Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Second Ugliest Cake to Ever be Made

Lets start with a trip back in a time where boxed cake and icing in a jar were two things that were considered 'tasty' and a perfectly acceptable thing to serve at a friends birthday party. Up until a couple weeks ago, that was the last time that I baked a cake. And it was horrendous.

At the request of the birthday girl (who happened to be Caitlin), I made a chocolate cake with rainbow chip icing. The cake, I suppose was all right - in the way that boxed cakes are. The icing was...well it was what it was. Things really went down hill with the combination of the icing and cake proved to be a little bit tricky though and it ended with the cake pretty much just falling completely apart. I was however able to use the icing as glue and kind of put the cake back together into some cake-like form.

Fast forward to a couple of weekends ago, and my friend Dana's birthday. I decided that I wanted to make a cake....completely forgetting my last experience with cake baking and icing. I consulted Dorie (Greenspan - my baking hero), picked a recipe and got to work. The actual baking of the cake was pretty easy....and then I got to the decorating and it became less easy. In the end though I suppose once you put fire on top of it, it isn't that ugly?

At least the cake remained intact throughout the entire process, so progress has been. I should say that this cake is delicious and totally worth making, even more so if you have cake decorating skillz (or even just skills).

Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake

Taken from Dorie Greenspan's "Baking: From my home to yours"

For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yokes
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

For the Icing:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate melted and cooled
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup powdered sugar

1) preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 9 x 2 inch round cake pans.

2) whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix together butter and sugar until well mixed, then add the eggs followed by the egg yokes one at a time. Add the vanilla. Combine dry ingredients.

3) Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake for 26 - 30 minutes. Allow to cool before icing.

4) For the icing, beat the butter until soft, then add in melted chocolate, vanilla and powdered sugar. Decorate the cake as desired.

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