Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Caketastic Night - March 2010

Make a Cake and Eat it too...

Sheesh...nothing like a little cake at 11:00 pm! After a long night of stirring, cutting and prepping we ended up with this beauty of a cake. Chocolate cake layers sandwiched between whipped ganache filling, raspberry preserves, and blackberries and frosted with a dark chocolate ganache. For those of you who didn't get to sample a piece, I apologize. It was worth the wait. My goal for the night was to uncover the simplicity of ganache and lemon curd filings, demonstrate layer cake techniques ("Don't fear the cake"), and most importantly convince you that baking a cake from scratch is just as easy as from a box and tastes a thousand times better. Ok, maybe not a thousand times better but worth the extra few minutes. i am curious to hear of your successes and/or failures, especially from my toughest dissenters. (I expect a post Clara and Rachel) :)

Special thanks to Kathy and Lindsay for sharing their cupcake recipes and providing sustenance while we worked! This post will consist of the recipes made that evening: Chocolate Wacky Cake, Ganache filling and frosting, Lemon Curd, and a basic cream cheese/buttercream frosting. It will also include Kathy and Lindsay's cupcake recipes.

~ Cake ~

Chocolate Wacky Cake

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cocoa

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2/3 cup cooking oil

2 cups cold water

In a large bowl sift the dry ingredients together. Make three holes; pour the vanilla in the first, vinegar in the second, and oil in the third.

Pour the cold water over the mixture, and mix until no longer lumpy. Transfer batter to a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until cake springs back in center when touched.

*For 24 cupcakes bake at 350 degrees for 18- 20 minutes.

Brooks Notes: This cake is one of my families favorites. It comes to ALL of our family gatherings and is generally presented in a 9x13 pan with a simple chocolate glaze and some sort of decoration like a family member initials spelled out with almonds or seasonal sprinkles. You can't go wrong with a piece of cake and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. My brother-in-law splits the piece in half, fills it with whipped cream and drizzles hot fudge on top. He calls it Crazy Cake. Whether you go wacky or crazy or layered it is a easy, tasty chocolate cake that has endless possibilities.

Basic ganache recipe:

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (both chopped coarsely if in bar form)
1 cup heavy cream

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