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Baby Shower Cakes


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Ingredients:

  • 11 tb Butter; room temperature
  • 1 1/4 c All-purpose flour
  • 2/3 c Sugar
  • 1/2 ts Orange zest
  • 1 Piece vanilla bean - (2"); split, and
  • Seeds removed
  • 3 lg Eggs
  • 1 ts Baking powder
  • === SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM ===
  • 5 lg Egg whites
  • 1 1/4 c Sugar
  • 2 c Unsalted butter; room temperature
  • 1 ts Vanilla extract

Directions:

Place a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 375 degrees. Butter the wells of an egg-cake pan with 1 teaspoon of the butter, and dust the wells with 1 tablespoon of the flour; tap out any excess flour. Set the pan aside. Sift together the remaining 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons flour and the baking powder. Set aside.
 
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, soften the remaining 10 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons butter. Gradually add the sugar, and beat until light and fluffy, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the orange zest and vanilla seeds and beat to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping sides of bowl. Add the sifted flour to the butter mixture. Beat on low speed just until incorporated.
 
Spoon the batter evenly among the cups. Bake for 10 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees, and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer egg-cake pan to a wire rack, and let cool slightly. Invert pan onto wire rack and remove cakes. Cool thoroughly.
 
Using a serrated knife, trim the edges of the cakes. Carefully cut the cakes in half horizontally. Shave a small portion off of the bottom of half so it will sit flat. (The bottom half of the cake will be used as the body of the bassinet.) Halve the top half crosswise. Discard one half, (1/4 of the cake) and reserve the other half to use as the sunshade for the bassinet. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, cut-side down.
 
Make Swiss meringue buttercream. Set aside 1/2 cup to tint pink and 1/2 cup to tint blue. Set aside the remaining 2 cups to leave white.
 
SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM: Combine the egg whites, sugar, and vanilla in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved and whites are hot to the touch, 5 to 7 minutes.
 
Transfer the bowl to the electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, mix on low speed, gradually increasing to high speed, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes.
 
In a separate bowl, beat butter until creamy and fluffy.
 
At low speed, add the butter to the egg whites until smooth. Add the vanilla and continue mixing until incorporated. (Makes 5-1/2 cups)
 
Decorate cakes. Place some of the white buttercream into a small pastry bag fitted with a #46 Ateco basketweave tip. Pipe a basketweave design onto the curved surfaces. Transfer to the refrigerator until chilled and set, about 30 minutes.
 
Remove cakes from refrigerator. Using a small spatula, invert cakes flat-side up, and spread the surfaces with a smooth, even layer of some of the white buttercream. Using a small offset spatula, transfer the small "sunshade" piece, smallest-side down to sit on the bottom half, so that the exposed basketweave of both pieces are flush to form a bassinet.
 
Tint the reserved 1/2 cup buttercream pale pink using Wilton Christmas Red. Tint the other reserved 1/2 cup buttercream pale blue using Wilton Sky Blue. Using a small offset spatula, spread a smooth mound of pink or blue buttercream on the lower two-thirds of the bassinet to create a "blanketed bundle".
 
Transfer the remaining white buttercream into a small pastry bag fitted with a coupler. Remove the tip and with only the coupler pipe a white buttercream "head" just above the blanket.
 
Attach a #45 Ateco straight tip. Pipe a straight line across the top edge of the blanket to create a "fold" in the blanket.
 
Attach a #352 Ateco leaf tip. Pipe a ruffled border around edges of the basketweave. Remove the leaf tip. Decorate blankets as desired with remaining white buttercream.
 
Makes 8.
 
Source: "Martha Stewart Living - <www.marthastewart.com>"