Friday, March 7, 2014

Birthday Cake


Cakes can be a scary commitment.  You don't get to taste it before you cut and serve it, it is huge so if it isn't the tastiest you have a lot of waste, or a lot of unhappy eaters, and even if it tastes good, cakes can look bad.  They can be lop-sided, the frosting can slide, there just is so much pressure with a cake.

So why did I volunteer to make a cake for a co-workers birthday?  I must have had a short mental laps, but volunteer I did and there I was standing in my kitchen hoping the cake would taste good and look good.  This group I work with takes their baked good seriously, remember the cookie contest our office had?

I used a recipe that was for 20 cupcakes, so I made two batches into three layers and a couple cupcakes for the neighbor boys.  It was a rich chocolate cake with finely chopped dark chocolate pieces, it was very good.  Then I topped it with the Hershey's cocoa frosting (one of my favorites).  Just to make sure it wasn't lopsided, I pressed Kit Kats around the side and filled the top with fresh raspberries.

I do believe it was a hit.

Chocolate Cake
from Fine Cooking, April/May 2014
This is for a single batch

5 1/2 oz (1 1/4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 oz (1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup boiling water
1 Tbsp. molasses
2/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
5 oz. (10 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 large eggs, room temperature
3 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

2 batches Hershey's Cocoa frosting, below
6 king size Kit Kat Bars, cut into single bars
raspberries


Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour (I use cocoa powder for a chocolate cake) two 8" round pans.  Line bottoms with parchment paper and grease and flour the parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

In another medium bowl, whisk the cocoa powder, water, and molasses until smooth.  Let the mixture cool until just warm, and then whisk in the sour cream and vanilla.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the sugar and butter on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition.

Alternately mix in the flour and cocoa mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour in three additions.  By hand, stir in the chopped chocolate.

Divide batter between the two prepared pans.  Bake about 20 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Hershey's Cocoa Frosting
from the can

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2/3 cup Hershey's cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Melt butter.  Stir in cocoa.

Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistency.  Stir in vanilla.

Frost cake.  While frosting is soft, press single Kit Kat bar pieces on sides, circling cake.  Tie ribbon around candy.  Refrigerate.  Add raspberries to top just before serving.



1 year ago:  Quinoa Blondies
2 yeas ago:  Microwave Popcorn

March 7, 2014   Daylight 10 hrs. 49 min. 21 sec.   Temp. H 16/ L -13°F

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