Sunday, October 2nd, is Colorado’s Race for The Cure; it is also the beginning of Pinktober. October is dedicated to breast cancer awareness month. I have run or walked the race every year for more years than I can remember. What I do remember is the year it became personal for me, 1997, a very dear friend of mine, A, was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. We were the same age, both had a child the same age, five, and both thought the threat of breast cancer was years away. I will never forget a moment of that day, I volunteered to keep her children while her husband drove her for a needle biopsy. The entire afternoon was surreal, the children played without a care in the world, while A received the most terrifying news.
As the afternoon turned to early evening, I already knew the news was awful; I also knew A would handle it with the courage of a Lioness, and she did. She choose to take the most radical approach and treatment. I stood by her through every step, even helping her shave her hair (she was the most beautiful bald women I have every seen) and administering the daily injections she was required to have.
I am pleased to say my friend is a 14 year surviver!!
In a couple of weeks the buildings, malls, and grocery stores will have the bright hopeful pink ribbon displayed everywhere; as nation dedicates October to “run” to find a cure. I look back fourteen years and I as optimistic as I am; there has not been a plethora of advances in the area of breast cancer. Each year Sydney and I donate pastries to our local salon and retail shops in hopes of instigating and educating the population. I implore you to help by using your special talent to do the same.
This cake and recipe is dedicated to my friend and all the women who have battled breast cancer.
Pinktober Cake of Hope:
Pinktober Cake is composed of two 8×2-inch white cakes, 4 layers total, filled with marshmallow meringue, covered in white fondant, decorated with pastillage pansies, and the ribbon is a dulce de leche cake covered with white fondant colored pink.
White Almond Cake:
Using the two stage method.
275 grams/ 9 ½ egg whites
180 grams/ ¾-cup milk
2-teaspoon almond extract
375 grams/ 3 5/8-cup cake flour
20 grams/ 1½-Tablespoon baking powder
400 grams/ 2-cups sugar
180 grams/ ¾-cup milk
180 grams/ 1½ sticks or 6 ounces butter
Prepare mise en place, spray and flour 2 8×2 pans top with parchment paper. Preheat the oven 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl whisk, lightly, egg whites, 180 grams/ ¾ -cup of milk and almond extract.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, with the paddle attachment, sift all the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just to blend. Add the butter and remaining 182 gram/3/4 –cup of milk. Continue to mix on low speed till the dry ingredients are moistened, raise the speed to medium and beat till combined. Scrape down the sides and gradually add the egg mixture in thirds, beating for 30 seconds and scraping down the sides after each addition. This will insure stability to the structure of the cake.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans, smooth the top with a spatula. The pans should be 2/3 filled. Bake the cakes for 30 -35 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean and the center of the cake springs back when gently pressed.
Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with an metal spatula invert onto a cooling rack lined with parchment paper. Re invert to prevent cracking.
Marshmallow Almond Meringue Frosting and Filling:
99 grams/3 large eggs,
59 grams/ ¼-cup water
300 grams/ 1 1/2-cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
In a copper bowl (or heat proof bowl, add dash of cream of tartar) , combine the egg whites, water, and sugar in the bowl. Whisk with a hand held mixer on high until foamy and combined. Place over a pot of boiling water and whisk constantly with a hand mixer until the frosting is stiff and holds stiff peaks, about 7-12 minutes.
Remove from the heat, add vanilla, almond extract, and continue whisking with hand held mixer for about 2 more additional minutes.
Let the frosting cool, whisking often.
Dulce de Leche to come in a later post.
Once the cakes have cooled wrap tightly with film, place in the freezer for 2 hours to overnight. When the cakes are done chilling remove them from the freezer, place on two cake boards, after removing the film, and set aside.
Begin preparing your marshmallow meringue, while the meringue is cooling down slice each of the cake in half, horizontally. Place the first of the now four layers on a cake turn table, with medium size ice cream scoop add two scoops and smooth with an offset spatula, place the next layer of cake directly onto the filling, and continue alternating between marshmallow meringue and cake. Once all four layers are sufficiently filled spread a “crumb layer” of the marshmallow meringue on the cake, (make sure to frost the sides first).
Take approximately 630 grams /28 ounces of white fondant knead till soft, sprinkle a very felt hard surface with icing sugar, roll out a circle large enough to cover the entire cake (I like to cover the cake board, but it is optional). Lift the fondant around the rolling pin, place it on the cake, and gently smooth the air from between the cake and fondant. Starting on the sides walk your hands down and around the fondant, while lifting the excess sugar off the bottom of the fondant.
Once the cake is completely covered, use a small pizza cutter or fondant cutter, follow the cakes bottom, evenly cut away the excess fondant.Dust the icing sugar from the excess and store in an airtight container for later use.
Allow the cake to air dry over night.
Decorate the cake with pastillage flowers, icing sugar dots, and breast cancer ribbon cake covered with fondant.