It’s Monday. Let’s have cake.
I know, I know, you’re peeved at me. It’s been a hot second since you’ve seen me around these here parts. Did you think I deserted you? Naw. I’d never desert you, just dessert you! Hehe. Yay for corny grammar jokes.
Here’s the thing…I had a glorious 2 weeks to spend at my parents’ home during the holidays with the entire family. Did I already use the word “glorious”? It was. I had the most wonderful December, filled with family, parties, laughter, and food. And not that I don’t love y’all, but I wanted to soak up every second of the holiday season. So, I’m sorry I didn’t fill your inter-web with party ideas and appetizers galore, but here I am! With cake! And resolutions! Because the two most certainly go hand in hand.
If I let you in on a few of my resolutions, will you hold me accountable?!
- Spend less time on any given electronic device while in the presence of other humans. Unless it’s an electric mixer and I am baking cookies.
- Post delicious recipes on the little ole blog even if, gasp, the picture isn’t perfect. Or looks like something I’d feed to my dog. This blog is for fun, and the second it stops being that, I’ll stop doing it. So forgive me if I don’t prepare dinner at 10 AM in order to get the perfect amount of natural light while using my fancy (and non-existent) DSLR camera. Food styling isn’t my thing. Cooking is.
- Run a half marathon in under 2:15 minutes. That may not sound fast to you, my friends. But I’ve got 6 half marathons under my belt, and not a single one in under 2 1/2 hours. Am I slow? Yes. Do I care? Not particularly. What’s important is getting out there every day, in the rain, in the wind, in the heat…whatever challenges you may face, the most important thing is that you’re busting your butt while your friends are on the couch watching Real Housewives of Fakeville. That being said, it’d be fun to stop getting beaten by the 75-year-old woman and the guy juggling bowling pins. I wish that were an exaggeration.
- The 80/20 rule. I will eat whole, unprocessed, good-for-you foods 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time, I will eat cupcakes, pizza, and ice cream. And I will not feel the tiniest bit guilty about it.
Now, onto the cake. I made this little beauty for my lovely friend’s birthday, and it earned rave reviews. As it’s homemade, it IS a little denser than cake out of the box. But it’s delicious. And the frosting? Well, I’m not naming names here, but I may have caught my friend, Rachel, licking the extra frosting off the aluminum foil cover. Oh. Did I say I wasn’t naming names?
For the cake:
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing pans
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting pans
- 1 ½ cups cake flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ¾ cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups milk
For the chocolate frosting:
- 1 lb semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 sticks (1½ cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- Pinch of salt
- To make the cake: Center one of the oven racks and preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round cake pans with butter. Flour the bottom and sides of the pans, tapping out the excess flour; set the pans aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for about 4 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate before adding the next and scraping the bowl as needed. Mix in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add half of the dry ingredients, then all of the milk, then the remainder of the dry ingredients, mixing to just about fully incorporate each before adding the next. Scrape the bowl well to incorporate anything that may be stuck to the bottom of the bowl.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Try to refrain from shoving spoonfuls of cake batter into your mouth. If you’re successful, tell me how. Smooth out the tops with an offset spatula. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until the cakes are a light golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the centers. Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of pans and transfer the cakes to the wire rack. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.
- To make the chocolate frosting: Add the chocolate to a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, taking care to not allow the water to touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir the chocolate until all of the bits have melted. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to allow the chocolate to come to room temperature, about 25 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and salt on medium-high speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the melted chocolate and mix on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until the chocolate incorporates into the butter mixture, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Once the cakes have cooled completely, frost and decorate as desired.
Recipe from: Smells Like Home