I have been having a lazy day – got started around noon shortly after having goofed off with my Dell webcam visual effects in my video conference with Nat. Of course I am close to running out of minutes with my iPhone plan already – but nothing replaces a good eye to eye chat. Well, lets hope Nat brings her own webcam down from her office into the kitchen soon (the most important place any woman can be at any given time) – also where I have been all day.
My friendly neighbours Simon and Genevieve popped in telling me their condo smells like shit and mine like sugar. Then they brought over the baby and now my condo smells like – oh! The oven ringer… just a moment…
Iga and Emil are tying the knot at L’Auberge du Pommier Saturday – not in Mont St-Hilaire as Dany and I originally thought – but on Yonge street in Toronto! We are very excited to be going down there and are feeling quite special given the fact that there are but 20 guests invited to the ceremony and reception.
I was given full creative rights in making their cake, they had absolutely no preconceived notion of what the cake should look or taste like so I tested a cake a while back (the Erika Baptism Cake) in vanilla, infused with cardamom and Grand Marnier, and made a devilishly good pistachio buttercream filling to go with it. It was a great success with the family so I am happy to report that my pistachio buttercream is now half made, and the last of the three cake layers are safely in the oven.
Why cardamom and pistachio? Well, that’s Emil and Iga if they were food. Emil once made me a dutch hot chocolate and sprinkled cardamom into the cup. I was sold – a man had made me discover a new spice!
And when I first met Iga my immediate fear was that she might be a little on the granola side – the emu oil lip gloss and herbes-de-provence facials got me thinking that maybe a few nuts added to the diet here and there couldn’t hurt.
Of course if The Ace of Cakes says it’s a great flavour combination – who am I to argue?
So I am just waiting for a few more cakes to come out of the oven, finish up my pistachio butter cream filling and pack everything into the freezer (and then the cooler) for a long ride tomorrow morning.
I used Colette Peters’ Heavenly White Cake recipe, which filled the 10x10x2 inch square pan to 1/2 full. This recipe also made exactly enough for the 8x8x2 inch and the 6x6x2 inch pans – only the first two layers didn’t rise as nicely as I’d hoped:
The second batch (which are currently in the oven) are nearly overflowing! The only difference I can imagine is that the milk and egg whites were much colder the second time, the butter however was a lot warmer. I was busy chatting with Simon and Genevieve which meant that the sugar and butter with the eggs and the vanilla got a severe beating – almost to the point where the mixture was white – and very very fluffly. Adding the milk and the eggs I barely let the batter mix in the end, just a few seconds and then into the pan and directly into the already hot oven.
So maybe following the recipe exactly is not the best thing to do – Colette says room temperature egg whites and milk. I think it’s the “creaming” that gave me the height. So rather than having two four inch high layers, they will only be 3.5 inches high. Nobody will notice but me, as usual.
Also, at 350 degrees, these cakes take forever to bake – really I should have purchased a convection oven. I have been adding 15 minutes to the time required.
Another note – this time about the pistachio butter cream – hopefully I made enough to fill the three layers – I made the recipe 2.5 times – and it nearly burned in the bottom of the pot! I’ll check in again later.