Hubs recently got his dream job as a pilot at Delta Airlines. He’s been a pilot for quite awhile, but worked at a regional airline flying a small jet- often with long hours and difficult schedules. He had been counting down the days until Delta would start hiring and he could move on to a new company and learn to fly bigger planes. A few months ago he found out he was hired by Delta, which meant he had to head down to Atlanta for a couple months of training. As a surprise when he came home for a break in training, I made him this cake to celebrate his accomplishment.
By the way, having a pilot for a husband works well for a baker. Although it can be tough that he is off flying a large part of the time, the upside is that I get free reign to get cake batter, butter-cream, and food coloring all over every surface of our kitchen. Sometimes there’s even time to clean it up before he returns;)
“Heavenly White Cake” from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/heavenly-white-cake/
I’ve tried making white cake many many times with very limited success. I love the light, airy texture of white cakes that you can get in fancy bakeries. Unfortunately, until this one, I had never been able to make one at home that even came close. For some reason, most of the recipes I’ve tried ended up dense, yellow, and oddly textured. I tried different modifications and different methods with little luck. I can make most any other cakes without too much trouble, but a true white cake seemed beyond my grasp. I was about ready to throw my hands up in defeat, when I came across this recipe. I decided to give it one last try and low and behold, it turned out amazing! It really is aptly named, because I swear it took divine intervention to help me make a white cake that didn’t end up directly in the trash.
I followed the recipe pretty closely with only two minor exceptions. First, because I wanted more almond flavor, I cut the vanilla to 1/2 tsp. and increased the almond extract to 1 1/2 tsp. Next time, I might add even more almond. I also added about 3/4 c. blueberries to the batter for one of the pans (the one which became the middle layer). I dusted the berries with a little flour to help absorb some of juice as they cooked, so I wouldn’t have a completely blue layer. This worked pretty well, so if I make another blueberry cake, I’ll add the berries to both the middle and top layers.
- Swiss Meringue Buttercream (http://www.marthastewart.com/353415/swiss-meringue-buttercream)
Red and Blue Accent Icing:
- Unfortunately, I didn’t have quite enough of the Swiss meringue buttercream left over after frosting the cake for the rest of the decorating. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can modify it really easily. I just added some powdered sugar, milk, and more almond extract until I had enough icing and it was the right consistency. Then I used a TON of gel frosting color to reach the deep red and blue I needed for the Delta logo.
- I used a pre-made vanilla fondant (Cake Boss brand from Michael’s) for the logo. I initially planned to pipe it, but didn’t trust that I could do it evenly enough. I kneaded the fondant with a bright red gel coloring, rolled it out, and then cut it in the shape of the logo with a stencil I made. To get the darker red on the right side, I used a few drops of vodka to moisten the fondant and sprinkled red edible glitter on top. Easy Peasy!
- For easy clean-up, employ a cat. This handsome guy is excellent at cleaning up frosting. Usually, he sticks to licking it up off the floor, but he’s also been known to “clean” it off the top of a cupcake or two;)