Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Classic Birthday Cake

A few weeks ago my boyfriend and I both celebrated our birthdays.(they are a week apart)
For this special occasion we decided to have a combo birthday party, with our closest friends.
I wanted to make a cake rather than cupcakes, but was a bit hesitant to. I didn’t think our friends would want a huge slice of cake so late at night, and I also thought they would be timid and not cut the cake as they pleased.
But instead of making a finger treat, like candy, cookies, or cupcakes I went with my initial cravings and stuck with a cake.
However, instead of writing “happy birthday” on the cake...I blatantly wrote "EAT ME!"...I thought it best to be direct and get my purpose of baking a cake across! I mean I didn’t bake it for decoration!
I thought about making something fancy like a coconut cake, but since I had other duties to attend to (cleaning the house, and making Jello shots) I decided to keep it simple and use William Sonoma’s recipe for the Classic Birthday Cake! -Yellow cake with chocolate frosting! Who doesn’t love a classic?
It was absolutely perfect! So perfect that there was none left for me to have for breakfast the next morning!
So really I had nothing to worry about...it was not simply eaten...it was devoured!
Classic Cake:
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease the bottoms of two 9 x 2 inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper; or simply grease the pans with cooking spray.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt until well blended. In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed beat the butter until smooth. Slowly add the sugar and continue beating until well blended and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, until just blended. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk in 2 additions, beating on low speed after each addition.
Divide the batter between the prepared pans and spread it evenly. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a table knife around the inside edges of the pans to loosen the layers. Invert onto the rack and lift off the pans, then carefully peel off the parchment paper. Let the layers cool completely before frosting.
Chocolate Frosting:
(makes enough frosting for one 9 inch cake)
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tbsp light corn syrup-* I didn’t use this-fine to leave out!
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

In the top of a double boiler, or in a heatproof bowl, combine both types of chocolate set over barely simmering water and stir occasionally until melted. Let the melted chocolate cool slightly. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the corn syrup, vanilla, and salt. Continue to beat while gradually pouring the melted chocolate into the butter sugar mixture. Beat until smooth.

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