Monday, May 9, 2011

sunday sweets {pink champagne cake}

I've never been a huge cake person. I mean I'll eat it, but I prefer brownies or cookies any day. However, I do appreciate how pretty cakes can be, and this one is no exception. When choosing things to bake for the blog, I think about what I would like to eat, then what you might like to see me eat, and finally how it will look while I'm eating/baking it. I knew this would be pretty, and I would be able to use my John Derian cake stand, which was enough to convince me.

Jacob made me this cake for my birthday a couple of years ago, and I've been thinking about it ever since. Why you ask? Well first off it's pink {going along with my current obsession}, secondly I feel like Marie Antoinette while eating it, and thirdly it has champagne in it {on second thought I probably could have put this as number one and stopped there}.

A cake takes a little bit of time, I suggest devoting an afternoon while also catching up on episodes of Real Housewives or Glee {as if you would be behind on either}. Which brings up the other reason for baking this particular cake. Tomorrow night is the Prom episode on Glee {please, hold applause until the end of this blog post} and my friend Eileen and I are making a night of it. Rose {duh}, pink champagne cake, perhaps shrimp cocktails, and dresses {don't judge us}, anyway, I may take pictures so this cake will probably pop up again this week, good thing it's pretty.

For the Cake:

2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. table salt

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup brut sparkling wine {this can be really cheap, you're not going to drink it... unless you do plan on doing that and then I suggest not going with Cook's}

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

6 drops red food coloring

6 egg whites

For the Frosting {Disclaimer: this frosting is weird. They want it to be a sparkling champagne whip, but the liquid makes it seem a little runny. It needs to set up in the fridge overnight, I might suggest going with a nice buttercream frosting instead.}

1/2 cup shortening

1/3 cup brut sparkling wine

5 cups sifted powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin

1 Tbsp. cold water

3/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and coat with nonstick spray. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Cream butter and granulated sugar in a stand mixer until mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Combine 3/4 cup sparkling wine, milk, and vanilla.

Add flour and wine mixtures alternately to butter mixture, combining well after each addition. Tint batter with red food coloring.

Beat egg whites in a separate bowl with clean beaters until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Fold egg whites into cake batter in thirds, stopping as soon as whites are incorporated. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.

Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted in the center has only or or two crumbs on it, about 30 minutes. Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes, then turn cakes out onto a rack to cool completely.

Beat together shortening, 1/3 cup sparkling wine, and powdered sugar for frosting in a bowl until smooth. Spread 1 cup frosting on top of one cooled cake round. Place second cake round on top of the frosted round.

Sprinkle gelatin into water in a small saucepan. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes, then gently warm over low heat until gelatin dissolves. Cool to room temperature.

Beat heavy cream until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Add gelatin mixture to cream; continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Working in batches, gently fold whipped cream into remaining frosting.

Spread frosting onto top and sides of cake, being careful not to overwork. Refrigerate cake 1 hour with a large bowl over the top to protect frosting. Use a spatula to gently swirl frosting before serving.


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