Friday, February 18, 2011

Neapolitan Cake

Recently, my coworker had a birthday and I was put in charge of the cake for the celebration at work.  This is probably the best cake I have ever made.  The key is PATIENCE!  In the past I have always been anxious to cut the cake or on a serious time constraint and cut it too warm so my layers don't turn out well.  This time though...I took all day to put it together and it turned out wonderful!  There are two layers of vanilla cake, two layers of strawberry cake, two layers of choclate pudding, and one layer of chocolate frosting while the whole thing is covered in a layer of chocolate frosting.  I have to admit though...the entire cake is not homemade!  Gasp!  I used a strawberry cake mix for the strawberry layers...I love boxed strawberry cake though!  Enjoy!

Strawberry layers:
Makes 1 9" round strawberry cake (this only takes 1/2 of the boxed mixture - I made cupcakes with the other half).

Make the strawberry cake batter according to directions on the box.
Grease and flour and 9" round cake pan.
Pour half of the batter into the pan.
Bake according to directions on the box.
Remove the cake from the oven.
Let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.
Remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
Once the cake is cool, cut the cake into two layers.  Because the crust is, well, crusty, take a bread knife and make a cut in the crust around the entire cake.  Take a piece of string or floss and wrap it completely around the cake in the cut in the crust.  Take both ends and criss cross them and pull to "cut" the cake evenly.  Perfect layers!

Vanilla layers:
Makes 1 9" round vanilla cake.

2 large egg whites
1¾ cup all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup very cold water
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350.
Grease and flour and 9" cake pan.
Combine the flour, baking posder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Whip the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed in a separate bowl until they are foamy.
Increase the speed to medium high and whip until stiff peaks form.
Set the whipped eggs aside.
Combine the butter and sugar with an electric mixture on medium high speed for about 3 minutes.
Put the mixer on low speed and add in 1/2 the dry ingredients. 
Mix in the water, vanilla, and almond extracts.
Add the remaining dry ingredients.  Do not over-mix.
Stir in a quarter of the eggs to lighten the mixture.
Fold in the remaining eggs whites and make sure the batter is smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes until a toothpick stuck in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven.

Let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.
Remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
Follow the directions for cutting the strawberry cake and cut the vanilla cake into two layers.

Chocolate pudding:
Make a bowl of boxed pudding.  Follow directions on the box and refrigerate until ready to use!

Chocolate frosting:
I used my go to frosting recipe and made it thick and easy to spread so it would hold it's "shape" on the outside of the cake.  I doubled the recipe already posted so I used 1/2 C butter, but did not double the milk.  Use just enough milk to give the frosting the consistency that you want.  I also used about 1 1/2 TBSP of cocoa powder to make it chocolate frosting (that can be adjusted based on how "chocolatey" you want your frosting to be).

Putting together your cake:
Put one layer of strawberry cake on a cake platter.
Cover with 1/2 of the chocolate pudding.
Place 1 layer of vanilla cake on top.
Top with a layer of frosting.
Put the second layer of strawberry cake on the frosting.
Top with the second 1/2 of the chocolate pudding.
Add the final layer of vanilla cake.
Finish with a delicious layer of chocolate frosting over the entire cake.
Refrigerate until you are ready to serve!

Vanilla cake recipe comes from

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