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Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Devil's in the Birthday Cake

My friend, M's birthday was this week.  She had a few people over for cake and wine so I offered to make the cake.  I have made plenty of cakes before but only a few from scratch, fearing a too dense or too sweet cake Or even worse a cake that just didn't taste that great..  

M's fond childhood memories of devil's food birthday cake with vanilla icing prompted me to recreate my own version for her.  It was a lot of fun and a lot of hard work!  I don't know how bakers do it day in and day out!  So much prepping and whisking (my right arm hurts today) and waiting and baking and waiting again.  And don't forget icing!  I literally ate nothing but cake batter and icing until yesterday evening.  Needless to say, I had a sugar high all day.  I guess that's what kept me moving.

I chose to make a recipe I saw on  Food Network's website. I did this mostly because the recipe made a two layer cake, not a three layer cake like many others that I found.  I just think two layers is perfect.  Three layers is a little but over the top.  Also I substituted buttermilk for milk.

I have to say, it came out really delicious.  Moist without being heavy.  Chocolately and sweet, but not too sweet.  The icing was a vanilla butter cream but I ended up adding a few teaspoons of cooled coffee to it in order to cut the sugary sweetness.  It was really delicious and gave the icing a nice "latte" hue.  I also made my grandmother's version of "7 minute icing."   This icing requires whisking egg whites, corn syrup, cream of tartar, salt, water, sugar and vanilla in a double boiler for, you guessed it, 7 minutes.  I used this icing to pipe flowers and writing on the cake.  It was shocking white so made a nice contrast on the buttercream.

I used a pasty bag for the first time.  What fun!  I would love to work with it again - trying new techniques (and of course, perfect mine).  But I think I did pretty good for a first timer, What do you think?

I can't wait to make my next cake!  Do you have a favorite "from scratch" cake recipe?  Please share with me here!

Chow for now!  :)

1 comment:

  1. Look at your adorable cake! I am a disaster when it comes to frosting cake. It always looks good in my mind...and ends up looking like a dented shoe box. The two frosting tip is genius! xoxo