I was so excited for this cake because last summer, this was the recipe I used to bake my first ever layer cake. Thanks to the DBers who raved about this enough that I had to give it a try. It was the first time I realized that cakes could be made from scratch! Since many of the experienced DBers had problems with flat layers, I decided to make a triple layer cake with 3 8 inch pans (I needed all the help I could get).
One year later I wanted to try it with 9 inch pans, since Dorie posted helpful tips to fix the height issues and because my 8 inch ones aren't the greatest in quality. I used all purpose flour and 2% milk. I omitted the 2 minute beating at the end because I didn't want to risk overbeating. 2 minutes of beating with all purpose flour... I don't even want to imagine what would happen to the cake! The layers aren't as tall as Dorie's, but I was really happy with the overall result.
The way I frost layer cakes hasn't really changed. I like to keep the outside bare because I'm not a huge frosting lover, but if there's one butter based frosting to make, it's definitely Cassie's SMBC. I can't say enough about it because it's that good! Creamy and perfectly sweetened without tasting like a stick of butter unlike most meringue based buttercreams. I used her SMBC instead of Dorie's and added some blueberry puree. I couldn't really taste the blueberry and will use jam next time for a more concentrated flavour. Even though SMBC is my favourite kind of buttercream, 4 layers of it can be hard to stomach. Instead, I made a lightened version of CI's pastry cream by omitting the butter and using milk instead of cream. I love how soft this cake was even with all purpose flour. I really liked it, although I can't really say the same for for the rest of my family. It can be so frustrating to bake for them because everything is either too buttery, too sweet, too rich, too moist (?!). I'm starting to get the feeling that what they really want is sandwich bread (and it better be Wonder bread since it's like biting into air) lightly sweetened with sugar.
Thanks so much to Carol of mix, mix... stir, stir for choosing this recipe! You can find the recipe on her blog or in Dorie's book. Don't forget to check out the TWD blogroll!
Pastry Cream, adapted from CI
1 cup milk
2 tbsp sugar
2.5 egg yolks
1.5 tbsp cornstarch
Whisk sugar, eggs and cornstarch together until incorporated
On medium high heat, heat milk.
Pour milk in egg mixture to temper the eggs
Pour mixture back into pot, whisking until thickened and bubbles appear on the side.
Remove from heat and pour into another bowl to stop cooking.
Place plastic wrap on surface and refrigerate until cool and ready to use.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Adapted from Cassie's How to eat a Cupcake
2 large egg whites
1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
1/4 blueberry puree
Put egg whites and sugar into the top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees).
Pour heated egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 minutes.
Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low, add butter two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high; continue beating until frosting appears thick, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low; add blueberry puree and raise speed to medium and beat until incorporated.