Sunday, June 22, 2014

Dominican Cake

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Dominican Cake

Dominican Cake
My Mom's 84th birthday was earlier this week and we celebrated with Dominican Cake. She is from
Dominican Republic and it is her favorite cake, so I baked her one. The cake has a resemblance to pound cake, but with a softer texture. The outcome is to obtain a smooth and spongy cake. The classic frosting is Suspiro (Merengue) and is easy to mess up, so do not be surprised if you have to do it a few times until you get it right. I speak from experience. There are several variations of this recipe and many online are for large cakes. This recipe makes a 9-inch 2 layer cake. The recipe comes from a popular Dominican cookbook, Mujer 2000 recetas de cocina by Silvia H. de Pou. I use Pou's recipe because it is authentic Dominican and my Mom made this recipe when I was growing up. In this cake recipe, you can replace milk for pineapple or orange juice, but I prefer using whole milk with orange juice and orange zest or whole milk with lemon juice and lemon zest. Typically, pineapple and guava fillings are the norm, but I use dulce de leche as well.


Cake Ingredients
2 sticks Unsalted Butter, softened (room temperature)

2 cups Granulated Sugar

4 Extra Large Eggs, (room temperature)

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

3 cups All Purpose Flour

3 teaspoons Baking Powder

1 cup Whole Milk

1 tablespoon Orange Juice, freshly squeezed

1 tablespoon Orange Zest

½ teaspoon Kosher Salt

Dominican Cake

Directions
Grease with Butter, 2 9-inch round cake pans, and line with parchment paper. Grease over the parchment paper and sprinkle flour over it.

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350 degrees.

Sift Flour and Baking Powder in a large bowl, put aside.

With a stand or hand held mixer with paddle attachment on medium speed, mix butter until it is creamy. Add Sugar little by little, and continue mixing until it is light and creamy.

Add Eggs one at a time, mixing well.

On low speed, add in some of the Flour mixture and some of the Milk. Do this a few times ending with the Flour mixture. Scrape sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure all ingredients are incorporated. Mix again for 10 to 20 seconds.

With mixer on low speed, add Vanilla Extract, Orange Juice, Orange Zest and Salt and combine, about 20 to 30 seconds.

Spread cake batter evenly between the 2 pans using a spatula to smooth tops. Lightly tap the pans against the counter top 2 to 4 times to settle the batter.

Bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on your oven so keep an eye on it. Cake is ready when you insert a toothpick or cake tester in the center of the cake and it comes out clean.

Cool cake in pans for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake and then flip cakes onto wire racks. Peel off parchment paper, flip cakes right side up, and cool completely before frosting, about 1-2 hours.

Close up of Dominican Cake
Suspiro (Merengue) Frosting
Ingredients
3 Egg Whites (use cold Eggs)

1 ½ cup Granulated Sugar

½ cup Water

1 teaspoon Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Dominican Cake

Directions
Using a stand or hand held mixer, mix Egg Whites on high speed for several minutes until stiff peaks form.

In a small pan, stir Sugar, Water and Lemon Juice until Sugar dissolves and Caramel forms a syrup-like but transparent texture. Keep an eye on it so it does not burn. Use a candy thermometer and when it reaches 235 degrees, it is ready. To be sure, you can test the texture by taking a little of the syrup with a small spoon, and add a drop of the syrup to a paper towel. If it forms a little ball, it is ready.

Turn mixer on high add Vanilla Extract, and the hot Caramel mixture little by little to the Egg White/Whipping Cream mixture. Keep mixing until it reaches a thick but soft consistency like whipped cream cheese. If you wish, add food coloring at this time and stir with spatula. My Mom wanted a pastel pink color so I used Wilton Icing Color Concentrated Gel in Pink. Use by dipping toothpick in gel and then into frosting and stir gently with spatula. Each time, use a clean toothpick so frosting does not get into gel color. Repeat until you reach the color you desire.

Put aside, and let it cool completely before frosting the cake.

It was soooo good! :)

Cake Filling
Pineapple Preserves

Once cake and frosting have cooled completely, line edges of cake platter or cake circle (Wilton 10 inch) with strips of parchment paper to keep edges clean as you frost the cake. I place the cake on a cake circle and onto a cake turntable. Place Pineapple Preserves over the first layer and frost as desired. I added Wilton Pink Sugar Pearls, Wilton Light Pink Sprinkles and 4 pink candles. Let frosting set for at least 1 hour at room temperature and serve. I made my cake 1 day ahead and refrigerated overnight in a cake carrier. On the next day, I brought it out to come to room temperature for 1 hour before serving.

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

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