The Past Few Weeks – Part III

My birthday was a couple of weeks ago and as is my tradition, my mother and I make a homemade cake. Last year was a wonderful TARDIS decorated Princess Cake. Wonderful the things you can do with marzipan. Anyway, this year, I wanted a simple yellow cake with chocolate frosting. One of my favorite cake combinations. I used another of Deb’s recipes for both the cake and frosting and was IMMENSELY HAPPY WITH THE RESULT. It was hands down the best yellow cake and fudge frosting I’ve ever had – perhaps the cake was extra delicious since I let it sit overnight. Not sure but it was delicious nonetheless. Somehow I ended up with three layers as opposed to two, but no matter, it just made for an even better cake.

That’s Shredder from the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon on top of my cake by the way – his head is slightly melted from years of use. Yes, I am too cool.

The Most Amazing Yellow (Butter) Layer Cake You Will Ever Taste

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen, slightly adjusted by me

Yield: Two 9-inch round, 2-inch tall cake layers (though I ended up with 3 layers)

4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (480 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
2 sticks (1 cup, 1/2 pound or 225 grams) salted butter, softened
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk (475 ml), well-shaken

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans (or three if you realize you need it). [I take the stick of butter I will later use and run it all along the sides and middle of the pan, then take a small sprinkling of flour and drop it in the middle, then shake over the sink until the entire pan is covered in a thin white layer.]

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer (or Kitchenaid Stand Mixer – my method of choice) at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated. [At this point it was the night before my birthday and quite late so I decided to bake it in the morning so I put the batter in the fridge, covered with plastic. In the morning before it was baked, I let it sit out on the counter to come to room temperature for about an hour or so.]

Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes (Mine only needed 32 minutes as my oven temperature tends to be higher than normal ovens – check your cakes periodically after the 30 minute mark). Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

While the cake is cooling, begin to make the FROSTING. The frosting almost literally takes 5 minutes to make, so I would just let the cake cool, and then once it is sufficient cool (as in it won’t melt the frosting), then make the frosting.

Instant Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Makes about 3 cups

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (I like to use Baker’s Chocolate), melted and cooled (microwave and stir, in intervals of 30 seconds)
2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar (no need to sift)
1 1/2 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons half-and-half or whole milk (I used half-and-half…because this isn’t decadent enough already har har)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to incorporate, then process until the frosting is smooth. Taste it before you use it because you may need to add a bit more confectioners’ sugar, depending on your taste. For me, this was a perfect deep chocolate flavor with just the right amount of sweetness.

Note: If you plan to write on your cake – whirl all of the frosting ingredients except the melted chocolate in the food processor until smooth. Set aside a half-cup of the white frosting for tinting and writing, then add the chocolate to finish making the frosting.

Frost the cake, decorate as necessary, and enjoy :]

I plan to make this again, but on a smaller scale. Perhaps for Easter this weekend. IDEAS: Pale pink candy rounds to decorate the cake with – pink and brown cake, plus a pink bow tied either around cake or cake stand. Or some kind of pink decoration – sprinkles, jimmies, etc…
This blog is honestly just a giant idea-writing space for me, just like pinterest. Haha.

xx

-C

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