Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Birthday #3 for January...Buttermilk Spice Cake

Some firsts this month...
...This is the first Emeril Lagasse recipe I have ever made. 
...This is also the first spice cake I have ever made...not sure why I haven't had this cake in my life sooner.
...That almond cake I made earlier this month, was also the first almond cake I had ever made.
...Last night I made my first crostata and it looks a little something like this...it's apple and cranberry and totally what I wanted to make when it was cold and snowy outside.
Hmmm what else should I make this month?

It's January and I figure it is time to start trying new things.  I mean I guess it doesn't really matter that it's January...  

Let's talk about this cake though.  Well Emeril didn't let me down, although I did get a little worried.  You see when I took the cakes out of the oven they where beautiful, you know cooked evenly, nice little mound that I was looking forward to cutting off and getting to try.  Well I came back to the kitchen after they had finished cooling and that beautiful little mound had totally sank into the cake, so that it was now completely flat.  However, it was still seriously so light and fluffy.  Then the cream cheese frosting...well I mean what goes better with any sort of spice cake than a super creamy cream cheese frosting.  Then just a few nuts on the outside for crunch.  If you are a nut lover though, throw some in between the layers of cake.  Either way, Enjoy!

I don't know what it is about pictures of dry ingredients with spices...but they are some of my favorite to take.  Plus, I got this sweet tea towel last fall in California. The silly thing about that, is of all of the things I could have bought while shopping, I bought two tea towels.

Dry, wet, buttermilk, and whipped egg whites

Getting up close and personal.

Buttermilk Spice Cake: (Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse)
2 cups brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 large eggs, separated
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 8-ounce block 1/3 fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5-6 cups powdered sugar

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray two 9" cake pans with non-stick cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper rounds.

2.  In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream the brown sugar and butter.  With the mixer running, add the oil in a steady stream.  Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

3.  Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt into a medium-size mixing bowl.  Alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the batter, mixing well with a whisk just until mixed.

4.  With the electric mixer, in another large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold them into the cake batter.  Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake until the center springs back when touched or toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks.  While the cakes are cooling prepare the frosting.

5.  To prepare the frosting, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese together until fully combined, 3-4 minutes on medium speed using the blade attachment.  Then mix in 2 cups powdered sugar until fully combined, starting off on low speed and moving to medium.  Next, mix in the vanilla extract and two more cups powered sugar, again starting on low and moving to medium.  Then mix in the remaining cup of powdered sugar.  Once it is just combined, mix on high speed for about 30 second to whip some air in.  If the consistency still seems a bit off, mix in 1/2 cup powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.

6.  Remove the cooled cakes from their pans.  Place the bottom layer on your cake plate, if it has a light hump, use a serrated knife to level it off.  Place a good amount of frosting in the center and then frost to the outside of the cake.  Place the next layer of cake on top, leveling if needed, and repeat the process.  With the top layer, place most of the remaining frosting on the top and then lightly frost the outside of the cake with the remaining frosting, then spread out the frosting on top.  Coat the outside of the cake with the toasted walnuts.  Serve at room temperature and Enjoy!

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