Nineteen years... that's impossible, isn't it? Another birthday observed. This year, it happened to fall on Easter Sunday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
We celebrated amongst family and friends, brunch at the home of former neighbors. An Easter ham, asparagus, pineapple bread pudding, mimosas for starters -- Vanilla Cake with Orange Curd Filling and Vanilla Buttercream Frosting for the birthday cake finalé.
As usual, Pipi was the best-dressed at the party. Oh... to be blessed with her sense of style!
I will make this easy (for myself, that is) and give links below to the recipes for several components of the Vanilla Layer Cake with Orange Curd Filling and Vanilla Buttercream Frosting that I made for my daughter's birthday. I also made a quart of Vanilla Ice Milk that was actually a very big hit with everyone. It was the perfect counterpart to the rich buttercream -- light and refreshing... and, icy.
•Vanilla Layer Cake
•Orange Curd Filling
•Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
• Vanilla Layer Cake (recipe HERE)
• Orange Curd (recipe HERE)
• Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (recipe BELOW)
1. With a serrated knife, cut each cake layer horizontally into two layers. Place one cake layer on a plate (or cardboard round) and spread with some of the orange curd. Place another cake layer on top and spread with more of the curd. Repeat one more time, then top with the 4th cake layer. Place cake in refrigerator to chill.
2. Frost the entire cake with a thin coat of the buttercream (the crumb-coat) and return to the refrigerator. Once cold, frost the cake with the final layer of buttercream. Keep the cake refrigerated until about 30 minutes before serving.
+ My cake was decorated with fresh clementine segments that were dipped in a mixture of melted milk chocolate and unsalted butter (dipping consistency), and a sprinkling of French decorative chocolate shavings.
adapted recipe from Simply Sensational Desserts by Francois Payard
• 5 large eggs
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 1/4 pounds unsalted butter, softened
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• Scraped seeds from 1 vanilla bean (optional -- I added this to my buttercream to get a HUGE vanilla taste)
1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer and using the whisk attachment, begin beating the eggs on medium speed.
2. At the same time, combine the sugar and 1/3 cup water in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring to dissolve the sugar. Insert a candy thermometer and cook the mixture until the syrup reaches 240˚F. While the mixer is whisking the eggs, immediately pour the syrup into the mixing bowl. Avoid pouring the syrup onto the whisk or it will splatter! Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the eggs have doubled in size, about 7 minutes.
3. Beat the softened butter into the egg mixture 1 tablespoon at a time. After all of the butter has been incorporated, increase the speed to high and whisk for an additional 2 minutes. The buttercream should be shiny and smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract (and the vanilla bean seeds if using). The buttercream can be used immediately, or placed in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring back to room temperature and beat with a whisk before using.
NOTE: Buttercream will sometimes curdle while whisking in the butter. If this happens, stop beating the buttercream and heat 2 tablespoons of heavy cream in a saucepan on the stove or in a small cup in the microwave. Whisk the hot cream into the buttercream to bring it back together and proceed adding the additional butter.
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