Here’s a free little bit of advice before we begin. Never fill your cake pans with batter more than ¾ of the way, because you never know what may happen. They might mushroom out and it’s chaos. I know you want to use all of the batter, I obviously do too. But you can’t play God, you need to know your boundaries. See? Try to look past my filthy oven windows please.
I made a cake this week and there ain’t much else to say about it. It’s a wonderful spiced sponge cake, with a tart cherry filling and addictive cream cheese frosting. I will say that cake construction is a very vulnerable business. It’s not like brownies, no one gives a shit what happens there. With cakes, it’s as though I fear all of the negative energy buried within my bosom has somehow been imparted onto that cake. Kind of like that pie in Thinner, the film adaptation of Stephen King’s Thinner (book). Except instead of making you thinner and consequently bringing to an end your corporeal life, this cake will probably bloat you a little the next morning, as is typical of most cake. I don’t make witchcraft, I make gluten.
Here, I strip myself bare for you. Despite my life-sapping inclination toward perfectionism, I lay it out there for you. I offer you food for gut, fodder for the psyche, dessert for your mouth parts. After the blood has been let, what is left of my body lies prostrate on the kitchen floor, amidst debris of crumbs and fancy. This is an artist’s struggle, a long and winding journey to an unknown destination. Behold cake, my dreams objectified deliciously before you. Judge me not lest I unfriend you on Facebook.
All Spice Sponge Cake
1 cup Flour
1 ½ tsp Baking powder
½ tsp Salt
2 tsp All spice
6 tbsp Butter, melted
5 eggs (2 whole, 3 separated)
1 cup and 2 tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
½ oz Milk
Preheat oven to 350
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and all spice. Whisk thoroughly and set aside.
Melt butter and allow to cool.
Separate 3 eggs, reserving whites for later use. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine your 2 whole eggs, 3 egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, and milk. Whisk on high speed for about 5 minutes until eggs are pale yellow and frothy. If you only have one mixer like me and most normal people, transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and wash your mixing bowl and whisk very thoroughly to use in the next step. The cleaning is very important, as eggs whites will not whip with the presence of yolk.
In your mixer, whisk 3 egg whites on med-high speed until they reach soft peaks. Add about 2 more tbsp of sugar to stabilize your whites, then continue to whisk until they reach stiff peaks.
Gently fold dry ingredients into egg yolk mixture. Next, mix about ¼ of egg whites into batter to lighten. Add the rest of the egg whites, and gently but quickly fold into the mixture until there is no more streaking. When egg whites are almost completely folded in, add melted butter and continue to fold quickly until distributed. Immediately distribute batter between two ungreased 8 inch round pans. Bake for approx. (time), until middle of cakes bounce back when touched. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 12-24 hours for easy trimming.
16 oz Frozen cherries
2 oz Lemon Juice
3 oz Water
1 ¼ cup Sugar
1 tbsp Corn starch
In a medium sauce pot, combine cherries, half of lemon juice, water, and half of sugar. Bring to a boil on the stove, then lower heat to a simmer and cover pot. Continue to cook cherries until the mixture becomes jam-like and the liquid is reduced by half, stirring frequently.
In a small bowl, thoroughly whisk together remaining sugar and corn starch. When cherries have been cooked down to a thin jam consistency, add cornstarch mixture and whisk thoroughly. Bring filling to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook for about 5 minutes over med-high heat until filling is thickened and starch is cooked out. Allow to cool to room temperature, then chill slightly in the refrigerator before assembling cake.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Note: This is A LOT of frosting. If you are planning to make a smaller cake, feel free to reduce by a third or by half. However, if you make the full batch, you should just eat it on fruit for breakfast, why not?
½ pound (8 oz or 2 sticks) Butter, softened
1 lb Cream cheese
2 cups Confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 tsp Lemon juice
1 tsp Salt
In a mixer with a whisk, cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth and consistent. Turn mixer down to low and add sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt. Turn speed back up to whip lightly for 30-60 seconds. You’re done!
Trim the browned edges of your cakes. Spoon cherry filling into the center of the bottom layer, and spread out carefully, leaving a ½ inch to an inch border, depending on the size of your cake. Add second layer on top. Let gravity do most of the work to spread the filling. Frost your cake however you see fit! I did mine in a cake ring, so that’s kind of cheating but incredibly. Garnish with fresh cherries! It’s SUMMER!