From Little Ugh's b-day to the birth of my new nephew the following day, from baby showers (3 of them) to birthdays (5 more). Games, prizes, cupcakes, cakes, cookies, cards, gifts...you want the full list?
I guess being a domestic engineer has its benefits. I am not sure I would have been able to accomplish everything had I been out in the "real world".
Wait, retract that!
I could have, I have in the past.
I just think I enjoyed it so much more this time around because even though knowing things had to be done I had time to plan them out.
I like to plan. Its who I am.
Sticky notes galore, napkins or receipts with scribbles volcanoing from my purse, alarm bells on my phone and ipod.
Hmmm, this sounds more like I need a day timer now doesn't it? You should see our home office!
You know when the last episode of Friends aired and you were all choked up, hiding your shed tears, fearful that another sitcom will never come to bring you that half an hour of enjoyment?
Maybe that was just me, well, I sorta felt that way about the ending of March.
The last cake of the month....SIGH
It needed to be special. 3 very special ladies were celebrating with great friends.
I had to have it be the perfect ending to a wonderful month of fun, friends, family and fiascoes - I think it was.
I'm Listening to: SemiSonic - Closing Time
Cassata Cakerecipe adapted from Epicurious
For the Lemon-Ricotta Filling1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. milk
1 c. unsalted butter
1 c. superfine granulated sugar
1 lemon zested
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 c. ricotta cheese
For the Cake
2 c. less a few teaspoons cake flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 eggs, separated
2 c. superfine granulated sugar, divided
1 c. unsalted butter
1 pint fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
whipped fresh cream ( 500 ml whipped with vanilla and sugar)
Whisk together 4 tablespoons of the milk with the flour. The slurry will be somewhat thick, make sure all lumps are removed.
Add in the rest of the milk and transfer the mixture to a pot.
Simmer the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly. As bubbles begin to come up and steam, remove the pot and continue to stir for another 30 seconds.
Cover the milk mixture (either in the pot or put into a bowl) with plastic wrap pressed directly against the surface so that no skin forms. Cool for 15 to 30 minutes.
In a mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla fitted with the beating on high speed for about to 5 minutes.
Scrape the sides and add the cooled milk mixture continuing to beat on high speed until the filling is smooth, another 5 minutes or so.
Beat in the ricotta cheese 1 tablespoon at a time.
Preheat your oven to 335F. Coat three 9 inch spring form pans with butter and dust with flour, coating up the sides so the cakes do not stick.
Measure the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt into one bowl, and the milk and vanilla into a separate bowl. Whisk each to combine. (I didn't take pictures of this step, its boring)
In the standing mixer fitted with the wire whip attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed to a stiff peak. Drizzle in 1 cup of the sugar while the mixer is running.
Scoop the meringue into a large bowl and set aside.
Wipe the mixer bowl and replace the wire whip with the paddle attachment. Cream the butter with the remaining 1 cup of sugar on low speed. Add the egg yolks one at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix on low speed until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Add the dry and wet ingredients alternating about a quarter at a time and don't pause between additions.
Stop the mixer and gently fold the meringue into the batter with a spatula.
Pour the mixture evenly into the pans and bake for 27 to 30 minutes, or until the cake bounces back when lightly pressed and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool the cakes for a few minutes, then invert the cakes onto a flat surface. They will be very fragile, so handle them with care.
To assemble the cake by adding about 1 cup each of the fresh strawberries and the ricotta filling between the layers.
Cover the outside of the cake with the sweetened whipped cream.* Add more fresh strawberries around the edge of the cake to make it so pretty.
*take 500 ML of whipping cream, a tsp. vanilla and 2 -3 tsp. sugar and whip to soft peaks