Gold Country Cake for about 80-100 people
Preheat oven to 350 Farenheit and butter and flour two 12″ cake pans– line bottoms with waxed paper or parchment. You can bake sequentially if you only have one 12″ pan!
Cream well 1 cup plus 3/4 cups softened butter (14 ounces)
3 cups plus 1/2 cups sugar (one pound plus 8.5 ounces)
Sift together twice or better yet, three times
5 cups plus 3/4 cup regular flour
6 Tb cornstarch
2 tablespoons plus 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
Combine 1 cup plus 1/4 cup of beaten eggs (can use a good egg substitute) (10 ounces)
2 cups plus 1/3 cup milk (one pound plus 3.75 ounces)
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond flavoring
Combine the above by blending creamed butter/sugar mixture with the flour combination, and liquid ingredient mixture by turns until you have a good structure. Scrape bowl frequently. Fill pans with a little hollowing towards the middle to even the layers during baking. If you level the cake you will get a hump in the middle. Bake about 35 minutes then check with a toothpick. Do not bake so long that the cake retreats from sides. It may take up to 50 minutes to bake until the toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from pans to rack after 20 minutes cooling. I like to horizontally divide the layers so I get a total of four, to layer fruit between. Looks more elaborate too. I have a dedicated pair of those silicon ‘cutting boards’ I use for moving these fragile layers around.
Assemble using syrup to soak each layer as evenly as you can dribble it.
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup plus 1/3 cup water
6 Tablespoons vanilla or liqueur of your preference (I like a little almond, but go by drops or the cake will taste like perfume)
Easiest method for making syrup is to put the water and sugar together in a pyrex measuring cup, heat in microwave a minute, stir, then reheat until sugar dissolves. When cooled down, add flavoring and drizzle generously on cake layers as you assemble — put down first layer, drizzle with a quarter of the syrup, layer on fruit filling of your choice, put next layer on and drizzle with a quarter of the syrup, etcetera. Frost entire cake with covering of choice– a white chocolate or a cream cheese icing are my own preferences. Stabilize by inserting big plastic straws– three to four, trimmed to not protrude over cake surface. A serrated knife is best for cutting the monster.
I apologize for posting no picture of the cake, but I was too busy last weekend when serving this to catch up the camera, and there was not a piece left when the guests departed….