The following took place about 3 weeks ago for my mom's birthday.
My mom has a favorite cake and that is a spice cake. There is nothing "spectacular" about a spice cake -- not that there's anything wrong with that, but this wasn't to be an ordinary cake. Oh no, this was a birthday cake and I knew I had to turn it into a tricked out spice cake. Pimp my cake? Something to that effect.
I'm not going to tell you how I did that until a bit later.
And those are the pictures of the cake-making progress. I beat the Smart Balance shortening with sugar, then added the egg yolks and vanilla. The batter was a bit dense but airy. Then I whipped the egg whites until stiff and glossy peaks formed and took the picture while holding the bowl up in the air a bit, after which I folded them into the batter, drastically lightening it up. I divided between two prepped cake pans, baked, cooled slightly, then took the cake disks out of the pans to cool.
And this is where I tell you how exactly I pimped the cake out:
I decided to top the cake with caramelized mini-pears. Was that not the BEST idea ever? (You better say that it was... or else...)
Knowing this cake ends up a tad on the dry side, I wanted a very fluffy frosting. I chose a 7-minute frosting because it would be thick and marshmallow-y without being marshmallow-y. That makes sense to me.
So you see here the frosted and decorated whole cake and an individual slice. Overall, the cake was tasty and the smoothness of the pears melded wonderfully with the cake, added another dimension. The downsides were that the once smooth frosting ended up getting grainy (the website says not to let the top pan touch the boiling water or else grainy frosting would ensue. Mine didn't but it ended up being grainy anyway.) and the cake was really dry (perhaps because it was shortening-based and had no butter?) and I didn't put enough frosting in the middle to offset that. I'm going to look for another spice cake next time that is more moist than this was.
But everyone enjoyed the pretty cake and it did taste great. Happy Birthday again, Mom!