Cake Adventures – and a King Arthur Flour Giveaway

Happy New Years from BakeThisCakeNew Year’s is a party time, for sure, but then it quickly becomes a time of reflection. Know what I mean? The challenges and adventures of the last year, the hope for a bright new year, resolutions for change in the upcoming year.

We’d like to add “giving” to that list.

As in: Who needs my help? Who needs a pat on the back? Who needs a statement of appreciation from me? Who needs some money from my pocket to help them along? Who needs a push in the right direction, or maybe even a kick in the pants? What skill do I have that I can pass on to help someone? Even the simple act of showing a child how to bake a cake or a loaf of bread can create a precious memory that will last a lifetime (unless they teach someone else, maybe even one of their future children, and so on).

This year, we’re using the ole’ martial arts credo…Be ready for anything!

Ready for anything Leslie in karate class with Julie

Funny. My daughter doesn

I am so very grateful for the tremendous support of the Bake This Cake! blog this year. With so many new friends and followers this year, it has been an amazing (and fun) year.

And what adventures we’ve had….like…

The Culinary Historians of Southern California’s Yosemite Dinner — The annual potluck event where 80 culinary historians gathered in Pasadena to recreate an historic dinner between President Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir in Yosemite. May I add that I baked the Edith Roosevelt Cloves Cake? AND I discovered a major error in a 100-year-old recipe (but more on that in an upcoming blog). ūüôā You can see an album of photos from this event by clicking >here<.

Venison, oysters, carrot pudding and more with the Culinary Historians

The Annual Neighborhood Halloween House, sponsored by our neighborhood property owners’ association, at our house going on 20 years in a row now, with chili dinner and treats for the whole neighborhood and their guests…and a ghostly graveyard for the kids…

Cream puiffs for pumpkin cheesecake puffs by BakeThisCake

Halloween Pumpkin Cheesecake Cream Puffs

The Techmunch L.A. event, where food writers from all over the U.S. gathered to learn better techniques for food blogging.. You can see a photo album of this event by clicking >here<.

TECHmunch LA class in progress

Food writers class in session in Santa Monica…

The Slow Food USA $5 Meal Challenge where we whooped-it-up for an entire meal for a family of 5 for $5 — whoo hoo!….

Whole Wheat Pasta for $5 Slow Food Challenge by BakeThisCake

Slow Food USA Challenge $5 Whole Wheat Pasta Dish or a family of 5

The NutrItaly event in Westwood, where we learned new ways to create healthier Italian food. You can see a photo album of the NutraItaly event by clicking >here< and a video on the event >here<.

Chef Enoteca prepares baked pasta at NutrItaly event in Westwood

Chef prepares Enoteca

The Food Bloggers Los Angeles Holiday Cookie Swap, where I added my Little Prairie Cakes to the gorgeous table of holiday cookie delights. You can see a photo album of this fun event by clicking >here<. And you can get all the recipes for the cookies by visiting our friends >here<.

FBLA Holiday Cookie Swap

FBLA Holiday Cookie Swap and Cookbook Exchange

My 90-year-old mom’s book signing event for her photo-poetry book, While Wandering”, where I launched my vintage Lady Baltimore Cake

Viola Geary Odell speaking at her book signing for While Wandering book iphone photo by Leslie Macchiarella

Instagram photo of Mom speaking at her book signing event

There were office parties…

…with homemade lasagna for a Thanksgiving potluck…

Lasagna for potluck office party

Lasagna for potluck office party

…a special strawberries and cream birthday cake for 50…

Strawberries & Cream Cake for 50 Office Party Gone Wild

Strawberries & Cream Cake for 50 Office Party Gone Wild

…the Go Green Day to promote public transit…

Go Green Day Chocolate Snacking Cake for 65 by BakeThisCake

Chocolate Snacking Cake — for 65 people!

…a deli table retirement party…

Country Potato Salad by BakeThisCakecom

35 pounds of homemade Country Potato Salad

And there were some nice big sit-down dinners with friends and family….

