Saturday, March 7, 2009

Party time

I thought about what a girl cake should taste like, something sweet like strawberries and cream.

the birthday girl in polka dots

Baking the cake was fun; I used a white cake from my cookbook and frosted it with a luscious, creamy strawberry meringue buttercream frosting from Martha Stewart. And, as I am obsessed with my mandoline, I used it to shave thin slices of strawberry to lie in between the layers of cake.

Strawberry Meringue Buttercream
, adapted from Martha Stewart

4 organic egg whites
1 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
1 1/2 sticks of organic unsalted butter (12 ounces), cut into 1" pieces at room temperature.
1 tablespoon vanilla
rose pink food coloring
9 oz organic/natural strawberry preserves, placed in food processor and pureed until smooth.
6 large organic strawberries

1. In metal bowl of standing mixer, add egg whites and sugar, whisk to combine
2. Place bowl on top of pot filled with hot water, use this like a double boiler. (Hot water should not go inside the bowl, just simmering underneath it coming up a few inches on the bowl)
3. Whisk constantly, and place a candy thermometer inside to monitor temperature.
4. Keep whisking until mixture reads close to 160 degrees. (About 10-15 minutes). Remove from hot water.
5. Place bowl in standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat for 8-10 minutes until thick, bright white, and shiny.
6. Remove the whisk and replace with a paddle attachment. Beat mixture on medium and add pieces of butter one at a time until incorporated, vanilla, and food coloring.
7. Add strawberry jam puree until mixed, then frosting is ready to use.
8. Use mandoline to shave thin slices of strawberry, and use to layer on top of frosting. Then frost underside of other layer (so that the strawberries don't make the cake soggy)

The decorations were easy to place on the cake, once frosted and chilled. Clyde helped place some of them too, which made him laugh. I piped little dots for the top of her dress, then handpainted them with gold luster dust.

When she saw the cake, Ruby didn't know who to look at first. Yoda? Elmo? Kitty? She took a lick and danced.

After a few pieces...

Love you so much Ruby!

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