When my friend Miriam had a birthday this summer, I didn't want to make a round or square cake. Boring! Instead, I whipped out my knife (or gingerly removed it from the drawer) and carved up my square cake into letter M.
(Portions of today's programming are brought to you by the number 7, and the letter M.)
I started with a square layer cake, and trimmed off the edges. And ate the edges.
Then I cut out a triangle from the top of the square, and the M shape into the bottom.
A lot of frosting and one candle later - celebration!
Now, hypothetically speaking, you could attempt this with any letter - but I lucked out here with the M, probably one of the easiest to do. An S would be more of a challenge to cut, and an A would certainly be difficult to frost. An L would be great, except you wouldn't have too much cake. What I really need, is to make a new friend whose name begins with Z. Any takers?
Tip of the Day: Your cake must be completely cool before frosting or it will all melt off. If you're in a rush and don't have time to let it cool on the counter, stick it in the fridge or freezer for a short while. But make sure you don't freeze it solid if you're planning on eating it right after!
Cake: (adapted from smitten kitchen)
2 cups plus 1 tbsp flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 1/2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick ) butter or margarine, softened
1 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in buttermilk (mix will look curdled).
Gradually mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Pour batter in to a parchment paper lined 8 inch square cake pan.
Bake at 350 F for 35 to 40 minutes.
Cool in pan ten minutes then invert on to wire rack.
Frosting (from smitten kitchen)
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tbsps sugar
1 1/2 tbsps light corn syrup
3 tbsp butter
Bring the cream, sugar and corn syrup to a boil over low heat, mixing until well combined.
Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate until melted and smooth. Add in butter until stir until melted and combined. Let sit until comes to room temperature. Do not refrigerate before use - it will harden.