Saturday, June 23, 2012

Thank You to my husband

After giving my first class in May (Buttercream Basics- Cake Decorating), I made my husband a "Thanks" cake to let him know how much I appreciated his support. 
One of his favorites is chocolate, so it was a chocolate cake topped with cocoa frosting. I baked a 6 inch cake (15.2 cm) using a modified Whimsical Bakehouse Chocolate Butter Cake recipe.

Chocolate Cake
125 ml coffee (1/2 cup)
51 g of cocoa powder (1/2 cup)
125 ml low-fat milk (1/2 cup)
156 g all-purpose flour (1 1/2 cups) (zeeuwsebloem)
24 g corn starch (maizena)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
165 g unsalted butter (1 stick, or 1/2 cup)
262 g sugar (1 1/4 cups)(fijn crystal suiker)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees F or 177 degrees C. Using butter, grease the bottom of a 6" (15.2 cm) round cake pan that is about 3" tall (7.6cm). Cut a parchment circle to fit into the bottom of the pan(it will stick to the butter), and then grease and flour the parchment bottom and also the sides of the pan.

Combine the hot coffee and cocoa powder, whisking until no lumps. Add the milk to the coffee/cocoa and set this aside to cool a bit. In another bowl, combine the flour, corn starch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside the dry ingredients. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat well, and then add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Add about 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture (flour, etc.) and mix to combine.  Add about 1/3 of the wet ingredient mixture (coffee, etc.) and mix to combine. Continue to add the dry ingredients, mixing to combine, alternately with the wet ingredients (coffee, etc.) in about three additions each. You will have about 965g of batter. 
Pour 630g of batter into the prepared pan. Cupcakes can be made with the remaining batter- it makes about 5 cupcakes, fill the cupcakes about 60% of the way to the top.

Bake the cake for about 25-35 minutes. The best way to check the cake to see if it is done is to use both the tooth-pick test and the spring-back test. Insert a wooden tooth-pick into the center of the cake and it should come out clean (with no crumbs). Next, lightly press your finger into the center of the cake and it should spring back a bit (if it just leaves a dent, the cake is not done). (The cupcakes take about 20 minutes to bake.)

Take the cake out of the oven, run a knife around the edge to separate the cake from the pan, and then cool the cake for about 10 minutes in the pan, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, frost with Cocoa Frosting from the Good Housekeeping Illustrated Book of Desserts:

Cocoa Frosting
300 g powdered sugar (2 2/3 cups)
75 g cocoa (3/4 cup)
87 g unsalted butter (6 Tbsp)
80 ml milk (1/3 cup)
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients on low speed until blended. Increase speed to high and whip until smooth and glossy. Add a bit more milk if necessary to achieve your preferred consistency. 

First, I placed a dollop of frosting on the cake board (I often reuse the styrofoam circles that refrigerated pizza at AH is packaged on!) so that the cake won't slide around.

Next, I leveled the top of the cake and then torted the cake (cut it in half horizontally).
The cocoa frosting as a filling makes life simple (and is tasty!)
 I placed the second layer of cake on top and then remembered that I should have used the bottom (the part of the cake that is in contact with the pan) as the very top to make frosting the cake easier (fewer crumbs).
Oh well! I frosted the top and sides of the cake with the cocoa frosting.

I trimmed the edge of the foam to get rid of the unsightly frosting (this was tricky to do, and I have a better method I'll share involving baking paper around the edge of the cake, which is removed after you frost it.) A cake turn-table is essential for me when decorating, otherwise my wrists have to contort in all sorts of weird ways to get the borders even.

And I decorated with the Basic Buttercream icing that tastes amazing and looks divine.

My husband has supported me throughout our time together, and this adventure is no exception. Keeping our Dina occupied with fun things to do while I plan, blog, and bake is not easy. She's always interested in helping her mommy bake and decorate (and 'clean' up the extra frosting.)
I love that Dina is excited about my passion for baking. And I love that my husband is, too. Thank you so much, MJM!
Stay tuned for the next date for my Buttercream Basics Cake Decorating class, on a Sunday afternoon in mid-August. In addition, I'm planning a new class: Cupcakes in Buttercream, which will be a Tuesday night in late-August.
 Everybody loves cupcakes...
 ...especially my Dina!