mixing on low speed the entire time. Increase the speed to medium and beat about 7 minutes, until the syrup has cooled (the bowl should be barely warm to the touch). Add the butter, half a stick at a time, beating on medium speed about 20 seconds after each addition. Once all of the butter has been added, beat on medium until the frosting thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in the salt and whiskey.

Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate and spread a thick blanket of frosting on top. Add the second layer and spread with frosting. Add the third layer and cover the top and sides of the cake with an even layer of frosting. The cake will keep several days at room temperature.

Variations: Grand Marnier or Amaretto can be substituted for the Jack Daniel’s in the buttercream.  For chocolate buttercream, substitute 8 oz. of melted bittersweet chocolate for the Jack Daniel's. Make sure to cool the  chocolate  at least 15 minutes before adding it to the buttercream. The Pastry Queen, by Rebecca Rather.

The birdhouse cake was slightly carved and tapered toward the bottom. Because I used three layers I inserted a wooden rod right through to the bottom of the cake to keep it stable while frosting it. The large marshmallow helped anchor the flower.


The large Bluebell is made of sugar. Petals were cut rather thick and rolled out very thinly, to wrap around a large paper cone (see below). Remember the paper hats you made in Kindergarten? Same principle applies here. Make sure to cover the cone with plastic wrap, and dust it liberally with cornstarch to keep the flower from sticking. Allow to dry overnight.


Well, Easter is just two shakes of a bunny’s tail away, and I want to wish my homebunnies  a very wonderful day!

30 comments:

  1. What a sweet little cake :)

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  2. Mais c'est sublime ce joli gâteau! What a lucky family you have to have this..It's just adorable Soleil~

    Your church story is so cute too:)

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  3. What a beautiful cake but then, everything you do is beautiful and so creative, Sol. The cake sounds delicious and I'll have to try it even though it won't look as cute as yours ;) The cake stand is perfect for your little birdhouse.

    Loved the story!

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  4. I knew it, I knew it, I smelled somthin' bakin'! Another work of art, dear Marysol. Yum ... Jack Daniel's Buttercream ... have a bite for me. Easter Blessings, dear friend. (Boo hoo ... my last comment got eaten up :(

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  5. It's sooo pretty! You have a great imagination!

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  6. A pretty and spring-like cake! That buttercream must taste wonderful. Happy Easter, dear Marysol!

    Cheers,

    Rosa xoxo

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  7. Wow! Where's the door? Ya know the door that says "through here to be perfect cake decorator." I can't seem to find it.

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  8. Mmmm looks and sounds delicioso Sol. Un Manjar.

    You have a great imagination. I love the little bird contemplating his new home.

    ¡Feliz Pascua! Un abrazo.
    Sharon.

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  9. Hello! This is my first visit to your blog. This cake is really lovely. It also sounds really delicious! I'm bookmarking it right now.

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  10. this has got to be the most beautiful Easter cake I've seen this year! It's pure elegance and so artistic :)

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  11. Wow, I'm under big impression... again :)
    Marysol, you are an artist.

    Happy Spring... Margot

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  12. What a gorgeous cake. It's half six in the morning, and I'm drooling over your cake. I'm either an alcoholic or plain greedy! Happy Easter, Sol!

    p/s
    Does staggering the pans dispense with the usual juggling of racks?

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  13. I always love coming here! You make me giggle and sigh all at the same time. How I do wish I had just a fraction of your artistic talent... *sigh* Alas, it is not to be... You'll just have to put up with my virtual drooling!!

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  14. The cake is just wonderful! I love the story too..sooo, I am "praying" you have taken your friend's words to heart...
    Hope you are enjoying this beautiful week!

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  15. Hi, Marysol. What a fun post!

    This recipe is charming and looks very tasty, too. I enjoyed the background piece on your childhood as much as the lovely pictures.

    Yours,

    Dan

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  16. That is one gorgeous cake! Hope you had a very Happy Easter, and hopefully they all let you sleep a little later? After a cake like that, you deserve a little rest?

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  17. Sol, I'm not sure which I like more, your beautiful creations or your stories. It is a toss-up.

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  18. Hey guys, my ears were burning during my short vacation, and now I see why. Thank you my friends for thinking of me!


    I have a whole lot of catching up to do, and I will get to it in 3...2...1

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  19. This looks so so beautiful :)

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  20. Have a gorgeous end of week!

    Cheers,

    Rosa xoxo

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  21. Thank you guys; have a great weekend!

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  22. Oh! You are so creative...what a lovely cake...nice pictures as well.

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  23. My dear

    Your cake is enchanting! It is pure poetry! I could rave about it for a whole page, but it is late and I am getting tired, but you have my undying admiration!

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  24. Magical! Everything you do is so sweet.

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  25. Hi Sol! Amazing cake! And your Cari story as well - I'd love to hear her stories about you!

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  26. Thank you Juliana!

    Jo, it's just not fair that exhaustion makes me groan, while it makes you gracefully expressive. How do you do that?

    Suzy, if I'm magical, how come I ain't rich? ;-)

    Hey Annie! To this day, I think it was divine intervention that kept Cari from hanging me by the ears with her rosary beads, and her faith reinforced as a result.

    Thank you all very kindly for hanging out with me!

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  27. You are SO clever! I love the charmingly whimsical and you do it so beautifully! :D I absolutely love that bird house cake-bravo!

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  28. Wonderfll cakes, and blog
    Greeting from Belgium, Have a nice weekend .

    http://blog.seniorennet.be/louisette/

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  29. What a beautiful cake! I love the coloring on the petals.

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