Oh Happy Day!

Today is a two fold celebration. Hot Polka Dot turns one and yours truly turns twenty five!

A year ago today I decided it was time to explore this new passion of mine. I opened my recipe box as well as my heart and was met by a flood of wonderful people. A few of you have been around since the humble beginnings of my little pink food blog. You watched me struggle with custard, yell at bread and divulge some tried and true family recipes. Most of you are relatively new to my corner of the internet. Old friends and new friends, I appreciate you all more than I can express. I am so thankful for your lovely comments, sweet emails, and helpful suggestions. Starting this blog was one of the best decisions I have ever made and I am so excited to begin year two!

I thought long and hard about what type of cake to make for this happy occasion. Something that was indicative of my personality and also at home on Hot Polka Dot. As you well know I am in love with lemon. That much is obvious. You may not know that white chocolate is my favourite type of chocolate even though it doesn't have cocoa and isn't technically chocolate. Even stranger still is that I actually kind of hate buttercream and instead prefer cream cheese icing. So here we have it. Lemon White Chocolate Whisper Cake. A delightfully light white butter cake with a hint of white chocolate, filled with lemon curd and topped off with sinfully smooth vanilla cream cheese icing. And of course I couldn't forget the polka dots! That would be silly.

I decided not to be selfish and extend the celebration to all of you! You may not get a slice of this cake, but you do get a chance to win this lovely polka dot apron. It's got ruffles. It's got a pocket. It's got a bow. It's even got adjustable straps. What more could you ask for? A Hot Polka Dot Mom original made just for you! Many of you were admiring the pink and black one I was wearing in my video and now you can have one of your own! Just think, you could make this adorable polka dot cake while sporting your pretty polka dot apron!


As if that wasn't enough, I'll also throw in a $25 Bake It Pretty gift certificate. You could buy lots of cool goodies like Black Polka Dot Paper Straws, Orange Creamsicle Baker's Twine and a Cakewich Silicone Baking Mold. And these Dashing Dot Baking Cups even match the apron! The cuteness is almost too much handle! How to Enter:

   1. Leave a comment here telling me something you'd like to see here on Hot Polka Dot. Maybe a recipe you'd like me to        tackle, a theme day, a new feature, or a giveaway. Anything! I'd love to know!    2. Follow me on Twitter, tweet the contest (Check out @Hot_Polka_Dot and enter for a chance to win a polka dot apron        and Bake It Pretty gift certificate! http://bit.ly/gUOhOF) and leave another comment here telling me you've done so.    3. Like me on Facebook and leave even another comment here telling me you've done so.    4. Become my friend on Foodbuzz and leave yet another comment here telling me you've done so.

Contest Details:

   - If you're already following me on Twitter, liking me on Facebook, or my friend on Foodbuzz that's ok! You're entries still      count!    - Only a maximum of four entries per person will be permitted in the ways I've designated above.    - Anyone in the world is welcome to enter.    - The Bake It Pretty gift certificate code will be sent to the winner by email.    - Upon winning please email me at hotpolkadot (at) live (dot) com to claim your prizes and give me your mailing address      to receive the apron.    - All emails and addresses will be kept confidential.

Contest Deadline:

The contest will be open through the weekend and be closed on Monday February the 14th at 9pm MST. I will close the comments at this time so make sure to get your entries in soon! The winner will be chosen at random and announced Tuesday morning. Make sure to get in as many extra entries you can for a better chance to win!

This giveaway is closed. Thank you to everyone who entered! See who won here.

Lemon Curd

Source: Martha Stewart's Lemon Curd.

8 egg yolks Zest of 2 lemons 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp lemon juice (2 large lemons) 1 cup granulated sugar 1/8 tsp salt 10 tbsp unsalted butter

Note: Reserve four of the egg whites for the White Chocolate Whisper Cake. You should make the lemon curd first since it needs time to set in the refrigerator.

In a small sauce pan combine the egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar with a whisk. Cook it over medium high heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for about 8 – 10 minutes until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and registers 160 degrees on a thermometer. I used a meat thermometer, hey it works.

Remove the sauce pan from the heat and add the salt and butter, one tbsp at a time and stirring until it's smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a medium sized bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap touches the surface of the Lemon Curd so as to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate it for at least an hour before using it to allow it to set.

White Chocolate Whisper Cake

Source: Adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Cake Bible.

6 ounces white chocolate, chopped 4 egg whites 1 cup milk 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 3 cup cake flour (or substitute) 1 cup 3 tbsp granulated sugar 1 tbsp 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 3/4 tsp salt 2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature Printer-Friendly Version

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Butter two 9 inch spring form or cake pans and fit the bottoms with a circle of parchment paper. Butter the lined bottoms and set set aside.

In a double boiler or a heat proof bowl set over barely simmering water melt the white chocolate. Once it's smooth and melted remove it from the heat.

In a medium bowl lightly mix together the egg whites, 1/4 cup milk and vanilla.

In a large bowl with and electric mixer stir together the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and remaining 3/4 cup milk then mix it in on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the speed to medium to beat it for another 1 1/2 minutes. Add the egg white mixture in thirds beating for about 20 seconds after each addition. Lastly blend in the melted chocolate until it's incorporated.

Divide the batter in the prepared pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake them for about 25 – 35 minutes and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let the cakes sit in the pans for about 10 minutes before turning them out and letting them cool completely on cooling racks.

Cream Cheese Icing

Source: My family recipe.

2 250g pkg cream cheese, room temperature 2 cup unsalted butter, Room temperature 2 tsp vanilla extract 6 – 10 cup powdered sugar, sifted A few drops blue food colouring A few drops yellow food colouring

Note: You may need to do the recipe in two batches if your mixing bowl isn't big enough to accommodate that many cups. For those of you who like to take it easy on the icing it would be best to half the recipe. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until it's light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar then mix until it's smooth and your desired consistency.

Divide the icing into two potions, one small and one large. In the small bowl fold in the yellow food colouring. In the large bowl fold in the blue food colouring. Refrigerate the icing at least 30 minutes before using it.

Assembling the Cake:

Scoop your yellow icing into a small piping bag fitted with a medium round tip. Scoop a small amount of the blue icing into another small piping bag fitted with a medium round tip.

Level off your cooled cakes with a cake leveller or a long serrated knife. Slice each cake in half so you have 4 even layers. Place the bottom layer on a serving plate and pipe an even line of blue icing around the edge to create a dam to stop the Lemon Curd from spilling out. Spread an even layer of Lemon Curd out to the edge of the icing dam then gently place the next cake layer on top. Repeat these steps for the next two layers then, with the forth layer in place, liberally ice the whole cake in a even layer of the blue icing.

Finish it off by piping pretty polka dots with the yellow icing. Enjoy!

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