Monday, February 15, 2010

Chocolate Cake with Rosewater Buttercream

My alternate title for this was My Own Personal Cakewreck.  But as usually happens others were not nearly so critical of the decorating as I was.   I am, however a big fan of the Cakewrecks blog.  It always makes me laugh. While not happy with my cake’s appearance, it too made me laugh a little.   A while back I took a cake decorating class, and I enjoyed learning the techniques and getting the tools of the trade.  Since then my cakes have looked markedly better. . . until today. 
pink and hearts_edited-2
I blame the pan.  My pink and hearts obsessed daughter  spotted the pan the other day and we picked it up with this Valentine’s day event in mind.  Because  the pan was so deep the cake took forever to bake (like an hour or so) and the edges were dry and crispy, and I wasn’t sure but I thought maybe burnt.  So I cut them off (thereby butchering the shape of the cake).  Of course when my kids swarmed down on the cake cuttings I realized that they weren’t burnt at all and would probably have been just fine once covered with frosting.
Oops, too late.  I’ll fix it with frosting I figured.  So I made a double batch, just to be on the safe side.  Yeah, you can’t really fix an asymmetrical heart with frosting.  Now we know. 
butchred cake
The kicker is that I have to take this cake out in public and offer it up at an event.  (an event that includes me playing the violin in public – as if the cake wreck weren’t bad enough)   Ugh.  I’m sure it will taste good(note from after the party – it sure did taste good). . . I’m not vain enough (and far too thrifty) to re-make the cake. 
I’ve been hearing a lot about this book called organic and chic by Sarah Magid.  I happened to have it checked out of the library and decided to make this cake from it.
Here’s a pet peeve – organic cookbooks that just list every single ingredient as organic: 1 cup organic butter, 2 cups organic flour etc. . . Just tell me to use organic at the beginning of the book (I’m going to ignore you because I want to be a stay at home mom and not get a high powered job so I can afford organic everything) . I omitted the organic tags at the beginning of all the ingredients for you.  If you want to make this cake organic I think you know how.
It’s very similar to my g0-to chocolate cake recipe which can be found in The Passionate Vegetarian – I’ll post this one day, promise. But I am well known for never being able to leave well enough alone, so I have to try new recipes when I already have a perfectly delicious one at home.  Oh well, I have to love myself for who I am. 
 Joy the Baker made this cake into cupcakes and added rosewater to the frosting. . . sounded good to me.  The frosting was very intriguing to me, I’ve always wanted to make a buttercream that uses a cooked flour and milk base – I have to say it turned out quite well, smooth, creamy, easy to work with (the wreck is not the icing’s fault) and tasty – not overly sweet either.  I couldn’t really taste the rosewater, but I think it added something to the overall deliciousness of the frosting.   You could also leave it out, or use espresso, chocolate or whatever floats your boat.
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this is how thick the flour/milk mixture should be.   This is the fluffy butter and sugar.

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since there was so much vanilla in it the frosting turned brown and I had to tint it pink.  This was not my original intent.
I think the cake may have looked best at this point, but I carried on.
Here is the final product. . . I know, I know, you want me to make you your very own homemade cake board covered with puffy plastic wrap.   If you insist.  Don’t you like how I tried to make the heart look better by going off the edge with my border.  Yeah, it looks worse, i know.  I’m thinking about claiming my daughter actually MADE the cake. . . then people will be like “oh how cute, she did a great job for a 7 year old!”  That would probably be wrong huh?   Lying and all.
Here’s where I didn’t realize how tiny my dots border would be and left a huge amount of cake unfrosted at the bottom.   Looking good.   Live and Learn.

Printable Recipe

The Easiest Chocolate Cake
     makes 24 cupcakes or 2 8-inch rounds or one deep and messed up heart cake
     from Organic and Chic
2 1/4 cups  all-purpose flour
2 cups  cane sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon  vanilla extract
2/3 cup  canola oil
2 teaspoons  white vinegar
2 cups cold water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside. 
In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together.  Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, water, vanilla extract and vinegar. 
Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients being careful not to overmix. 
Pour into your pans (don’t go over 2/3’s of the way full in general unless you love cleaning your oven)
Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, apparently that’s anywhere from 24 minutes for cupcakes about 30 for a normal cake and 2 days for the deep pan I used.
Vanilla Whipped Buttercream Frosting with Rose Water (the rose water was Joy the Baker’s idea)
makes enough to fill and frost one 8-inch layer cake or frost 24 cupcakes  (if you want to decorate with it too, I would make 1 1/2 recipes – I doubled it and had a lot leftover)
     from Organic and Chic
2 sticks (1 cup)  softened
1 cup cane sugar
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sifted  all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract – if you don’t want weird beige frosting make it clear.
1 teaspoon rosewater
Cream the butter on medium speed, 3 to 5 minutes, in a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer until soft, adout 30 seconds.  Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes.  Stop the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again. 
In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup mil with the flour and vanilla extract.  Whisk together until there are no lumps.  Over medium heat, slowly add the remaining 3/4 cups milk, whisking constantly and cook until the mixture comes to a low boil. 
Reduce the heat to low and continue mixing until the mixture starts to thicken slightly. 
When the mixture starts to thicken, immediately remove the pan from the heat but keep stirring.  After you have removed the pan from the heat, the mixture will continue to cook for a minute or two on its own. 
If you overheat the mixture and find that you have some lumps, try to whisk them out with a little elbow grease, or pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer.  Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.  Place the mixture in the freezer for a few minutes to speed up the process. 
With the mixer on low speed, slowly poor the milk mixture into the butter and sugar mixture.  Increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the rose water during this final mixing.

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