Dolley Madison Layer Cake

Dolley_Madison 1804 by Gilbert Stuart

First Lady Dolley Madison (1804) Portrait by Gilbert Stuart

In honor of the The First Lady of the United States Dolley Madison’s birthday, let’s celebrate with a layer cake!   The recipe is courtesy of Cokie Roberts’ book “Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation.”   It can also be found on Martha Stewart’s website.

Dolley Madison was born May 20, 1768.  She is most famously known for saving the portrait of George Washington during the War of 1812.

She also created the role of First Lady.  Dolley was instrumental in hosting official functions on behalf of the President, at first widower Thomas Jefferson and later for her husband, James Madison.   She also contributed to the development and decoration of the White House.

Dolly Madison was the only First Lady given an honorary seat on the floor of Congress.

 

 

Yield: One 8-inch Layer Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pans
  • 8 large egg whites
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Carmel Icing*

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter four 8-by-2-inch round cake pans, set aside.

  2. Beat egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form; set aside.

  3. In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. With the mixer running, slowly add milk; mix until well combined. Sift together flour and cornstarch; slowly add to mixer and beat until well combined. Add vanilla and mix well.

  4. Gently fold in reserved egg whites and divide evenly between prepared pans. Bake until cake springs back when lightly touched, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in cake pans on wire racks, about 10 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool completely on wire racks.

  5. Place 4 strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan. Place the first layer on the cake plate. Pour over about 1/2 cup icing, spreading evenly to cover. Repeat process with 2 more layers. Repeat process with two more layers. Place the remaining layer on top of the third layer and cover cake completely with remaining icing.

*Carmel Icing

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Whisk together sugar, cream, and butter in a medium bowl. Set bowl over (but not touching) simmering water, cook until thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove bowl from heat; stir in vanilla. Let cool.

Cokie Roberts

Image courtesy of Cokie Roberts, provided by the Office of the Historian, U.S. House of Representatives

Advertisements

Star Quality on Oscar® Night

And the winner is…

Your Oscar® night party will gain glowing reviews with these tips from the Food Network.  Check it out…

Recreate the Hollywood Sign

Hollywood cupcakes

The Food Network has some fast and fun ideas for your Oscar party.

Grab some toothpicks and create these little letters to decorate your cupcakes. Regular or paper stock would be fine… or even seals would work for your letters.

This decorating idea can be used for other theme parties.

For a birthday, anniversary and/or retirement party simply spell out the guest of honor’s name.

Another idea is to  use copyright-free clipart instead of letters.

The possibilities are endless.

Seeing Stars

Star fruit in champagne

Celebrate with champagne and a star garnish

Another quick idea for your party is to cut your fruit garnishes in a star shape for all your drinks.

Don’t limit this to just the garnishes… serve star-shaped cheeses with your crackers as a hors d’ oeuvres.  

Nominee Napkin

Turn paper napkins into Oscar® envelopes with a gold seal, red ribbon and some clever folding: Open the napkin and lay it flat; fold in the top two corners to form a triangle. Fold the bottom edge of the napkin up until it meets the base of the triangle, then fold the top triangle down and seal.

Nominee Napkin

Impress your guests with some clever napkin folding

Step Right Up…

Create a “concession stand” for your guests.  Stock it with some Junior Mints and popcorn for that movie-going experience.

This recipe for sweet and spicy popcorn is a delicious snack perfect for parties. This recipe was featured on The Martha Stewart Show, October Fall 2007.

Concession Stand

Let’s all go to the Lobby

Martha Stewart’s Sweet & Spicy Popcorn Crunch

Yield: about 11 cups
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons safflower oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with nonstick baking mats; set aside.
  2. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add 3 popcorn kernels and cover until they pop. Add remaining popcorn kernels, cover, and shake pot continuously over burner until popcorn is completely popped, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer popcorn to large bowl; add peanuts and set aside.
  4. Combine butter, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium pot over medium heat.
  5. Cook, stirring occasionally until sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium-high, and cook, without stirring, until golden brown, about 5 minutes, swirling pot occasionally.
  6. Remove mixture from heat and quickly stir in salt and cayenne with a heatproof spatula or spoon. Immediately pour over popcorn mixture and stir to incorporate.
  7. Divide popcorn mixture evenly between baking sheets. Transfer to oven and bake, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Let cool on sheet pans before breaking apart into clusters. Store popcorn in an airtight container for up to 1 week.