Another Trial Cake

So the pumpkin cake, while really cute on the outside, was not that great on the inside. The cake didn’t have a lot of flavor and was a bit dense. Not to be deterred, I decided I would try again. Last night I tried a different recipe for yellow cake, and this time I made chocolate frosting. This cake turned out nice and fluffy and also has good flavor. The chocolate frosting is pretty rich, so I don’t think it’ll work with the fondant for the birthday cake.

To be sure I have finally have a winner, I removed the chocolate frosting from one piece. Then I re-frosted with a thin layer of buttercream frosting, and added a layer of fondant. A couple of Professional (ah… meaning Patricia and myself) taste tests later and I think I have it. 

I am including the recipe for the yellow cake and chocolate frosting here, and I will be sure to post the final results in a few weeks when I make the princess cake for the birthday girl!

– Jodi

6 large egg yolks
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray two 9-inch x 1 1/2 inch cake pans with cooking spray, line bottoms with parchment paper, then spray again with cooking spray.  Set aside.
In a medium bowl lightly combine the egg yolks, 1/4 cup milk, and vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder and salt) and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds or until blended.  Add the butter and remaining 3/4 cup milk.  Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 2 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the egg mixture, in 3 additions, beating about 30 seconds after each addition.  
Divide the batter and pour into the prepared pans (Pans will be about half full.)  Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in center.  
Place the cakes on a wire rack to cool, in their pans, for about 10 minutes. I put the cakes in the fridge at this point to cool them faster and get them out of the pans easier. Cool completely before frosting.

8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped. (I use 8 oz semisweet chocolate chips)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar, sifted to remove lumps
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting: Place the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, milk, and butter in a  glass bowl. Microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring after each (about 2-3 min total). Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.  Beat in, with a hand mixer or wire whisk, the powdered sugar and vanilla extract.  If the frosting is lumpy, strain through a strainer to remove any lumps.  Cover and place the frosting in the refrigerator until it is firm (to speed this up I put my bowl in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes).  Once the frosting is firm remove from refrigerator and place in your mixing bowl.  Beat the frosting for a minute or two or until it is nice and smooth and of spreading consistency.

Assemble:  Place one cake layer on your serving plate and spread with about 3/4 cup of frosting.  Place the other cake layer on top of the frosting and cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting.  Cover and refrigerate the cake until serving time.

Salsa Nana

In my opinion, there is nothing better than chips and salsa. I love the taste of certain flavors and have a hard time finding something that I really enjoy. So I started making my own with tomatoes, garlic, onions, fresh lime, cilantro, jalepeno and other ingredients.

The recipe is as follows (and I add as much or as little as I’m in the mood for).

I’m not a huge fan of tomatoes (go figure since I love salsa!!) so I use canned tomatoes.

1 can diced tomatoes
2-3 fresh garlic cloves
half of fresh lime juice
cilantro (to your taste)
1 med onion (I prefer red onion – but use white as well)
1/2 to 1 jalepeno pepper
a few slices of habenero peppers (more if you like it hotter)
dash of salt
Just add the ingredients to a food processor and blend away to your desired consistency. Being that I’m not a fan of tomatoes (I make it hot so I can’t taste them!!), I like my salsa at a thin consistency.

Hope you all enjoy. Maybe we can get Jodi to post her recipe for her home made chips!!

Pumpkin Cake

About a month ago I agreed to make a child’s birthday cake. I asked what kind of cake I should make, thinking along the lines of Chocolate or Vanilla. She is asking for a Princess cake. 
After much deliberation and some youtube searching I think I have decided to go for something like this
Because I have never attempted anything like this before I thought I better try a smaller version first just for practice. So I made a yellow cake, one 8 inch round and one in a glass bowl.  Since I love fall I decided these two cakes would make a great pumpkin. I frosted both with buttercream frosting, then covered in marshmallow fondant. 
Patricia also wanted to try her hand at decorating with fondant, so she added a face. 🙂

It was messy and fun. I learned a few things too, so hopefully I’ll be ready when it’s time to make that Princess cake!  🙂
– Jodi