Let’s have a Party

All mothers have been told they wear many hats – and I am no different.  My many hats include: wife, mother, daughter, artist, chef, teacher, friend . . .  But, there is one hat that I love with all my heart and that is the \’Mom hat\’.  

Recently I put on the mom hat and the chef hat and was able to do something special for my youngest adult son Philip and my new daughter-in-law Becca.  They were married on April 10th, 2012 in a very small ceremony and were not able to have a reception.  *(This was due to the fact that Philip is now a Lance Corporal in the Marines and he has been stationed in San Diego at Camp Pendleton.  His leave was 10 days and their time together was short before he was to report for duty.)

Because everything had to be done so quickly, as a Mom, I wanted to do something special for them both.  We had planned a family get-together for my birthday, but instead we decided to surprise them with a little family reception. The party was planned and I made their wedding cake.  So, I thought I would share the recipe and photos you.

So, without further adieu may I present the wedding cake of 

LCpl Philip & Rebecca Stephens
Orange Cake Recipe
(approximately 6 1/2 cups batter)
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
6 eggs, separated
grated zest of 2 oranges
2/3 cup freshly squeezed, strained orange juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
pinch of salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled
(I used (2) 9-inch round pans and (2) 6-inch round pans)
*Remember that different-size pans will require different baking times.  Check the cake layers several times during baking for doneness.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour cake pans.  
With an electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar with the egg yolks until the mixture is thick and pale yellow.  Beat in the orange zest and juice and almond extract. Then beat in the flour. 

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Add the pinch of salt and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. 
Quickly fold the melted butter into the batter, a bit at a time, until incorporated.  Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter, taking care not to deflate them.  Immediately spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until the center tests done.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes (very important); remove the cake from the pan and cool completely.  

Orange Butter Cream Icing
(about 1 1/2 cups)
2 egg yolks 
2/3 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons orange liqueur
6 oz. softened, unsalted butter
In a 2 1/2 quart mixing bowl place in all ingredients listed.  With an electric mixer placed on moderate speed beat for 5 minutes to obtain a smooth cream.  Chill until the cream is cold but still malleable, then fill and ice the cake. 
*(for my cake I made 3 batches of the icing)
This was a great tasting cake.  And if you do make one I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. (There are a few tips that I would like to share with you about making a wedding cake – I know that I have only made 2 wedding cakes in my life, but I did learn from my mistakes.)
1. Always butter and flour you cake pans
2. fill cake pans 2/3 to 3/4 full of batter
3. Always remember that different size pans require different baking time.  Always check cake layers during baking for doneness.
4. Always cool cake in pans for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack.
5. Always frost the cake the day before the wedding and refrigerate it so the icing will be thoroughly chilled.  Then decorate the cake as close to serving time as possible.
6. After icing the tops of the cake and placing them – anchor the layers with long toothpicks or cake tubes (you can get these as any craft store in the cake decorating section). 
A Toast to the Happy Couple
 May you always have
Walls for the winds
A roof for the rain
Tea beside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
Those you love near you
And all your heart might desire.
(Irish blessing)

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