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Final 4-H recipe from Ellis County Fair is a winner

Published on -8/14/2014, 9:09 AM

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The final 4-H recipe from the 2014 Ellis County Fair is a decadent cake exhibited by Haley Robben from the Victoria Vikings 4-H Club. This beautiful three-layer cake was the senior champion in the 4-H Foods division. Try it for your next special occasion.

Pistachio cake

For the cake:

1 cup shelled pistachios

21âÑ2 cups cake flour

3âÑ4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3âÑ4 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, softened

13âÑ4 cups sugar, divided

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

11âÑ2 cups ice water

3 large egg whites, at room temperature

1âÑ4 teaspoon cream of tartar

For the frosting:

11âÑ2 cups sugar

1âÑ3 cup all-purpose flour

11âÑ2 cups whole milk

1âÑ3 cup heavy cream

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened, and cut into small pieces

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoons honey

For the cake: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter three 9-inch cake pans. Line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper, dust the pans with flour and knock out the excess. In a food processor, pulse the pistachios into a coarse grind, remove 2 tablespoons, and set them aside in a medium bowl. Process remaining pistachios just until finely ground to a powder.

Sift cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda into the same bowl with the 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios. Stir in pistachio powder.

In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add 11âÑ2 cups sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy, approximately four minutes. Scrape down the bowl, and with mixer on low speed, beat in eggs one at a time until well blended. Beat in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the cold water, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until blended, scraping bowl; then beat batter 15 more seconds. Scrape into a large bowl.

With a clean bowl and using the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. With mixer on medium-high speed, add remaining 1âÑ4 cup sugar and beat just until soft peaks form, taking care not to over beat. Gently fold whites into batter just until no white streaks remain.

Divide batter between prepared pans (or about an inch into each pan) and spread evenly. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean. Transfer pans to wire racks and let cool 20 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks, remove parchment paper, flip them over, and let cool completely. Cake rounds now can be covered in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator overnight.

For the frosting: In a heavy, medium saucepan, whisk sugar and flour until well blended. Add milk and cream and cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and comes to a boil, approximately 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, for two more minutes. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, beat the mixture on high speed until it cools completely, approximately 10 minutes. On medium speed, beat in the butter.

It gradually will start incorporating into the mix and look more and more like frosting; it takes approximately five minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high until the frosting is fluffy and smooth, nearly 1 minute. Beat in honey and vanilla until incorporated. Taste for the honey and add more if necessary. The frosting can now be refrigerated, covered, but before you use it, let it come to room temperature and mix it until it regains its fluffiness.

Linda Beech is a Kansas State University Research & Extension agent in Ellis County specializing in family and consumer sciences.


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