Friday, July 20, 2012

Classic Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

What sort of dessert do you request on your birthday?  For me, the cake of choice was usually yellow with chocolate frosting.  Apparently great minds think alike.  After much poking and prodding Ross finally requested a specific dessert.  Low and behold, it was the classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting.

I knew any old box mix would not do the big day justice (sorry Betty Crocker and Pillsbury!)  The cake had to be made from scratch.  Thankfully a post from Liz at the Skinny Chick Can Bake caught my eye.

Holy heaven, is this cake a winner!

adapted from Martha Stewart via That Skinny Chick Can Bake

yields one 2-layered cake

The Ingredients:
for the cake

1 1/2  cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2  cups cake flour 
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter ( 2 sticks), room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk

for the frosting:
1 lb semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
6 Tbsp cocoa powder
6 tablespoons boiling water
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks),  room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
The Process:
for the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350.  Butter two 9-inch cake pans.  Line the bottom with parchment paper.  Butter the parchment and dust the entire pan with flour.  Set aside. 
In a medium bowl sift together the flours, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
In a large bowl cream together the  butter and sugar until fluffy and well combined, about 4 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each is well incorporated before adding the next.  Mix in the vanilla.
With the mixer set to low, add one third of the flour at a time, alternating with the milk.  Mix well after each addition.
Divide the batter between the two prepared pans.  Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  
Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes.  Invert the pan to remove the cake from the pans and peel off the parchment paper.   Allow to cool completely on wire racks.
for the frosting:
In a large microwaveable bowl, melt chocolate in microwave, stopping and stirring at 30 second increments until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Set aside to cool to room temperature, about 15 not skip the cooling, especially on a hot day.  The frosting will not be a spreadable consistency otherwise.

Whisk the cocoa powder into the boiling water until smooth.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and powder sugar until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Beat in the vanilla.  Add cooled chocolate and mix until well combined.  Add cocoa mixture and beat until the desired consistency is achieved.  

Assemble and frost the cake as desired.

The Review:
Ross had the privilege of sampling as I mixed everything.  It was his cake after all.  I had to ensure it would meet his approval.  Upon sampling the batter he exclaimed, is that the frosting! It's so good!"  The wheels are churning for later.  Has anyone ever attempted a cake batter frosting before?

The cake itself baked up beautiful and sat eagerly awaiting it's chocolatey covering.  

Here I ran into a few problems.  The recipe as written is not the problem in the slightest.  The problem stemmed from the sheer quantity of butter on a sweltering July day.  No amount of cooling outside of the refrigerator was going to keep the frosting from turning soupy during my feeble attempts at frosting (I'm getting better, but man, what I wouldn't give for an off set spatula!)

The problem I ran into with chilling the ingredients between steps was it cooled off TOO fast.  Rock hard to soupy to rock hard again.  I managed.  And the cake looked stunning in the end.  The finish beauty hung out in the fridge until the big moment.  I broke 4 candles trying to poke the candles into the chilled frosting.  30 candles ablaze, the frosting wasn't so stiff anymore!

But even better than the look of the cake was the taste. Having sampled along the way, I warned people about the sugar bomb they were about to partake in.  Only a few heeded the warning.  Everyone loved it.  There was nary a crumb left.  Only it is truly, very rich and very sweet.  A little bit goes a long way.

Next time...cupcakes...

Some of us need the built in portion control.

1 comment:

  1. I have never made a yellow cake before so I'm eager to check this recipe out!

    And cake batter frosting...I like it!

    Happy Birthday to the Husband!