Can do it all. And modest to boot.

Any excuse for cake

Posted: July 4th, 2009 | Author: alyssa | Filed under: Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

And I will take any of them :) .  For most people, cake has that mellowing effect.  One bite and the endorphins flow, but for me, the comfort is less in eating the cake, although I’m a big fan…its making the cake that calms me down.  Something about putting various parts together to create something that satisfying just clears my head.  When I am baking, I am focused on nothing but the ingredients, the taste of the batter or dough or whatever, and how it feels, too dry, to soft…whatever.  No matter what else is going on, I am only focused on the things I can taste and feel at that moment.

I have been trapped in my own head for the past couple days, and I have not been able to shake it, so I decided to try and clear my head the good old fashioned way…a bake fest.  I decided on chocolate cake, because when done right, can be the best thing on the planet.   Although just chocolate was not enough…I needed to create and construct not just mix and pour.  So I threw in a twist.  Two layer chocolate cake with chocolate raspberry filling.  I used this recipe for the cake, because I have yet to find one that I love enough to be faithful to (thats right, my cakes are like my men).  Since the filling is the best part, I’m going to gloss over the baking of the cake…just follow the recipe.  Although one hint: the recommended bake time is 30-35 min at 350, but I would lean a lot closer to the 30 minute side of that so that your cake doesn’t get dry on the edges.  IMG00131-20090702-1816Once the cakes are done, just take them out and set them on a rack to cool.  The easiest way to get the cakes out of the pans without damaging them  is to put a flat surface  on top of the pan, then just flip it.  Although if you have a large enough cooking rack for both cakes, set the pans side by side, put the cooling rack on top of them upside down then just flip it.

While the cakes are baking and cooling you can focus on the filling, which is pretty simple.    Take a pint of raspberries (save a few out for garnish if you like)  and soak them in bourbon or brandy, whichever you prefer for about 30 minutes, until the liquid starts to turn a little red, and the raspberries look like they are breaking down a little.  IMG00134-20090702-1915I acutally used American Honey, which is basically Wild Turkey mixed with honey, which is SO GOOD.   So just cover the berries with the liquor and let them sit.  Once they have started to break down, put it all in a sauce pan and simmer it over medium high.  Stir it to break up the berries further.  Keep it bubbling a little to help burn off the alcohol, because you don’t want a drunken cake, you just want the flavor in there.  Once the liquid has reduced a bit, start adding sugar by the spoonful until you reach your desired flavor.  Keep stirring until the raspberries are completely broken up.  Let it cool for a few minutes, then once it is cool enough to handle, pour it through a cheese cloth or strainer, to remove the seeds.  Set the remaining liquid aside to cool.

While that is cooling, You can go ahead and make the frosting.  Put one and stick of softened butter in a mixing bowl, or in your standing mixer.    In a separate bowl, combine 3 cups of confectioners sugar and 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa.  Finally in a third, much smaller prep bowl, put 4 Tbsp of heavy cream.  Add one cup of sugar mixture and one Tbsp. cream to the butter and mix until fully combined.  Keep adding them one cup and one Tbsp at a time until everything is mixed together.  Then take about 1/4 of the frosting and put it in a separate bowl.  The raspberry liquid should be cook enough at that point so you can add it to the separated frosting until you reach the desired raspberry-ness.  I personally added the whole thing.  If it is a little liquidy, just throw it in the freezer for a few minutes until it thickens.

Construction time….

Put one of the cakes on the plate, leaving the flattest surface as the top, so that it is easier to frost.  Take your raspberry frosting and spread it out on top of the cake, starting in the middle and working your way out towards the edges.  I personally like a thick layer of frosting, but add however much you want.  Take your second cake, again flat side up, and put in on top of the first.  Then using the chocolate frosting, frost the entire cake.  Again starting in the center and working your way out to the edges, then frosting the sides.  It is easiest if you have the plate on a surface where you can turn it easily to make sure you get full chocolaty coverage.  Again, use as much or as little frosting as you like, and viola!:

IMG00136-20090702-2043IMG00138-20090704-1152Hopefully you enjoy this cake almost as much as you enjoy my absurd ramblings on…

Happy Baking!


3 Comments on “Any excuse for cake”

  1. 1 Johanna said at 12:22 pm on July 6th, 2009:

    Honestly, I like making cake a lot more than I like eating it, but I’m making this cake at my first opportunity. Because #1 – there were some janky-looking raspberries in the store on Saturday. Not good for eating raw, but probably good for cooking down. #2 – I need some excuse to buy more parchment paper. #3 – Chocolate + Raspberry = ambrosia. :) YAY!
    Also, cake looks delish and I hope that it got you out of your head for a little while, at least.

  2. 2 leah said at 8:50 pm on July 6th, 2009:

    kudos! i made one cake from scratch for the hubs bday. NERVES…so i’ll leave the fancy-ness to you, dear one. wish i was closer and could eat. i agree w/ this chocolate+raspberry praise. maybe in ice cream form? i’m thinking….

  3. 3 Jesse said at 9:48 am on July 7th, 2009:

    That looks de-fucking-lightful.

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