…Thanksgiving buffet at the river house with our River House¬†Whipped Cream Cake

Thanksgiving buffet with Whipped Cream Cake by BakeThisCakedotcom

Thanksgiving buffet at the river house

…Christmas night dinner in the city…

Christmas Dinner at Beachwood 2011 Photo by Leslie Macchiarella

Christmas Dinner at Beachwood

And the shared recipes on our blog during the year …

BakeThisCake recipes presented in the cake blog in 2011

Some of our recipes presented in 2011

Now it’s time to say thank you to our readers! And, a BIG thanks our sponsor of this giveaway, King Arthur Flour (we’ve received a free boxful of lovely gift-giving products to give away to one lucky winner).

1.) King Arthur Flour Bake and Give Pan Ring – 1 Set of 12…

King Arthur Bake and Give Ring Pan - Set of 12

King Arthur Bake and Give Ring Pan – Set of 12

2.) King Arthur Flour Bake and Give Round Pans – 1 Set of 6…

King Arthur Flour Bake and Give Round Pans - Set of 6

King Arthur Flour Bake and Give Round Pans – Set of 6

3.) King Arthur Flour Bake and Give Wooden Bakers – 1 Set of 6…

King Arthur Flour Bake and Give Wooden Bakers - Set of 6

King Arthur Flour Bake and Give Wooden Bakers – Set of 6

4.) King Arthur Flour Tulip Papers – Red – 1 Set of 24…

King Arthur Flour Tulip Papers - Red  Set of 24

King Arthur Flour Tulip Papers – Red Set of 24

5.) ¬†King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour…

King Arthur unbleached cake flour

Here are the contest rules….

+ 1 King Arthur Flour Unbleached Cake Flour

Do one or more of the following once or once a day. Each task gives you an additional entry. With the exception of making a general comment, you must let me know in the comments section of this blogpost what action you took. For example, if you tweet about the giveaway,like, “Check-out the cool giveaway by @BakeThisCakeCom at http://www.bakethiscake.com&#8221; then come here and post a comment like: “I tweeted the giveaway!”.

How can people enter

This is a giveaway contest with an approximate value of $50 and no purchase is necessary in order to win, however, you must follow the rules of the Contest. Read the full Contest Rules >here< and the full disclosure policy >here<.

************************************

UPDATE! WE HAVE A WINNER! Hip hip! (Don’t worry, we’ll have more!).¬†

With her permission, a little about our winner: 

Inger Frauenheim of Seattle…who is a busy at-home Mom of 2 young boys. She likes: baking, cooking for her family and friends, baking with her boys and eating homemade goodness. She cherishes the memories baking times create, knowing they will provide stories to tell for generations to come. She is always looking for new recipes, especially time tested ones, that will fill their days in the kitchen with time spent together baking and sharing in celebration.

Congats, Inger!

And thank you all for participating! More giveaways to come. ūüôā

Good luck and Happy New Year!

Leslie

Leslie Macchiarella Bake This Cake BakeThisCake at Beachwood by Christine Murphy

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Lady Baltimore Cake Recipe for a Special Celebration

Lady Baltimore Cake side overview by BakeThisCake Photo by LifeForcePhotosBack to the present…The grand lady of vintage cakes…drum roll pleeze for the Lady Baltimore Cake — an amazing celebration cake that tastes like the perfect 1920’s Regulation Butter Cake. ¬†You can eat this cake plain, no kidding, and you’d be happy with it. ¬†BUT it comes with a decadent filling that includes chopped nuts and exotic dried fruits. ¬†AND THEN…the whole dang thing is frosted over with a remarkable old-fashioned Boiled Icing (from turn-of-the-century recipes) that spreads like a dream then hardens to look like a bank of frozen snow. A frosting that you can gently crack into, literally! ¬†I’m thinking it’s¬†going to knock your country socks off — or your urban city argyles, as the case may be.

