Sunday, January 25, 2009

1,2, Cake!

Simple and pretty...and pretty simple too, is this chocolate filled and frosted layer cake.

(Sorry for the bad picture)

The cake itself is adapted from Paula Deen's 1-2-3-4 Cake, and there the problems begin. Paula's cake makes a 3 layer cake that you then fill and frost - but I thought that would be a little much for the gathering - and a little much work for me! So I decided if I took 2/3 of each ingredient, I would end up with a 2 layer cake - perfect! This however, involves lots of math - not my strong suit - and resulted in me dashing back and forth between the kitchen and the computer, checking and double checking my calculations, and a solid minute of thinking hard about why the amount of butter seemed wrong, before I realized I needed 1 1/3 sticks of butter not 1 1/3 cups.
Nevertheless, all the numbers added up, and before long I had two 9 inch pans of batter. Now came the baking. Unfortunately, I have just a teeny little oven here, and I couldn't fit them both side by side. Being exponentially too impatient to bake them separately, I managed to fit them in on a diagonal, meaning one cake was a little farther back in the oven than the other. You baking purists are probably cringing at this point, but work with me here. So anyway, I figured I should switch their places in the oven half way through, so one didn't brown more than the other - a daring but dangerous feat. I pulled it off with only one almost drop. Note to self: do not attempt to adjust the dials while wearing oven mitts. You'd think that was common sense, but I guess not so common for all of us!
Once the layers were removed and cooled, the frosting began. I made the frosting from scratch, just a mix of butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder and boiling water. I'd provide the measurements, but as I peered into the bowl worrying if it would be enough, I added a little bit more water and a little bit more sugar until I prayed it would cover the cake, and have no idea what the actual amounts ended up being. No worries, the amount was just right, and I sprinkled a few white chocolate chips on top for decoration.
Of course, my biggest problem was once again transportation, so without my handy dandy cake carrier I scrounged up a piece of cardboard (I knew saving all those boxes would come in handy one day) cut it down to a square, covered it with foil, placed it on a baking sheet, and covered the whole thing with an upside-down metal bowl to help it stay fresh. Success! Though I probably looked a little strange walking down 3rd avenue with that contraption. Oh well.

Tip of the Day: When frosting a cake, place a dab of frosting in the center of the board before putting the first layer down, to help it stay in place.

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