Monday, March 18, 2013

How to Make Your SO an Apologetic "Ditched You on Your Birthday" Cake

It was my boyfriend’s birthday a few weeks ago, and I forgot. No. Not forgot. Forgot and blew off. The next day, upon realizing what I’d done, I took action, in the form of a cake no one can deny. Seriously, I’ve never had a person turn this masterpiece down. Ever.

Anyway, for the cake, you’ll need:
  • 1 ¾ cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 ¾ cups Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • ¾ cups Cocoa Powder, preferably Ghirardelli
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Poweder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 cup Strong, Freshly Brewed Coffee, chilled
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • ½ cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Seeing as this was just for my boyfriend and not a crowd, I opted for a small springform pan, and a few cupcakes to appease some slightly jealous parents. With the springform, like all cake pans, I buttered that sucker, then lined the bottom with parchment paper, buttered that, and dusted the whole thing with flour. Just to be safe.
Photo by J.Cust
And the easiest way to chill the coffee is pouring it into a small metal bowl and placing that into a larger metal bowl full of ice and water. The metal conducts the cold better, and the coffee will be nice and cool, so there isn’t any egg-scrambling later in the process.
Photo by J.Cust
Preheat the oven to 350, too, while you’re at it.

At this point, combine the AP flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. If you want, sift everything but the sugar together to eliminate lumps and get a head start on the combining process. Then work the brown sugar in with your hands, to keep the lumps out. It’ll be kind of grainy and wonderful.
Photo by J.Cust
When you’re dry ingredients are combined, add the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, and at least one teaspoon of vanilla. I usually end up adding a bit more. This is also where you can get creative with spices. I always add a solid dash or two or three of cinnamon, and occasionally some freshly grated nutmeg or some powdered ginger. This time I stuck with the cinnamon and nutmeg, but seriously, play with it.
Photo by J.Cust
When this is all mixed together, it’ll be very thin and smooth, like a really thick, dark chocolate milk. This does not mean you can drink it straight. Bake it first, people. And the timing for this will vary. For cupcakes, and with our stove, it’s an even twenty minutes. Depending on the size and depth of the pan and oven you use, the time will be different, so set reminders and trust your nose. And toothpicks. I think I’ve said it before, but a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake will come out spotless if the cake is done.
Photo by J.Cust
Anyway, while it’s baking, you can work on the frosting.

I went with a terribly simple peanut butter frosting in this case:

  • 2 cups Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 2 sticks Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Milk

Here, you’ll want to cream the butter and peanut butter together until it looks like a paler version of peanut butter. Then add the powdered sugar so it holds up, vanilla extract to taste, and a little milk so it’ll spread and pipe nicely.
Photo by J.Cust
Then, you know, when your cake is done, let it cool, trim it up, and frost and pipe to your heart’s content. And then give it to your scorned lover and hope they’ll accept it’s chocolaty decadence as an apology.
Cut it up, level it out, eat the scraps. Photo by J.Cust
The bottom layer. Photo by J.Cust
The bottom layer with frosting. Photo by J.Cust
All the layers, with frosting everywhere. Photo by J.Cust
Moved to a plate begrudgingly and decorated with the
worst piping I've ever let out of the kitchen. Photo by J.Cust 

1 comment:

  1. This blog always makes me hungry. I wish there was a "like" button that I could click for this post because it is great.