Lady Baltimore Cake 4 slices by BakeThisCake Photo by LifeForcePhotos

Mystery Origins: Maybe you thought this cake was birthed in Baltimore, Maryland. Nay, tis said, even though some swear by a connection to King Charles I of England and his Lord Lady Baltimore 1906 Macmillan London Decorative cover boards bookand Lady Baltimore. Others say this cake stems from a real antique called the Queens Cake (though the differences make that seem unlikely).¬†This version of the proud lady starts with a vintage “plain white cake” aka “silver cake”, that is really a “butter cake” but using only egg whites :), and possible wife to the Lord Baltimore Cake¬†(that is made with the leftover egg yolks and filled with chopped cherries, nuts and macarons). The most likely nationally published¬†origin of the Lady Baltimore Cake was a romance novel entitled¬†Lady Baltimore, written by Owen Wister¬†in 1906 (with a story that literally revolves around this cake). ¬†Folks say that, prior to writing the book, Mister Wister had been given this Charleston cake by¬†Alicia Rhett Mayberry and the cake so impressed the author of The Virginian that he included it in his novel in a big way. And so a Southern classic was born that may now be considered a bookish sort of literary cake. Ha!

Over the decades: Here’s a look at a snippet of the 1920’s version of this cake made in 2 layers in a brownie-sized pan, a later version in 2 round layers dotted with cherries…and our version….

Evolving History of the Lady Baltimore Cake by Bake This Cake

We kicked-it-up in the elegance category a notch, making it a tad more fanciful with 4 large round layers, but keeping close to the original “receipt” (the old-fashioned¬†word for “recipe”) in most other ways. We did not splash it with sherry or brandy, but that’s always an option. ūüôā

Our Special Occasion — My mum’s book: ¬†Whoo hoo! The Lady Baltimore Cake is really something special and is destined for a special celebration. Could be a sophisticated vintage wedding cake or a cold weather cake, a birthday cake or the best Viola Odell signing While Wandering book at book signing event Photo by John Albrittoncake for New Year’s. ¬†But the special occasion for THIS particular cake — my 90-year-old mum’s first book signing event for her amazing new book (I’m partial, of course ūüôā ), “While Wandering: A Photo-Poetic Journey Through California Landscapes“. ¬†As a fan of naturalist,¬†John Muir, and the Sierra Club all her life, my mom wrote a fascinating poem for each of her (other) daughter’s dramatic photographs of the California wilderness and country landscapes. ¬†Christine Murphy took the incredible photographs that accompany each poem While Wandering a Photo Poetic Journey Through California Landscapes by Viola Geary Odellof madr√©’s book. The photographs showcase incredible scenes of wanderings over the years throughout majestic California sites like: Yosemite, the short grass prairies of the Central Valley, the Big Sur coastline and the Monterey Bay area. Check out their¬†Facebook While Wandering¬†page with even more cool photos and poetry. (You go, Mom! ¬†We’re so very proud of you!) ūüôā

Slow Cooking Warning: This is a cake project, in my opinion. It is a “gift of time” cake that will make your party howl when your friends and family first land sight of it. This cake is notRegulation Butter Cake from p 3 of 1921 Igleheart's Cake Secrets hard to make but it takes some set-aside time for chopping nuts and dried fruits (although a food¬†processor might fill that bill if you can get the chops small and evenly diced with the machine). The nuts should be oven roasted a tad just to bring out their highest flavors and the raisins need to soak a while. Oh, and you’ll also need some extra time for the interesting science experiment with the Boiled Icing (here’s where you’ll want to haul your dorm-mates, your kids or your best friends into the kitchen to watch — cause it’s cool). ¬†So be warned, this is not your grocery store cake-mix cake. It’s the real deal! ūüôā

