White Layer Cake with Buttercream Frosting

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It is hard to convert a person with a devout cake obsession, but when it happens, and you are the one who created the little flour and frosting miracle, it feels REALLY good. Here is a recipe for a pretty stupendous white layer cake that swayed even the most fanatical cake baker & lover: Mom.

Every birthday in my family is a big deal. We celebrate for days. For my mom, it is all about the cake.  Her favorite in the world is the white cake from Ralph’s. This year I took a HUGE risk and made her a different cake that we have never tried. It was a huge success! Thank goodness!  This is a Martha Stewart recipe that I altered a little.  Here’s a tip: You can make the cake and frosting the day before serving and store in the refrigerator. – Amy

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YIELDS
Two round 9 inch cakes
CAKE INGREDIENTS
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pans
3 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for dusting
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Brush the cake pans with butter (see below for pan sizes and batter amounts). Line with parchment paper; butter parchment, and dust with flour, tapping out any excess. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Stir the milk and vanilla to combine; set aside. Beat the butter in a mixer bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar in a steady stream; mix until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes
Reduce the speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk mixture, and beginning and ending with the flour; mix just until combined.
In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites just until stiff peaks form. Fold one-third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten. Gently fold in the remaining whites in two batches. Divide the batter among the prepared pans; smooth the tops with an offset spatula. Firmly tap the pans on a work surface to release any air bubbles.
Bake until a cake tester inserted into the centers comes out clean and the tops are springy to the touch (see below for baking times). Let cool in the pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks. Remove the parchment; re-invert and cool completely.
BUTTERCREAM FROSTING INGREDIENTS
12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS
Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Reduce speed to medium. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla, and beat until buttercream is smooth. Turn to high for 10 seconds once all sugar is mixed in. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate the day before using. (Bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth before using.)

HOMEMADE CAKE BOX
You will need: One Box (container store), decorative ribbon, decorative paper, tape

Enjoy a delicious cake and even nicer package to gift it (or store it)!

Festively Fall Caramel Apples

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What is better than the combination of feeling the crisp Fall air and hearing the crunch of a bright green apple covered in rich decadent caramel? To be honest, if it is us taking the bite, not much! That is why we bring you these delicious delights created in festive Fall form with creative candied outsides.  So go ahead, construct your own and help your family get into the autumnal spirit!

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Now you try! Here’s the recipe… 

YIELD

Serves 6

 

INGREDIENTS

6 Wooden Sticks

6 Granny Smith Apples, stems removed

1 cup Heavy Cream

1 cup Granulated Sugar

1/4 cup Dark Corn Syrup

2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter

Twine

 

TOPPINGS

Crushed Oreos

Plain M&Ms

Shaved Almonds

Crushed Peanuts

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups crumbled

 

RECIPE

Insert sticks into tops of apples. Wrap twine around stick.  Prepare an ice-water bath. Set aside.

Bring cream, sugar, corn syrup, and butter to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Clip a candy thermometer to pan, and continue to cook until mixture reaches 245 degrees, 10 to 12 minutes.

Place pan in ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Dip bottom of each apple in caramel. Using a spoon, coat apple halfway to three-quarters of the way up sides. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and decorate with toppings.

Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes (or overnight). Enjoy.

Tip: Make sure if you are using crumbled candy that it has been chilled in the freezer. It will make the candy easier to crumble and break into pieces.