Monday, September 6, 2010

World's Best Birthday Cake

*Please disregard the crumbs and chocolate smeared cake platter, we were too busy inhaling this cake. 

So how did I come to find the world's best Birthday cake?

1.  By request from Mr.F, his birthday must consist of yellow cake and chocolate frosting.  This is a family thing, or tradition, that consists of the boxed variety of cake mix and frosting.  Im not against these cakes and highly recommend them for the time-limited or inexperienced baker; HOWEVER, doesn't a vanilla buttermilk cake with a chocolate buttercream frosting sound so much more appealing?  

2.  I have tried my hardest to deviate from said tradition and have in the past created a german chocolate cake.  Even after a few years with that delicious cake recipe, Mr. F's choice for a birthday cake was... you guessed it...yellow cake with chocolate frosting.  So I did the next best thing and searched for the best homemade yellow cake and chocolate frosting recipes.  A hearty in size yet light in taste cake topped with a thick yet not-too-sweet chocolate frosting.  

3.  Lastly, like most women with the "dessert" gene, I do consider myself a connoisseur of any baked or sweet good and this cake, even for being so basic, is so moist and delicious.  The frosting isn't too sweet and pairs perfectly with the buttermilk cake. 

So after years of swaying the birthday boy, I think I will stick with this recipe. This is one tradition I want to keep going!  Now, I just need to break some other "traditions" the creation of his birthday 

For an extra special treat, pair the cake with a strawberry sorbet.
Vanilla Buttermilk Cake
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Yield: Two 9-inch round, 2-inch tall cake layers, and 22 to 24 cupcakes

4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, well-shaken

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line with circles of parchment paper, then butter parchment. (Alternately, you can use a cooking spray, either with just butter or butter and flour to speed this process up.)

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just Incorporated.

Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles.  Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Recipe from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

4 large egg whites
 1 cup sugar
 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
 8 ounces melted bittersweet chocolate, cooled
In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees).
Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.
Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. (If frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.) Add in the melted bittersweet chocolate. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes.

1 comment:

Bryan said...

Sounds like a great recipe, so much better than the box... I hope you have made a believer out of Mr. F.

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