Another Warning – Oh My!: The only special tool you’ll need, besides a mixer, is a thermometer (a simple candy thermometer on up to something fancy — and they’re not Types of cake baking thermometers BakeThisCakeexpensive nowadays, like $15+) to read the heat of the boiling sugar-water at 240-degrees (unless you want to try your eye at catching it at the right “threading” moment. Not!). Another good reason to use a thermometer: Since the egg whites are basically cooked with the molten drizzle of boiled sugar-water, it is safer in my estimation to use a thermometer for this purpose. So just lay out the cash, pick one up and call it a day.¬†Be VERY careful with the molten liquid and don’t let your fingers stray near it for a second — and be sure to drizzle it slowly into the whipped egg whites lest it splash. ¬†Doesn’t this sound like a dangerous cake? ¬†Ha! You can do this — with a little caution and careful attention.

Enough of the warnings already! ¬†I say let’s get to it…so….Let the cake project commence! And I’m gonna show you each step along the way with a photograph. ūüôā

Lady Baltimore Cake overhead by BakeThisCake Photo by LifeForcePhotos

BIG CAKE! The recipe given here is for a BIG CROWD CAKE…4 BIG layers — enough to feed a couple dozen party-goers or more at a fine celebration. To make a standard sized cake, just divide the quantities given by 4. For example, instead of the 4 cups of roasted almonds, use only 1 cup, etc.

This cake starts with lots of gorgeous dried fruits and nuts.  We used almonds but walnuts and pecans are awesome in this cake too.

Mixed nuts and fruit for Lady Baltimore Cake by BakeThisCake

Like I said, this is pure vintage cake, listed here in a 1920’s recipe book by Iglehart…

Lady Baltimore Cake from Igleharts 1929

Tools Needed for Lady Baltimore Cake:
2 large round cake pans (22″x2″)
Cooking spray
Wax paper
Very small bowl or cup (for a little lemon juice)
Electric mixer
3 Medium bowls (for softening butter and separating eggs)
3 Large bowls (for creamed butter-sugar, egg whites and flour mixture)
Spatula
Whisk
Measuring cups and spoons
Scissors (for trimming wax paper)
2 pancake flippers (or one large cake slider, or any large flat metal object like a wire cooling rack, a flat-sheet cookie pan)

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
4 cubes (2 cups) unsalted butter
4 cups granulated sugar
7 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups of low-fat (2%) milk
6 egg whites
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract, fine quality

Directions for Lady Baltimore Cake:

Prepare two large round cake pans that are ¬†22″ round by 2″ high¬†by spraying each with cooking spray and lining them with a large piece of wax paper (with enough wax paper to hang well over the edges. ¬†Spray the wax paper with another coat of cooking spray. (We’ll trim away the extra wax paper later after the pans are filled with batter.)

Preparing cake pan with wax paper lining for Lady Baltimore Cake by BakeThisCake

Prepare and set aside: 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice

Squeezing lemon juice for Lady Baltimore Cake BakeThisCake

Microwave for a few seconds to soften to room temp:
4 cubes (2 cups) unsalted butter

Preparing room temperature butter for Lady Baltimore Cake Bake This Cake dot com

Stir the room temperature butter with a fork before use. Preparing butter for the Lady Baltimore Cake BakeThisCakecom

Cream the butter by beating it on high-speed for a about 3 to 5 minutes until fluffy.
Butter whipped with butter for Lady Baltimore Cake BakeThisCakecom

Add to the butter:
4 cups granulated sugar

Let the creamed butter and sugar mixture rest in the bowl for about 5 minutes to be sure all granulated sugar is dissolved then beat on high-speed for an additional 1 minute.

Sugar beat with butter for Lady Baltimore Cake BakeThisCake

In a large bowl, whisk together:
7 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder

Whisk dry ingredients for Lady Baltimore Cake by BakeThisCakecom

Beat into the butter-sugar mixture on medium speed:
2 cups of low-fat (2%) milk

Milk added to creamed butter and sugar for Lady Baltimore Cake by BakeThisCake

Fold the dry ingredients into the batter with a spatula, a few portions at a time (and take your time to be sure the dry ingredients are well incorporated).

