I am late for Fiesta Friday! But I am joining the party! The party is hosted by Prudy at (Drum roll, please.) http://butterbasilandbreadcrumbs.com/ and Angie at http://thenovicegardener.wordpress.com so link up and enjoy the feasting and share the fun from all over the world.
Day 4: Preparations are ramping up for the Second Annual Potluck Everybody Cooks! on Saturday. The Framily is getting together for an international food share. Today the lovely Alicia is joining me to teach me about cake baking. (A lesson I could really use.) This three tiered chocolate cake recipe looks rich and unbelievable. Chocolate Cake is an American favorite recipe and a staple at any party. This one uses buttermilk. Alicia found this gem on Good Housekeeping’s site. This Chocolate cake recipe first appeared in 1927 and continues to be used since – “countless” times. This is an updated version using both cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate in the frosting.
During the ingredient-shopping spree, Alicia chose to use Ghirardelli semisweet for the frosting chocolate. (My suggestion) We went to several stores to accomplish our mad design. It’s a birthday cake for someone who is a devotee of the Burlesque, which is seeing an upsurge in the entertainment world (Who knew?) So will there be sparkles and glitter? You betcha’. The frosting has a more intense flavor because of the addition of the semisweet chocolate to the frosting recipe. But when combined with this fluffy light cake, seriously, this is a chocolate cake for a celebration.
Here it is, adapted from Good Housekeeping online:
“The Best Chocolate Layer Cake You’ll Ever Have” Or how to make a chocolate cake that is scrumptious and sexy!
Adapted July 25, 2014
Total Time: 1 hr 15 min
3 Cake Layers
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 ½ teaspoon(s) baking soda
¼ teaspoon(s) salt
3/4 cup (1 ½ sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/3 cup boiling water
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
(Watch Alicia make this cake and document steps. That’d be me.)
“ Prepare cake layers: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease three 8-in. round cake pans. Line bottoms with waxed paper; grease paper. Dust pans with flour.” My contribution.
On another sheet of waxed paper, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat butter and brown sugar together with granulated sugar until blended. Increase speed to high; beat 5 minutes or until pale and fluffy, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.
Reduce speed to medium-low to add eggs – 1 at a time, beat well with each addition. Add vanilla beat until blended. Next add the flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, “beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat just until batter is smooth. Occasionally scrape bowl with rubber spatula to incorporate.”
Spoon batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake with staggered pans on 2 oven racks. place 2 pans on upper rack and 1 on the lower rack. The result: top pans are not directly above bottom one. Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. (Set your timer, friends.)
Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. (Without the wire racks this takes longer. Be patient.) With small knife, loosen layers from sides of pans; invert onto wire racks. Carefully remove and discard waxed paper; cool completely, about 45 minutes. “If you like, wrap layers well and store at room temperature up to 1 day or freeze up to 1 month. Bring to room temperature before frosting cake.”
Meanwhile, prepare frosting: In small bowl, combine cocoa and boiling water, stirring until smooth. In large bowl, mix at medium-high speed butter and confectioners’ sugar about 5 minutes or until fluffy. Melt the semi-sweet chocolate in a bain marie or double boiler.
Reduce speed to medium-low. Then add melted chocolate, then cocoa mixture, beat until smooth – occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. “If frosting is too runny, refrigerate until just stiff enough to spread.”
The question that comes to mind while watching Alicia make this chocolate cake recipe is: Is there ever enough chocolate?
Obviously, the answer is, There is never enough chocolate.
When Alicia finished whipping the frosting together, she dutifully thrust a beater full of chocolate frosting at me and said “Here”
“What?” I replied.
“Eat this,” she laughed.
I laughed and tasted a bit of frosting with my finger, “Boy that’s strong,” I remarked, “Do we need to sweeten that up?”
Alicia’s answer was a definitive “No. It’ll work.”
How to put the cake together:
(Remember the directions to flour the pans! Then they will come out more easily. That’d be me who missed that important point.)
“Place 1 cake layer bottom side up on cake plate; spread with 1/3 cup frosting. Top with second layer, bottom side up; spread with 1/3 cup frosting.
Place remaining layer bottom side up on top. Spread remaining frosting over sides and top of cake.”
Alicia used toothpicks to keep the layers from slipping.
Alicia did a beautiful job and used such a delicate touch to frost this cake.
♦♦♦ Oh wait, the cake had to be decorated. This is where we diverged from the norm. Yes, Alicia bought fancy stuff to put the ribbons along the bottom of the cake, while I tore black fondant into a costume for a half of a doll. (Huh?) Fondant is a little tricky, but you can cut it into decorative shapes. Let me say that this is a surprise cake for a birthday. It was an opportunity to be creative.
The wedding doll parts and the edible fondant were available at the craft store in cakes – aisle 3 – where the cake becomes the wedding dress. Sparkles and icing gel found at the local grocery were added. This was one step beyond. I created “ The Pirate Mistress” – sort of a romance cake gone burlesque.
Alicia approved the ideas, as I dressed the doll for her part in the cake. E-hem, Seeing is believing! The doll was the star of the cake.
The Pirate Mistress of Burlesque
All in Good Fun!