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Fluffy White Cake for a 3rd Blog Anniversary

They say that time flies when you’re having fun and I think it’s true. If you love what you do, it’s not work, it’s not a bother or a chore. Doing something you love can afford you the joy of hard work and persistence, it can soothe self-doubt and build confidence, it feeds us, deeply, and makes each minute of concentration, even frustration, valuable. When I say time flies, I’m referring to the three years that I have been expressing my love of cooking with you all through this blog. The blog birthday snuck up on me, truth be told. I had remembered it earlier in the month and considered that I should produce a special recipe and posting to celebrate and then all of a sudden the day had come and gone. Correction, Feasts for All Seasons is three years and three days old today.

In truth I didn’t bake this cake especially for the blog birthday, but this pale beauty certainly fits the bill when it comes to celebration cakes. It’s a borrowed recipe from a favourite fellow blogger, Rosie from Sweetapolita and it is an excellent recipe. Make it, bake it, enjoy it. Thank you for stopping by!

 

 

 

Fluffy White Cake (based very, very closely on a recipe from sweetapolita.com)

preheat oven to 350°F

5 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk, divided, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups, minus 6 tablespoons flour, sifted (replace the 6 Tbsp flour with cornstarch)
1-3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes

Grease, line with parchment, and flour two round 8-inch pans.
In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the egg whites, 1/4 cup of milk, and the vanilla. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed for 30 seconds.
Add the butter and remaining milk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1-1/2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the egg mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition.
Divide the batter in two, spreading it evenly with a small offset palette knife. If you have a kitchen scale, weigh to ensure 2 even layers.
Bake 25-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center. Let cool on racks for 10 minutes and invert onto greased wire racks. Gently turn cakes back up, so the tops are up and cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Frosting
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
3 cups sifted icing sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed until it is very pale & creamy. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy and fluffy.

Birthday Bliss: Chocolate Cake with Raspberry and White Chocolate Buttercream

Growing up I almost always celebrated my birthday twice – such is the life of the child in the modern (divorced) family. I didn’t mind, it stretched the day out and made for double party, double gifts and 2 cakes, leaving very little to complain about.

I had the sort of parents, both when they were together and even long after they were apart, who didn’t believe in treating children much differently than adults. I led a relatively independent and self-regulating childhood – no bedtimes, no particular discipline, and a lot of interaction with adults who spoke to me like I was a person, not just a kid. As a result I wasn’t particularly rebellious because there was little to rebel against. I was quiet, studious and creative and if I dare say so myself, fairly well behaved.  It’s funny, but when I think back to being little, I almost don’t remember being a ‘kid’ in the way that I remember other children.  I was horrified by kids who had tantrums or (more…)

Raspberry Cheesecake Tarts

I am such a sucker for all things raspberry. I’ve posted lots of raspberry recipes here before these Raspberry Cheesecake Tarts. There were these amazing coconut macaroons and this stunning cake, oh and this cake too and this simple galette … Just search “raspberry” and wander through the berry patch, so to speak.

Raspberries have such a potently magical flavor to them – they always taste like summer. In fact they are, to me, one of the most transporting of flavors. Even in the dead of winter when it’s grey and raining, or the streets are covered in snow, if you pop a ripe raspberry into your mouth, you get a fleeting reminder of warm days and sunshine and being outside. Nothing else quite does that for me.

These little Raspberry Cheesecake Tarts are so easy to make and require very little effort for a really stunning result. With the completely acceptable “cheat” of frozen tart shells you can whip these up in no time and take them somewhere to share with friends, or just make them for yourself. The recipe is easily halved to just make 12 …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vanilla Strawberry Birthday Cake

Vanilla Strawberry Birthday CakeSometimes you picture something in your mind before you make it and it looks so good in your imagination that you brace yourself for the reality knowing it may not be as good. Other times you make something and you exceed your own expectations. This Vanilla Strawberry Birthday Cake exceeded my expectations and I was excited to knock my own socks off with it. I used my favorite white cake recipe and kept it simple with strawberry jam between the layers and really soft, simple almond butter cream. Since it was my birthday, I made it a bit special with some amazing mauve spray roses and an all over petal effect in the frosting.

It’s a lovely cake, easy to work with and there are no tricks here. The recipe is easy to follow and doesn’t take long to make. When you’re choosing fresh flowers for a cake make sure they are non toxic/edible (obviously) and do your best to source organic blooms and give them a bit of a rinse so you don’t end up with pesticides or pests in your cake. For this cake I simply trimmed the tiny roses and stabbed them (gently placed them?) into the frosting. I had enough to cover the whole surface but I really like the aesthetic of a sort of halo or crown of flowers along one side, sort of organically spilling across the cake’s top. Roses are technically edible but there is no bonus to munching on these pretty petals, they don’t taste like much, guests can simply remove them from their slice as they go. If you don’t want to waste the roses and rosebuds you can rinse them and float them in a bath (so luxe!) or float them in a pretty shallow bowl as a centerpiece or decorative arrangement. Alternatively you could freeze them into ice cubes to float in a punch bowl or to pretty up your water glass.

But back to the cake …

It’s lovely to look at but I promise it’s even better to eat! More pictures and the recipes are after the jump. Enjoy and let me know what you think in the comments! Happy baking!  (more…)

Orange Almond Poppy Chiffon Cake

Hello again, or welcome, for the first time. You have stopped in on Feasts for All Seasons on a very happy day – we’re 4 today! That means many thank yous, sprinkles, a moment or two of nostalgia and of course, cake. (more…)

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