Folding flour into batter for Lady Baltimore Cake by BakeThisCake

Separate into 2 medium bowls 6 large eggs and beat on high-speed until fluffy about (3 minutes):
6 egg whites

Note: We won’t be using the egg yolks for this cake — but they’ll be good for morning eggs.

Whipped egg whites for Lady Baltimore Cake by BakeThisCakecom

Fold into the batter:
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract, fine quality

Vanilla into batter for Lady Baltimore Cake by BakeThisCake

Fold the egg whites into the batter:

Folding egg whites into batter for Lady Baltimore Cake by BakeThisCake

This is a large recipe, so continue with your patient and gentle folding of the dry ingredients to incorporate the egg whites into the batter…

Continue folding drying ingredients into Lady Baltimore batter by BakeThisCake

Fold into the batter, making sure the batter is nice and smooth:
the prepared fresh lemon juice .

Lemon juice folded into batter for Lady Baltimore Cake by BakeThisCake

Spread the thick dough in the pans, almost to the top of each pan then cut away the excess wax paper (leaving some overhang to easily lift the cakes from the pans).

Trimming wax paper around cake pan Lady Baltimore Cake by BakeThisCake

Bake at 325 for 35 to 45 minutes until the toothpick test shows completely clean. I highly recommend using your cake thermometer for this purpose. The internal temperature of this cake should be 210 degrees.
Tip: These are large cakes so a toothpick test does not necessarily give you a proper reading and you want to be certain this cake is properly and thoroughly cooked in the top and lower center to achieve perfect results.

Hailing hot from the oven in the wax paper wrapping…

Lady Baltimore Cake hot from the oven by BakeThisCake

Remove the wax paper while the cakes are still warm and let them cool on racks thoroughly.  Using a large, sharp serrated knife, trim the top mound of each cake to be level and then create layers by slicing each cake in half horizontally.

Tip: How to cut a large cake in half by hand: One way to cut a big cake in half is to place the cake on wax paper on the counter for easy rotation. Using a large and very sharp serrated knife, cut into the side of the cake a couple of inches deep at the half way point between the leveled top and bottom of the cake using little in-and-out strokes while rotating the cake with your other hand.  Make only a shallow cut for the first rotation of the cake. After one complete rotation, continue cutting a little bit deeper into the cake while continuing to rotate the cake with your left hand. It may take 3 or 4 rotations until you hit the center of the cake with your knife to complete the slice.

Hand slicing Lady Baltimore Cake in half for frosting by BakeThisCake

For large cakes like this, it is best to use 2 large “pancake flippers” ¬†to remove the top layer onto a piece of foil or plastic wrap for storage.

Wrap the cake slices in aluminum foil to keep them fresh while you prepare the filling and frosting.

Lady Baltimore Cakes sliced and cooling by BakeThisCake

Next up in this 3-part series…the amazing nutty and fruity Lady Baltimore Filling

Filling for Lady Baltimore Cake mixed in a bowl by BakeThisCake

…and the more amazing Boiling Icing that is poured over the cake to dry to a smooth finish…

Lady Baltimore Cake frosted with Boiled Icing by BakeThisCake

Let the festivities commence!

Happy new year to you all and thank you ever so much for joining us in the celebration of old-fashioned vintage cake baking. I’m so glad to meet you all and receive your comments.

Lady Baltimore Cake tall overview with buffet foods by BakeThisCake  Photo by Lifeforcephotos

If you haven’t already, be sure to join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or share our pins on¬†Pinterest. ūüôā

Leslie

Leslie Macchiarella author of Bake This Cake Photo by LifeForcePhotos

Christine Murphy discusses her photographs at book signing for While Wandering Photo by John Albritton

Christine Murphy discusses her photographs at book signing event.

Carmel Helene singing at Viola Odell's book signing for While Wandering Photo by John Albritton

My niece, Carmel Helene, singing at my mom's book signing event.