As I mentioned previously, one of my goals is to improve my baking ability simply by increasing my baking experience. The last post I did about this was entitled “My first real baking attempt”, and you’ll notice it now says “our”. That’s because it is definitely not me doing it by myself. As noted earlier, Andrea is a full and willing partner, and Jacob threw his chef’s hat into the ring this time. So much so that he basically said he did it all himself. 🙂
I wanted to make a cake, and I chose chocolate. The recipe called for a double layer with frosting in between, and while that was slightly more complicated than I probably should have started with, it turned out well. At the start, I confess we did a cheat. Major or minor, depends on your view, but the recipe calls for starting with a mix, in this case Devil’s Food Cake. You add lots to it (see Extremely Rich Chocolate Cake (REC0004)), but yes, it started with a mix. Which was almost a huge error.
When I was taking ingredients out of the baking drawer, I moved a mix for a very chocolate-y cake from Duncan Hines on to the counter. It was just there temporarily, moving it out of my way in the drawer, but I forgot to put it back. So when we went to start, I grabbed the cake mix on the counter, opened it, threw it into the bowl…and then realized it was NOT the right one. We put it in an airtight container, so we can do that some other time, and restarted with the right mix.
It went in the pans relatively easy after we mixed all the ingredients. I wouldn’t say we had any great technique in getting it back out, but it didn’t end up a disaster.
Then we started on the frosting. Not sure I would call it light and fluffy, but it was close. Jacob replicated my favorite scene as a kid with my mom — cleaning the beaters!
The finished product looked pretty basic, no frosting / presentation ability here.
We marked the top with our initials, cuz we’re corny that way.
The final photos are not awesome, need to work on presentation, and lighting. Overall, it tasted great, way too much frosting and the whole thing was incredibly rich. But the taste was awesome, so we’ll call it another success.
The real challenge for the future will be reduce the recipe by half, and likely the frosting by another third (we had a lot left over), to make a smaller batch. The three of us could not have eaten the whole cake, way too much for three, and way too rich. I took a hefty chunk, almost half the cake, into work and shared it amongst coworkers. Unlike the rolls, which generated immediate expressions of oohs and ahhs (or mmms and yums), I got almost no spontaneous feedback on this one. Partly as I think it was more formal — they needed full plates, napkins and forks — as opposed to the more easily consumed finger-using rolls.
And it was definitely more fun with Jacob handling all the insertion of ingredients and initial stirring. We even all found our aprons to use (a little late for me, but still, I eventually used it) so we’re good to go for the future. Might need to add small cake pans to my Christmas wish list though.
I think next on the list is some focaccia bread.