Saturday, June 30, 2012

Buffalo Sponge Candy Cake

Today we're celebrating Wilde in the Kitchen's second birthday!  It's hard to believe that just over two years ago I was talking with my friends, trying to decide on a name for my blog.  I had fallen for the food blogging world and wanted to join in on the fun.  I had no idea where this little place on the internet would take me.

Over the past two years I have gone through more pounds of sugar than I had in the previous twenty-eight years...

I have learned that nothing is out of reach in your home kitchen...


This past year seemed to be the year of the salad...


So much has changed in my life in the past two years as well.  The blog originated in Boulder, Colorado, in my mountainview apartment.  The kitchen was a mere two weeks away from getting packed up and shipped to New Haven, Connecticut.  The cooking tools available to me were simple and low tech, a whisk or two, a small kitchen scale and a demonic hand mixer.

When the boxes labeled "kitchen" were piled in my brand new, New Haven apartment, their contents overflowed the studios kitchen space.  With only 350 square feet to my name, the cooking and baking supplies took over every free space they could find.  The Sundays that I spent cooking there were some of the busiest times in my apartment, preparing all of my meals and treats for the week.

Around this time last year I made my most recent and most important move.  I got my first real-world job and moved to New Jersey to live with boyfriend.  With my new, much larger kitchen, normalized work hours and second human being to feed, WITK started to become more well rounded and offer more dinners and savory options, but still maintaining the occasional sweet post.

My life and this site have changed so much over the past two years, who knows where it will be in two years more!  I'm mostly grateful for everyone out there who stops by to say hi, comment on a post or try out one of my recipes.  The food-blogging community that I'm a part of is a huge reason behind why I keep going.  Of course I love writing, baking and cooking, but I seriously love the interaction with my like-minded foodies out there in the interwebs.

Thank you all for making this such a fun place for me come every week.  To celebrate WITK's two year, I made us all a cake!  Three layers of cloud-soft sponge cake, filled with sweet caramel frosting and coated in a rich chocolate glaze.  It's like a giant piece of Buffalo sponge candy.  Perfectly appropriate for WITK's birthday.  Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for the fun!  Here's to a fulfilling, savory, exciting and sweet next year!

Two Years Ago(!!!): Chocolate Cupcakes (High Altitude recipe included)
One Year Ago:  Banana Coconut Muffins

Buffalo Sponge Candy Cake
A Wilde Original

Sponge Cake
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cakes

1 1/2 cups cake flour
pinch of salt
9 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Coat three 8x8-inch square pans with cooking spray.  Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper and then lgihtly coat the parchment paper with cooking spray.  Add flour and rotate the pan, gently tapping to coat the edges and bottom with flour.  Tap out the excess.  Preheat oven to 350 F.

Sift together flour and salt into a medium bowl.  Set aside while you prepare the eggs.

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and 3/4 cup of sugar together until lightened in color and smooth, about 6 minutes.  Add vanilla extract and beat for 1 more minute.  If you are using your stand mixer, transfer egg yolk mixture to a large bowl and clean the stand mixer bowl with soap and water and dry.

Add egg whites to a clean, empty bowl and begin whipping.  Beat on medium speed until foamy.  Increase speed to medium high and whip until the eggs hold soft peaks.  Lower the speed to medium and add remaining 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, over the course of 3 minutes.  Whip for 1 minute longer, or until the eggs hold stiff peaks.

Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the egg yolks and gently fold together.  Once no more white streaks remain, add another 1/3 of egg whites, then the final third.  Now, add the flour in four portions, gently sprinkling it over the top of the egg mixture and folding it in.

Pour batter into three prepared pans, trying to make the amounts even in each pan.  Bake the cakes on the middle rack of the oven for 18 minutes.  Check with a toothpick to see if the cakes are baked through, there should be no batter or crumbs clinging to the toothpick when it comes out.  If not quite done, bake for another 2 minutes.  It should take between 18-20 minutes for the cakes to be baked.

Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan, on a wire rack.  Remove cakes from the pan and take off the parchment paper.  Allow to cool on the wire rack until room temperature. 

Caramel Frosting (Brown Sugar Frosting)
Adapted from The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

I tried a few caramel frosting recipes and this is the one that turned out the best, although I still wasn't blown away with it.  They either tasted too much like vanilla, butter or just plain sugar.  This one has a nice brown sugar flavor but still isn't quite what I was looking for.  I would call this more of a brown sugar frosting and will remain on the hunt for a great caramel frosting.  Do you have one?  Send me the link!

I used a different caramel frosting to fill the cake and put this on the outside of the cake.  If you want to fill and coat the cake with this frosting, you should double the recipe!  Because of the brown sugar in the frosting, the texture will be grainy.  Let the cake sit at room temperature for 1 day before serving, this will allow the sugar to dissolve in the frosting and improve the flavor.

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp dark corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl, beat butter until smooth.  Add powdered sugar and brown sugar and beat on low until combined.  Finally, add milk, dark corn syrup and vanilla extract, beating until you reach your desired frosting consistency.

Fill each layer with a good portion of the frosting and coat the cake with the remaining amount.  Place in the fridge to set up before coating in chocolate glaze.

Chocolate Glaze
A Wilde Original

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 tbsp butter
2 ounces heavy cream

Combine chocolate chips and butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave on half power until butter is melted and chips are softened.  Stir together and add heavy cream.  Whisk everything until smooth and let cool slightly before pouring over the finished cake.  Either smooth out with an offset spatula or let the chocolate drip freely for a more rustic look.
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