A Birthday Cake!!!

Yellow Cake with Buttercream and Praline Topping


Never have I thought of baking a cake for my birthday, not even in my dreams!!! Usually, for all the birthdays in our home, I leave the choice to JJ and mostly it ends up in a Black Forrest cake or some chocolate cake (all of us are chocoholic)…This time, for my birthday I decided to bake my birthday cake (my very first)…. When I told JJ about it, he said it was a wonderful idea but he had just one demand- no whipping cream frosting!!! I didn't ask for any further opinions, since I knew they (JJ & RJ) would unanimously cry out for a chocolate cake.
I had a tough time in deciding a cake recipe….though I found many delicious and interesting recipes, but none to my liking!!! A few days back I was browsing through my favorite blog of Kitchen Mishmash and found the recipe of a cake with buttercream and praline….the moment I saw the photos of the cake on that blog, I knew that this would be my birthday cake….it had everything I wanted – a buttercream frosting; a plain, yet tasty cake and praline topping, something which I haven’t tried out!!


This cake had many specialties- my first birthday cake and my first attempt with buttercream, praline topping and of course, cake decoration. Though I messed up with the praline topping and decoration, I loved the soft yellow cake, the rich taste of the buttercream, and the crunchy caramel….The cake was truly yummy!!!!

Below ingredients and methods are what I followed for making this cake.

Ingredients:
Recipe Source: Kitchen Mishmash

For The Cake
Cake flour – 2 ¼ cups
Baking powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – ¼ tsp
Unsalted butter – ¾ cup (at room temp)
Sugar – ¾ cup
Vanilla extract – ¾ tsp
Eggs – 3 large (at room temp)
Whole milk – ¾ cup (at room temp)

For the Praline
Granulated Sugar – ½ cup
Dry toasted cashew nuts – ½ cup
Water – 1 tbsp

For Moistening Syrup
Sugar – ¼ cup
Water – ¼ cup
Vanilla essence – ¼ tsp

For Buttercream
Recipe Source: Baking- From my home to yours
I have halved the original recipe mentioned in the book and that yielded the right quantity for my cake.



Method:

For Baking the Cake
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C. Prepare the cake pan by greasing and flouring it lightly.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Beat the butter until creamy for about 2 minutes. Add sugar and beat until very light and fluffy for about 3 minutes.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, allowing each eggs to absorb fully with the mixture.
  • Add the flour mixture- alternatively with the milk and flour, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beat until smooth on low–medium speed after each addition.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and level the tops with a spatula. Bake for about 23 minutes or until a skewer inserted shows a few moist crumbs.{In a MWO, bake at 600W for 10 minutes}
  • Cool in the pan for 8 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely. 
To Make the Praline
  • Prepare caramel by heating and melting sugar along with water, until they turn medium brown. Keep swirling the pan but do not stir.
  • When sugar is completely melted and bubbles start coming up and if it has reached a medium brown color, remove and add the dry toasted nuts to it.
  • Pour them onto to a non-stick aluminum foil or a lightly oil coated aluminum foil sheet, placed on a cookie sheet and let it set. {While pouring the caramel coated nuts, make sure that a thick layer is not created}.
  • When completely dry, crush the caramel coated nut sheet using a rolling pin and then powder them in the smallest jar of a mixer/blender. 
To Make the Moistening Syrup
  • Boil water in a pan and add sugar and let it boil until sugar melts. Turn off.
  • Just before assembling the cake, add vanilla essence and mix well to the syrup. 
Assembling the Cake
  • When the cake is completely cool and ready to assemble, get ready with the baked cake, buttercream, praline and moistening syrup.
  • Place the cake on a cake board or a plate and apply the moistening syrup.
  • Apply some buttercream on top of that and make a thick layer of frosting and smoothen the top and sides of the cake quite well with a spatula.
  • Sprinkle praline generously on top of the frosting and cover the whole cake with powdered praline. Use your hands to apply the praline.