Oktoberfest on Long Island and My First Baking Contest.

The big day was Oct 24, 2010. The weather was slated be wonderful, the calendar was clear and  I clearly  had the eye of the tiger.

My horoscope said that something wonderous would happen this week and I knew what it was. I was hot, I was on the money Buy Generic Cialis and no one baby, no one was gonna extinguish this culinary flame.

Ok, it’s not that dramatic but I was entering my first baking contest and it was to be held during Oktoberfest at Brian Scott’s 1st Annual Harvest Festival. Yeah, I was excited and I had visions of being lifted up on the shoulders of my followers, or perhaps a ticker tape parade……or wait, scratch that, the key to the city….Yeah, that’s more my style. The key to the city. Ah, ……no.

For a week I thought about what I wanted to make. What would my wife like to eat? What would judges like best? Cookies…nah, too simple. An apple pie? Nah, that’ s expected. Cheese cake, not fall festival stuff. I needed to kick it up. I needed to bet the house, I needed the ultimate 3 layer cake. A cake so amazing that poser chef’s like Duff and Rocco would shudder just at the mere sight of it. So that’s when it appeared to while I slept.

I give you, The Maple Harvest Layer Cake. Complete with maple butter cream, fresh roasted walnuts and 100% organic ingredients.

Holy Crap……I won!!!!!!

 

2 nd  Place! Not bad for my first cake ever!

The judges were ready with forks in hand. They showed no emotion, I could not read their visage as their stoic faces showed neither pleasure nor disgust while trudging through the arguous task of sampling sweet after sweet. Ok, it wasn’t like that, but as silly as it sounds I was carefully studying  the judges faces and reading their confectionery covered lips for signs of an “oohhhh” or a lip smacking “yum.”, and I saw it.  There were many worthy opponents and everyone was a winner. After the winners were announced the crowd desended upon the free sweet table like my dog when I accidently drop cat food on the floor. Swoosh, they were gone.

For the Cake

1 1/2 cups walnut halves (set aside 1/2 cup for exterior of the cake)

3 cups white flour

1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda

For the Butter Cream

1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup, use a quality light amber, not Mrs. Buttercrap

1 whole egg

1 egg yolk

1 cup milk

The Magic Method

For the Cake

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each with parchment paper and then butter that paper.

2. On a small baking sheet, place the walnuts, spread apart, and toast in the oven until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes. Remove,  place in a bowl to cool and keep the oven on. After your nuts are cooled,(I just giggled), finely chop them and set aside 1/2 cup for your cake’s garnish.

3. Combine the walnuts, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. On low, blend well the mixture until nicely mixed. Add the butter and maple syrup and beat until nicely blended. Increase the speed to medium and beat the mixture until fluffy, about 1 or 2 minutes.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, and milk.  Add this to the batter in 3 intervals, until blended well. Divide the batter among the 3 prepared pans.

5. Finally, Bake for about 33 to 35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick (in the center) comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn upside down onto a wire rack, very gently peel off the parchment paper, and let cool completely. About 1 hour is ideal.

6. To assemble the cake, place one cake layer, flat side up, on a serving plate. Carefully spread 2/3 cup frosting over the layer, spreading it evenly right to the edge of the cake. Repeat with the second layer and another 2/3 cup of frosting. Set the third layer on top and frost the top and sides

with remaining frosting. Garnish the sides of the cake with the reserved toasted walnut pieces.

The Frosting’s Method

In a large bowl, beat butter until fluffy.  Add sugar one cup at a time, beating continuously as you add the sugar.

Continue beating until all the sugar is absorbed and cannot be seen.  Add syrup and milk, and resume beating until frosting is smooth and light.  I like my frosting to be thick so I can work with it. If you need to thicken it, simply add more sugar. If you need more for your cake just add more sugar and milk incrementally until you have desired amount. Keep frosting tightly covered until ready to use as it will get hard and crusty.

Cool Note: Buttercream does not have to be refrigerated, but should be kept in a cool place so it doesn’t melt.

The cake came out wonderful, was loved by all and made people happy. What more could I ask for?

Besides a raving review from this very tough critic.

"They were all good desserts, everyone of them, but I enjoyed the maple cake the best."

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One Response to “Oktoberfest on Long Island and My First Baking Contest.”

  1. rob piscine says:

    I’ve send this page to my fb friends. Keep this good work :)

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