I gotta tell you. I am not sure if you know. I’m a fat kid. I am such a fat kid, that I baked my OWN birthday cake, because heaven forbid someone else shows up with a cake that is, GASP, not covered in Chocolate.
This goes back to my 4 main food groups, carbs, chocolate, cheese and tomato. Seriously guys, I love me some cake with chocolate, on, around, or in it. All over it. Any which way, who cares! It makes cake worth eating. You will die of laughter when you hear that I actually haven’t even eaten a piece of this birthday cake, because I was so hung up on the frosting that I didn’t feel like ruining the bliss. I did have about 2 bites of the cake and went back to the buttercream…Say it with me friends: FAT. KID. The totally terrible news is that I still have 12 ounces of this kickass chocolate buttercream left. Know what’s scary about buttercream? 6 sticks of butter. I shit you not.
Did you have a piece of my birthday cake? Oh, sorry about that stick of butter… in your arteries. It is a dangerous dance, eating at my place! One of my favorite gals, Deb, over at Smitten Kitchen claimed to have the “Best Yellow Layer Cake” and you know me, if it’s got a name like that, I am going for it! I share the no box philosophy with her, so it was nice to see just a basic cake recipe that could knock it out of the park. I do believe I made the mistake of baking this cake the night before and letting it sit overnight before frosting it. Sadly, the cake was a little dry. I do believe if I had frosted it Friday night, it would have kept moist to Saturday. (Stop it! Stop the judging me! I had to make pickles, 2 different kinds of beef burgers, veggie burgers, shrimp skewers, and a compound butter for the corn on Saturday. I was a little busy.) All of this cooking led up to Sunday, cooking day of the year, when I debuted my first batch of fresh pasta. You will hear about this tomorrow, and you will probably knock down my door to get to my fridge. It was that good. But for now, Let there be cake!
While this is a great recipe, I don’t know that it’s my absolute favorite. I will however, give her another ride and see if I can moisten her up a bit. Deb, if you are out there reading this, tell me what I did wrong!
Best Yellow Layer Cake via Smitten Kitchen
Yield: Two 9-inch round, 2-inch tall cake layers
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.
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, don’t stress!). 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. (I like to drop mine a few times from two inches up, making a great big noisy fuss.) 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 adapted from Ina Garten’s version
Yeilds: A babillion cups. Enough for 2 cakes.
1 pound bittersweet chocolate (16 oz.) (use the good stuff here kids)
12 ounces semisweet chocolate
5 egg whites, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds unsalted butter, at room temperature (that is 6 sticks people.)
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (I use Mexican, and so should you.)
3 teaspoons instant espresso powder, dissolved in 1 1/2 teaspoons water
Chop the chocolates and place them in a heat-proof bowl and heat over a double broiler. (Send me an email if you don’t know how to do this and Super Bouche will rescue you) Stir until melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
Mix the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt in your kitchenaid (hereto referred to as Suzy) fitted with a whisk attachment. (You can use a hand mixer if you don’t have a Suzy) Place the bowl of egg whites over the pan of simmering water and heat the egg whites until they are warm to the touch, about 5 minutes. (For the love of Jesus, don’t let the eggs cook. Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water) Return the bowl to Suzy and whisk on high speed for 5 minutes, or until the meringue is cool and holds a stiff peak.
Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, while beating on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl, add the melted chocolate, vanilla, espresso, and mix for 1 minute or until the chocolate is completely blended in. If the buttercream seems very soft, allow it to cool, and beat it again.
Try not to go into cardiac arrest and the amazing quality of this buttercream.
Guys, I am hearing amazing things are happening with the veggie burger recipe! For those of you making it, please please let us know how it goes! This is my baby and I want to hear how she treats you. (I am not above smacking her around if she doesn’t behave)
Happy Hump Day!