Friday, December 4, 2009

A Cake Occasion

Tomorrow, I'm helping four other ladies host a baby shower for a dear friend of mine. We are each contributing a part of the decor and a dish - or two - for the meal.

The luncheon itself will be straightforward - salads and tea sandwiches, cider, Shirley Temples, and sparkling aperitifs. For dessert - my contribution - a yellow butter cake with chocolate frosting. Just like a store-bought cupcake, and that addictive Duncan Hines frosting, but oh so much better.

This cake - Rose Levy Beranbaum's All Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake - is OUT of this world. It is the cake that I compare everything to! Vanilla scented, with a fine moist crumb, it's a breeze to make and bake. I wanted a simple chocolate fudgy frosting. I usually make one from The NYT Cookbook, but didn't want to got through with all those steps. After some research, and a friend's recommendation, I decided to try the Mrs. Milman's Chocolate Frosting from Martha Stewart (okay, I doubled it). Very good results! What do you think?

All Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake - makes 2 9" rounds

6 large egg yolks - room temp
1 c milk
2 1/4 tsp vanilla
3 c sifted cake flour
1 1/2 c sugar
1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
12 tbsp butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350. In medium bowl, combine yolks, 1/4 c milk, and vanilla. In large mixing bowl, combine the sifted flour, sugar, baking powder, salt. Mix on low til combined (30 sec). Then add softened butter and remaining 3/4 c milk. Mix on low to moisten, then on med-high for 1.5 minutes to develop the structure of the cake. Scrape down sides, and add egg mixture in 3 batches, mixing well (20 sec) after each addition. Pour into buttered, parchment lined, buttered again and floured 9" cake pans. Bake until tester clean, about 25-30 min. Let cool, remove from pan and remove parchment and cool completely.

Mrs. Milman's Chocolate Frosting - make 6 c (I made two batches and combined them)

24 oz semisweet chocolate morsels (I use 1/2 Ghiradelli semisweet, 1/2 bittersweet)
4 c heavy cream
1tsp light corn syrup

Melt chocolate and cream together in saucepan. Cook over med-low, stirring constantly, until thick, about 25-30 min. Remove from heat and stir in syrup. Cool completely, stirring every 15 min, or about 2 hrs (I chilled mine in fridge overnight and let it come to temp before using).

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