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.

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