even though i had my little wedding cake flop and then chopped off the better part of my left index finger while leveling a cake yesterday, i have been spending these last few days leading up to christmas and the wedding the best way i know how: by baking and decorating cakes. usually when i want to make a cake, i wait until there's a birthday or other party approaching so that there will actually be people to eat the cake, but this week there's christmas and hanukkah and the wedding and a bunch of family and friends in town, so i have a zillion million reasons to make cake and it is a dream come true.
the cherry on top was that eggboy surprised me with a little tv for the kitchen and cable!!!!! we even get a canadian channel, and it had ice dancing on it yesterday, which i watched while eating a big quesadilla covered in ketchup. cake decorating, ice dancing, cheese, ooh (!) and finally a thin sheet of snow on the ground, it's like the universe *knows* me.
this citrus confetti cake is going to be my gift at the egg family's white elephant christmas gift exchange! i'm so excited. it comes from april carter's new book, decorated, which has pretty much been my bible all week. i think i've flipped through its pretty pages hundreds of times by now, and it took me forever to decide which cake to make first. i was really tempted by her gingerbread cake with whiskey caramel and apple, parsnip, and rosemary cake, but then when i remembered that citrus can be wintery too (i always forget that), i knew that this would be the one. it even comes with a how-to for homemade confetti sprinkles!!
i made a half batch of april's recipe out of fear that we wouldn't have enough room to store all of the cakes that i'm making. it's a shame that the kitties are so curious because otherwise we could just put all of these desserts outside in our big farm-sized deep freeze. but it's ok, i've been wanting to use my new mini green cake stand anyway (thanks, egg mama!). the cake halved perfectly. i baked it in two 6" tins instead of two 8" tins, and then the only other thing i did differently was that i used marzipan instead of fondant for the sprinkles because i seem to always have a small chunk of leftover marzipan in my fridge waiting to be used. the cake is delicious-- a nice sturdy crumb, and that curd!! i could have eaten it all with a spoon. i'm so excited to try all of the other cakes in this stunning book! yay, april!!
citrus confetti cake
slightly adapted from april carter's decorated
makes 1 large 8-inch cake
450 g (1 lb) unsalted butter
620 g (1 lb 6 oz/ 2 3/4 c) sugar
8 medium eggs
620 g (1 lb 6 oz/5 c) flour
5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
250 ml (9 fl oz) whole milk
grated zest of 4 unwaxed oranges
grated zest of 4 unwaxed lemons
400 g (14 oz) unsalted butter, softened
10 medium egg whites
450 g (1 lb/scant 2 c) sugar
2 tsp vanilla
5 medium egg yolks
170 g (6 oz/ 3/4 c) sugar
grated zest and juice of 1 pink grapefruit
1 tb lemon juice
110 g (3 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, cubed
colored fondant cut out with a piping tip and set to dry on parchment for a few hours or overnight
preheat oven to 335f (170c/gas 3). grease two 8-inch round, deep cake tins, line the bottoms with parchment, and set aside.
use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes until fluffy. add the eggs one at a time. sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. incorporate half of it into the butter mixture, add the milk, and then add the remaining flour mixture and zests. pour into cake tins and bake for 70-75 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
cool for 10 minutes in the tins and then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
to make the buttercream, gently heat the egg whites and sugar over a double boiler, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved completely. remove from heat and beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes. add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. it may look curdled, but keep beating and it will come back together. beat in the vanilla.
to make the curd, gently heat the egg yolks, sugar, zest, and juices over a double boiler, whisking constantly. whisk in the butter one cube at a time, until all of the butter has been incorporated and the mixture has thickened (about 10 minutes). strain into a shallow container and cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. chill until needed.
level the cakes and then cut each in half so that you have four layers. fix the first layer to a cake board with a small amount of buttercream. fill a piping bag with buttercream and then pip a line around the edge of the first layer (this will stop your curd from escaping). fill with 2-3 tablespoons of curd and then gently press the second layer on top. repeat with the second and third layers and then finish with your top layer. cover the cake with a thin layer of buttercream and then chill for 30 minutes or until firm. cover the cake with a thicker layer of buttercream, pipe on a border or two, and then sprinkle with confetti sprinkles. enjoy!