BAKING @ BIRDIE'S
Devil's Food Cake
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 ½ cups boiling water.
4 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
3 ½ cups sifted cake flour
2 ¼ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl whisk together cocoa and boiling water until smooth and cool to room temperature. In a second medium bowl lightly combine eggs, about ¼ of the cocoa mixture, and the vanilla. In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add butter and remaining ¾ cups of milk. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (high speed if using a hand mixer) and beat for 90 seconds to aerate and develop the cake's structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the egg mixture in three batches, beating 20 seconds after each addition to strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with a spatula. The pans will be about ½ full. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. The cakes should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven. Let cakes cool in the pans on the rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a small spatula and invert onto greased wire racks. To prevent cracking or splitting, reinvert so that the tops are up and cool completely before wrapping airtight.
Neo-Classic Butter Cream Frosting
9 large egg yolks
1 cup and 2 Tablespoons sugar
¾ cups corn syrup
3 cups butter
3-5 Tablespoons liqueur or eau-de-vie
Have ready a greased 1 cup heatproof glass measuring cup near the range.
In a bowl beat the yolks until light in color. Meanwhile heat the corn syrup and sugar in a non-stick sauce pan stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a rolling boil. The entire surface will be covered with large bubbles. Immediately transfer syrup to the greased measuring cup.
Pour a small amount of the syrup over the yolks and beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Continue with the remaining syrup and scrape the sides of the bowl and the measuring cup. Continue beating until the mixture is completely cooled.
Gradually beat in the softened butter, 1 Tablespoon at a time, and any additional flavorings.
The Filling: MIXED BERRY CONSERVES
Real simple. Cook down 4 cups of fresh or frozen mixed berries with 1/2 cup of sugar on medium heat. Stir occasionally, and use a wooden spoon to break berries into a pulp. Cook slowly until mixture has reduced at least 50 percent, [conserves is a pure concentrated form of the berry or berries,] 60-65 percent is better. Basically, you want to end up with 1 1/2 - 2 cups of conserves. Add the zest of half of a lemon and a Tablespoon of fresh juice. Run through a fine sieve bring to room temperature.