Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Chocolate Cake Quest Continues

My nearly perfect homemade chocolate cake. This time with a vanilla buttercream frosting so decadent that I could kill someone with this cake. Or get charged with attempted murder by increased cholesterol.

Making a cake from scratch really hits home just how bad goodies like these are for you! Yikes! All the butter and sugar and cream and butter and egg yolks and did I mention the butter?

But here is my thinking: if we ate a store bought cake, would we be doing ourselves any favors? Think of all the chemicals and the preservatives that go into it?

Plus, no one I know is planning on giving up cake for life.

So if we are going to have our cake and eat it too (wink), then at least it’s made with fresh ingredient by my own two little hands.

Suffice it to say that I went to the gym last night after my requisite sliver.

Notes for the baker:
This is a really good recipe. I like that it uses butter instead of vegetable oil which some cake recipes call for. I guess that’s normal, but it would always creep me out to measure out 1/2 a cup of vegetable oil (or more). Yeesh.

The cake is really chocolatey which is another bonus. I’ve made chocolate cakes in the past where it didn’t look very chocolatey or taste very chocoloatey or blech, both. This one has a very nice dark chocolate color which looks great with the buttercream icing and the flavor is really nice rich chocolate. Not hurt-your-teeth sweet either which is a good compliment to the icing.

I did make one gaffe with it in that I baked it late at night and left it out overnight to cool. I should have let it cool for at least one hour and then wrapped it in plastic wrap to keep the moisture in while it finished cooling off. I find that the cake was a tad dry (sob!). Next time I’ll try to wrap it if it’s going to sit out for so long before getting iced.

The icing was fun if a little involved to make. I’ll try it again though because it was an interesting challenge to get the timing all right. One change I might make is to add more vanilla since the two teaspoons called for in the recipe got lost in the butteryness. Since I didn’t go into all the doodads and decorating like they did in the photo, I might play with food coloring to give it a more creamy color. It’s such a surprisingly stark white. A cool white at that. It feels like it should be a minty icing or something. I think that a creamier color would be a more pleasing compliment to the dark chocolate cake. I’m more inclined to work on the taste over the aesthetics. I can make a great looking cake, but will it taste good? The quest continues…

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