Monday, April 21, 2008

Cookie Gets Crustier

Around the time that Laurie sent me her awesome email, Cookie and I were driving around Portland and we began talking about her upcoming birthday. She wasn't too excited about turning a year older, but buoyed by all the hoopla on the blog about her previous cake she perked up considerably about this year's cake. I asked what she wanted, and she said all excited-like, "ALL white!"
"But what about the strawberries," I spluttered.
"Nope. That was for you. I want a white cake, with white frosting."
I sighed. Then Cookie added, "last year's frosting could have been crustier."

cookie's crusty frosting

April 20, 2008
Name of cake: Crusty, part two
Occasion: Cookie's Birthday!
Constituents: two layers white velvet cake filled and frosted with crusty American buttercream

Last Sunday, the stooges planned to celebrate Cookie's birthday with a luxurious Sunday at the spa. Unfortunately I got called off to a birth right after my massage (thank god I got the massage). I left the other 2 stooges and rushed off to work. The birth was short and sweet and I was able to meet up with the stooges later on that night at Cookie's house to watch What Not to Wear and eat Oreos.

Cookie got a little down and asked me where her cake was. I told her to relax, her real birthday wasn't until Tuesday.

Monday night, with another couple in early labor, I baked up the cakes.

This cake recipe is so easy and quick to put together, especially since I have a constant stash of egg whites in the freezer. I just pulled out a tub of egg whites, let them defrost on the counter all day, and when I was ready, measured out how much I needed and put the tub back in the freezer. I had the cakes in the oven in record time.

After cooling a bit, I noticed that one cake layer's top was a little sunken, which meant that it was probably undercooked. Dangit, this has been happening a lot lately--I really ought to go get the Magi-Cake strips. I was so worried that the cake layer would be a bit gummy and raw, but it actually tuned out just fine, with no raw spots. Go figure.

Tuesday morning, Cookie's birthday, the stooges met for a quick breakfast and as we were finishing, the early labor couple called to tell me that they were heading for the hospital and they were ready for me to join them. So off I went.

The little kiddo was born around 6 pm that night, and after staying around for an hour, I headed off to Cookie's house, without cake, to play Dance Dance Revolution, which she had received from her husband for her birthday. That game is so much fun--and good cardio!

Cookie's older sister and her three kids stopped by with a chocolate-chocolate cake, so I was kind of glad I didn't finish and bring the white-white cake. what was I supposed to do? Scrap the cake altogether? How much cake does a birthday girl need?

I decided to save her white-white cake for Sunday, when we would be having book club. So I left the cake layers, all double-wrapped in lightly greased plastic wrap, sitting pretty on the counter while I tried to rejoin the real world, post births.

Today, Sunday, I pulled out a few boxes of butter and got ready to make some crusty frosting. I remembered what I had learned last year from, that a frosting that is 100% butter and powdered sugar tends to get so crusty that it can crack. I thought that would be exactly what Cookie wanted.

So for 2 cups of butter I measured out 8 cups of powdered sugar. Take a minute to think about that, people. 8 cups of powdered sugar is almost ONE KILO. I am not kidding you.

how much sugar?
this bowl-full of sugar will soon be in your stomach

I would like to reiterate what I said last year about the crusty frosting. RLB makes a buttercream that has a ratio of ONE cup of sugar to TWO cups of butter. Classic American buttercream is FOUR cups of sugar to ONE cup of butter. Think about it. That's...well that's a big difference. No wonder people in this country get type II diabetes.

I added in an extra tablespoon of milk (5 total) to thin the frosting out. It was the consistency of a thick paste, which I am not used to as RLB's neoclassic buttercream has a silky and light texture. However, the paste smoothed on the cake fairly well, as long as I kept a good amount between my spatula and the cake. Otherwise, there was a little tearing.

I almost left the cake smoothed out, so that as it crusted and cracked it would look like a plaster column. But then I decided that was a little plain so I added a shallow little swirl all around the sides and up to the middle of the cake. (I got that idea from Julius. Thanks Julius!) And that was all.

cookie's crusty cake

Cookie loved her white-white cake with the crusty american frosting. She also loved that I had made too much frosting and gave her a sizeable tub of the extra. Joelf suggested she cut one piece of cake, frost the two cut sides, and let it sit up overnight to crust something serious. She seemed pretty excited by that, so she just might have done it.


  1. Love the white-on-white Cookie's cake story. (she's a fussy little devil!)
    I like the way Auntie Evil makes her dream cake come true. You are a pal!
    The cake looks so white and even this far away, I'd say it looks crusty! this 'Two births, and Two Cakes'?
    I do enjoy a good snoopy look at the inside of the sliced cake. Oh well.
    Oh dear! Is that you Cookie, slumped in the corner in a hyperglycemic stuper, with white crusty frosting all over your face?... Happy Birthday Cookie to you!

  2. i know, i forgot to snap a pic of a cut slice of cake...we were so eager to eat it, then i was sugar crashing and having trouble functioning...then the cake was gone.

    it looked a lot like last year's cake minus the jam filling and strawberries on top. if that's helpful!