Friday, April 17, 2009

Emily and Brian's Wedding Cake

55 min | 10 min prep

SERVES 40 -50

2 (18 ounce) boxes white cake mix (Betty Crocker or Pillsbury)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup lemon juice
1 2/3 cups water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons real vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 cups sour cream
6 whole eggs
1 tbsp lemon zest

Place all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir together with a wire whisk.
Add the remaining ingredients and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Pour into greased and floured cake pans, filling each pan a little over half full.
Lightly tap cake pans on counter to bring air bubbles to top.
Bake in preheated 325° F oven until cake tests done.
Baking time varies according to the size and depth of pans being used.

I made several batches (maybe 3 - I don't remember for sure) to bake two each 6", 8", and 10" cakes.  I added poppy seeds to 1/2 the cakes and alternated the layers when everything was put together.
The cakes were split with this cake leveler. (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  For under $4 this tool will perfectly and easily split the layers.)

I displayed the cakes on this stand, purchased with a 1/2 price coupon at JoAnn's.

To see options for chocolate cake, for liqueur flavors, berry flavors, or white chocolate, see the original recipe here

The filling between the layers was Dickinson's Lemon Curd, and it was frosted with buttercream.

We made the cakes several weeks ahead of time and froze them, and then assembled everything the afternoon before the wedding.

Cashew Chicken Salad

75 ounces drained canned chicken
24 oz. water chestnuts, chopped
1 1/2 cups cashews, chopped
12 stalks celery, finely chopped
6 tbsp. finely chopped onion
juice of 1 fresh lemon
3-4 cups mayonnaise/Miracle Whip
6 tsp dill weed

Combine all ingredients and mix well. NOTE: Everything can be made a day or two ahead of time, but add the cashews at the last minute.

Pate au Choux Finger Sandwiches

These little breads are a staple at our church's annual Mother/Daughter Tea (and the exhausted organizers seem to have established the tradition of eating the leftovers for dinner when they get home later that evening)

1/2 c water
1/2 c flour
dash of salt
4 tbls. margarine
2 eggs
1/2 cup shredded cheese (swiss or cheddar)

In a saucepan -Melt margarine in water. Add flour and stir vigorously with a whisk until ball forms or pulls away from sides of pan. Remove from heat.

With an electric mixer, beat in eggs and add cheese.

Beat for about a minute until it looks glossy but no longer wet.

Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
I used a #60 food scoop, capacity- 1 tablespoon.
You can reuse the same sheet of parchment several times.
Bake at 400 º for 20 minutes.

Cool. Split in half and fill with your favorite filling (ham salad, tuna salad, etc.)
Makes approximately 20.

Notes—bake until thoroughly browned and they will not flatten when cool. They keep their nice texture and height even when made a day ahead of time. I made 7 double batches for the Mother Daughter Tea and the Cashew Chicken Salad recipe. I kept 4 baking sheets going at a time so I always had a cool one to put the next batch of batter onto. These can be made ahead of time and frozen.

To watch Alton Brown's take on a similar recipe go here and here.