Do you remember what you were doing when you were 17?! I probably had a camera around my neck like 75% of the time (annoying people by always taking their picture) and I also took
CAKE DECORATING CLASSES!
Yup, those goofy wilton cake decorating classes you can take at your local Michael's. I remember the other participants to a T. I was definitely the youngest person in that little dimly lit craft room. To my left was an old balding Italian guy who owned his own bakery and said he took the classes to 'freshen' up his skills and to the right of me was a clueless housewife. Actually most of the other people were housewives and grandmas. It was oddly comforting.
We were given a recipe to make disgusting tasting 'decorating icing' that was literally shortening and powdered sugar. It was great for stiff roses but tasted like sugary fat. Despite the weirdness of those little classes I learned a ton and still use some of the techniques today. Sometimes when I'm sitting and working on my blog I wonder 'how did I get to this point?' I never went to culinary school or took formal classes but I suppose all the little lessons create this cool unique style that is
Completely original and a little rough around the edges ;)
I always think of these classes whenever I'm decorating cake. Shortening has changed to mascarpone and I'm whipping egg whites to make that light and fluffy texture that everyone
instead of using a box of betty crocker mix. I love being able to hone these skills and I never will take them for granted. Learn as much as you can, soak up knowledge like a sponge beautiful people.
Blood Orange Cake with Honey Mascarpone Frosting
Blood Orange Cake
2 1/2 Cups of cake flour
1 1/2 Cups of granulated sugar
1 Teaspoon of course salt
1 Tablespoon of baking powder
5 Large eggs, separated
1/2 Cup of blood orange juice or your favorite citrus juice
1 Tablespoon of blood orange zest
1/2 Cup of vegetable oil
+ extra flour & non stick baking spray for cake tins
Honey Mascarpone Frosting
1 Stick of unsalted butter at room temp
8 Oz of mascarpone cheese or cream cheese
1 1/2 Teaspoons of pure vanilla extract 1 Teaspoon of salt
4 Cups of powdered sugar
*milk on an as needed base
*For this recipe I used three 6-inch cake tins, two 8-inch will work as well.
Spray cake tins with non stick spray and spread flour thinly on sides and bottom of tins, set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl sift cake flour and add in salt and baking powder and set aside.
In a large bowl separate egg yolks and whites into 2 large bowls, reserve the yolks. With a stand or hand mixer fitted with a wire whip, whip egg whites until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Set aside.
With a stand or hand mixer combine sugar and egg yolks. Slowly pour in vegetable oil and blood orange juice and zest, mix. Add flour mixture to wet mixture in three separate segments mixing until just combined after each one. Remove from mixer and gently fold in egg whites until incorporated.
*Whisking your egg whites separately and gently folding them in will ensure a light and airy cake batter.
Pour evenly into cake tins and bake for 20-25 mins. Cakes are done when a tooth pick comes out clean. Cool for 30 mins. Take a knife and make a ring around the tin sides,
if any of the cake has stuck this will help release it.
With a serrated knife edge cut any dome tops off your cakes.
In a large mixing bowl with a stand or hand mixer beat butter, mascarpone cheese, vanilla extract, salt and honey until light and fluffy, about 3 mins. Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, checking for texture after each addition. Add in one tablespoon of milk as needed to thin frosting. *Note dryer climates may need more milk for thinning, moister climates may need less.