May 26th, 2012 by Lisa
Chabela Wedding Cake Recipe
For Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads, I am posting this Chabela Wedding Cake recipe from Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel.
This cake takes a whopping 23 eggs (if I interpreted the recipe correctly). The flavors of the cake are really good, but the cake itself was fairly dry. It reminded of a Mexican pastry called pan dulce, so perhaps it was supposed to taste that way. If you are going to make 3 layers, you will need 3 cake pans. I only had two and by the time I put the third cake in the oven, the batter had deflated and the cake was much denser and easily crumbled (it is the middle layer in the pictures below). The recipe in the book does say to bake it in one pan and then slice it into layers so you could try it this way.
After 3 tries, I was not able to get the fondant recipe to work so I iced the whole cake with the meringue icing. I initially put too much water so that it never thickened, but when I decreased the water it burned quickly. After going to the store a second time to buy more sugar I decided to call it quits. If anybody has any cooking tips for making fondant with just sugar and water, let me know. Also, I could not find apricot paste at the grocery store, so I used apricot preserves.
Overall, I loved the flavors of the lime and apricot together but if I make this again, I would use a different cake recipe.
Inspired by Like Water for Chocolate
Prep: 30 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Makes: 1 three layer cake
- 175 grams (.875 cups) refined granulated sugar
- 300 grams (2 cups) cake flour, sifted three times
- 17 eggs (5 egg yolks + 12 whole eggs)
- Grated peel of one lime
- 150 grams (7.5 tablespoons) apricot paste
- 150 grams (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 800 grams (4 cups) granulated sugar
- 60 drops lime juice
- Enough water to dissolve the sugar
- 10 egg whites
- 500 grams (2 1/2 cups) sugar
- Place 5 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue icing), 4 whole eggs, and the sugar in a large bowl. Beat until the mixture thickens and then add 2 more whole eggs; repeat, adding the remaining eggs two at a time until all the eggs have been added. When the last two eggs have been beaten in, beat in the grated lime peel.
- When the mixture has thickened, stop beating and add the sifted flour, mixing it in a little at a time with a wooden spoon until it has all been incorporated.
- Finally, grease a pan with butter, dust with flour, and pour the batter into it. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Filling: Heat the apricot paste together with a little bit of water; after the mixture comes to a boil, strain it, preferably through a hair or flour sieve, but a coarser strainer can be used if you don’t have either of those. Place the paste in a pan, add the sugar, and heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture forms a marmalade. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before spreading it on the middle layer of the cake, which, of course, has previously been sliced into layers.
- To Prepare the Fondant: Combine the sugar and water in a pan and heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Strain into another pan and return to heat; add the lime juice and cook till it reaches the soft-ball stage, wiping the edge of the pan with a damp cloth periodically to prevent the sugar from crystallizing. When the mixture reaches that stage, pour into a damp pan, sprinkle with water, and allow to cool slightly. After it cools, beat with a wooden spoon until creamy.
- To ice the cake, add a tablespoon of milk to the fondant, heat until it softens, add a drop of red food color, and frost only the top part of the cake with the fondant icing.
- Meringue icing: Beat the egg whites and sugar together until they reach the coarse-thread stage. Frost rest of cake with meringue icing. (I used the tip of a knife to make the spikes on the top of the cake and garnished with lime zest).
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