This post is about love. This post is about life. This post is about cake.
Let’s get into it.
Have you read this book?
If you like love you’ll like this book.
If you like to laugh you’ll like this book.
If you like food you’ll like this book.
If you don’t like any of these things… um, what are you doing reading this blog?
I absolutely adore Like Water For Chocolate – I’ve read and reread it more times than I can count.
So it was a natural that, when the right time came along, I would bake my way through it.
And I couldn’t help but start with this wedding cake that appears early on in the book.
Now before the literary purists in the crowd go all Mr. Hyde on me, I want to stress that this is my own interpretation of the Chabela Wedding Cake. Like Water For Chocolate relies heavily on magical realism to tell its tale, plus the original cake was intended to serve 180 people – the recipe calls for 170 eggs.
Given that I don’t have a hen house in my backyard, I adapted the recipe to suit my own needs.
I went with a feather-light vanilla cake and a lime curd glaze. The sweet, smooth flavor of the cake goes so well with the tart zing of the luscious curd.
I punched holes through the tops of the bottom two layers so that they would absorb the curd and they did – sweet, moist sponges of goodness.
In the spirit of Like Water For Chocolate, I baked this cake with a lot of love.
I baked it with love for A., since we have some special milestones coming up. And in case you were on the hunt for a special Boy Bait recipe, I will tell you that A., the King Of All Cake Haters, ate one piece and proclaimed this the best cake that he had ever eaten. Ever.
I also baked this cake with love for you! I am so appreciative of the time that you spend here, reading my ramblings and recipes, and I am so incredibly thankful for all of the friends that I have made along the way.
Thank you! Love, Meagan
Chabela Wedding Cake
adapted from Like Water For Chocolate
For the cake:
3 c. cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. buttermilk
3 large eggs
1 1/2 c. white sugar, granulated
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
For the curd glaze:
8 large eggs
2 c. white sugar, granulated
1 c. lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 1/2 c. unsalted butter, cold, cubed
zest of 6 limes for finishing (Please note that I used Mexican/Key limes here and for the juice. You can use any type of lime that you choose, just be sure to note that Mexican limes are approximately half the size of standard limes.)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Prepare 3- 9″ round cake pans by lining the bottoms with parchment paper and then greasing the bottoms and sides. Set the pans aside.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, and then the sifted dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk. Divide the finished batter evenly among the three prepared cake pans and smooth the tops of each filled pan. Bake the cakes for 23-26 minutes – finished cakes will be golden at the edges with a cake tester inserted in the center of each coming out clean or almost clean. Set the finished cakes aside to cool before unmolding.
Meanwhile, to prepare the curd, whisk the 8 eggs together in a heat-proof bowl. Add the sugar and lime juice and set the bowl over a double-boiler pot of simmering water. While continuing to whisk, add the butter several cubes at a time. The mixture will heat, but should never boil. Continue this process of whisking and adding butter cubes while the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, approximately 10-15 minutes. Once the mixture has thickened, remove it from heat and whisk or beat it for one minute more. Pass the curd through a fine mesh strainer into another bowl. Straining your curd will ensure that it is absolutely silky smooth, and, by transferring it to another bowl, will facilitate the cooling process as well. Place the finished curd in the refrigerator to chill further for another 10 minutes.
To assemble your cake, unmold the first cake and set it on a rimmed baking sheet. This lime curd is a thinner consistency, especially just after it’s prepared, and when you pour it over the tops of the cakes some of the curd will run off. This is why I recommend assembling the cake on a rimmed sheet and not on your serving piece: you can capture, spoon up and re-pour any runoff curd.
Use a small dowel or ice pick to poke holes in the top of the cake. Ladle the curd onto the cake and then use your ladle to slowly smooth it down into the holes. Repeat this process several times until the cake is thoroughly saturated. Once the bottom layer is soaked, zest two limes over top. Set the second layer on top of the first and repeat the process of poking holes, soaking and zesting. Finally, set the third layer on top of the second and pour the remaining curd on top. Finish the cake with the zest of two more limes. Allow your assembled cake to soak for 10-15 minutes in the curd and then carefully transfer it to your serving dish. Serve immediately or store for several days in a covered container.
YIELD: approximately 14-16 servings