Today, 17 years ago, I became a mom. I was so scared. I always used to look at him when he was very small and wonder what he would look like at this age. Who he would be, what he would want to do as a profession, if he would act like I do. I am very pleased with his turnout. I could not have asked for a better son! Happy Birthday, sunshine!!!
I made his birthday cake yesterday. I don’t do cakes well. I went through a period of 2 years where every birthday cake I made flopped in some way or another. One year I made a cake for the girl, and I ended up having to make it a trifle as it stuck to the pan, and disintegrated right before my eyes as I tried to ice it. It wasn’t pretty. We called it “the blob”.
So, come along with me as I make the boy’s birthday cake. Hopefully I don’t make a blob!
The ingredients are just your basic ingredients, except it calls for espresso powder. That is the only “exotic” ingredient.
Next we prepare our pans. I use something called AB’s quick lube. ~~2 c. shortening and 1 ½ c. flour, mix well~~ I use this instead of Pam or something like that for 2 reasons. 1. this doesn’t leave my pan brown and sticky even after washing, and 2. this releases so much better than a spray.
Not only do I grease it well, I put parchment in the bottom. I refuse to have another “blob” on my hands. I measure out a piece of parchment a little bit wider than my pan, fold it into 4ths, then start making it into a wedge shape…twice. I then flip my pan over, put the point of the paper in the center of the pan, and cut it at the edge of the pan.
Unfolded, it becomes a circle the size of the bottom of my pan. They make round shapes, and if I made 9″ cakes on a weekly basis, I would consider purchasing them, but since I don’t…it is much easier just to make them myself.
When you put them in the bottom of the pan, make sure that it is all adhered to the grease, and you force the edges around…..don’t want any batter seeping under the paper. That would be disaster!
Next we make the batter.
Take 2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
3/4 c. cocoa, salt, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder, and corn starch~~no clue why it calls for corn starch~~
and whisk together. I prefer to sift the dry ingredients together, but the recipe said to do it this way.
Add 4 eggs
vanilla. I make my own vanilla. Generally I just dump some in, but since I have never made this cake before, I figured I might want to measure. Home made vanilla smells so good.
Mix till smooth.
Mixing well, and scraping down the sides.
Pour into your prepared pans, and bake for 35 ~~or so~~minutes.
Cool in pans for 15 minutes. Then comes the scary part. You have to turn them out and cool completely. Did I grease them well enough? Did it stick to the sides? Am I going to end up with another blob?
Whew! The back one was touch and go for a few minutes. Part of it didn’t want to let go of the pan….as you can see, I made it submit.
Now we need to make the filling.
Take about 12 oz of chocolate chips and 6 oz. heavy cream. Stir.
Nukerize for 1 minute, and stir. It will look clumpy…..like this. Stir. Put it back in for another minute.
After 2 minutes, stir. It will still be a bit clumpy. Continue to stir and the little bits of chocolate will melt.
See how satiny it becomes. Viola, your basic gnache.
Divide this into 3 parts.
Add whatever flavorings/liquors you would like to each. We added rum, vanilla and caramel.
Slice your layers in half. They make these little gizmo’s that will do it nice and perfectly for you, but why? an uneven layer adds character to the cake.
Put your bottom layer on your cake plate of choice, and top with first filling.
Making sure that the filling tastes good.
Add your next layer of cake and your second filling. When you spread your filling on, don’t spread it all the way to the edges. You might get overflow.
As you can see, this cake has LOTS of character. Add your last filling flavor, and spread lovingly!
Put your top layer on and pray that it doesn’t all slide off the plate.
Now we need to make our icing.
What is great about this is that the icing is almost the same as the filling….so we can reuse the same bowl…only if it hasn’t been licked. Pour it over the entire cake allowing it to dripple all down the sides.
Keep away! You don’t get any till tomorrow!!!
Now I need to make sure that the icing tastes ok.
The final product……character and all.
What is your favorite flavor of cake? Would you all not faint if I told you I don’t really care for chocolate cake???
**recipe is now in my recipe section**