When in Doubt…Leave it at 350

baking, cooking, and other adventures

Tuesdays With Dorie: Chocolate Armagnac Cake March 3, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Cake,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
Tags: , , ,

tuesdayswithdorieThis weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Lyb of And then I do the dishes.  She chose Dorie’s Chocolate Armagnac Cake, which is located on pages 279-281 in Baking: From My Home to Yours. I always wondered how this cake was going to taste since it has prunes soaked in Armagnac in it and ground pecans.  The picture for the cake looks so good that I knew I couldn’t pass it up. (more…)


The recipes that I promised February 2, 2009

100_1933Okay, so below is a list of the recipes that I used to make my tiered cake last week.  After tasting the cake with one of my friends, I ended up giving all of it to DrFaulken to take to a bunch of his friends at the comic book shop.  It turns out that they all really liked the cake.  So that made me happy.

In addition to the cake that was made.  I also took the left over cake from leveling the tops of both cakes and made mini cakes.  The leftover buttercream is currently residing in the freezer until I need it for another cake.  The leftover lemon cream was used to make mini tarts.  I used Dorie’s Sweet Tart Dough recipe to make the crusts.  I then filled the bottom of each tart with raspberry puree and topped it with lemon cream.  When the cream had set I piped rosettes with the leftover raspberry buttercream. (more…)


Adventures in Wilton Cake Decorating Course 3 Class 4 Final January 29, 2009


I finally finished the Wilton Course 3 class.  Next month, I start taking the fondant and gum paste class.  So I am not done yet, and rumor has it there will be two new classes coming out 🙂  I guess they really want my money 🙂

Final class went by pretty smoothly.  I didn’t random scream any cuss words 🙂

I have been preparing for this cake since Saturday/Sunday. (more…)


Moist and Perfect Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting October 22, 2008

Filed under: Baking,Cake — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
Tags: , ,

Last week I ended up making a Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Frosting for one of my friends for her birthday.  Since it was a last minute thing I actually searched for a chocolate cake and frosting recipe in one hour and then made the cake after work, late at night.  I made the frosting the next morning and frosted the cake right before I gave it to her.

Funny thing is I have never made this cake or the frosting before, so I had to go to a source that I trusted.  I ended up turning to Martha, Martha Stewart that is.  She has never done me wrong, and still hasn’t 🙂  I turned to the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook.  I was trying to find a recipe for chocolate cake and chocolate frosting and actual have all the ingredients in my apartment to actually make the cake and frosting.  I searched through all of the cake recipes and couldn’t find anything.  Then I came across a recipe for One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes, and it had a option on the bottom of the recipe to bake as cakes instead of cupcakes.  It made either 24 cupcakes or two 9 x 2 inch round cakes.

PERFECT!!!  extra bonus for having all the ingredients.

The cake was so easy to make and to top it off the batter was fantastic.  The cake turned out moist and chocolaty 🙂

Now to find a frosting recipe.  I knew from the first time that I saw the picture for the Yellow Butter Cake with Chocolate Frosting that I had found the perfect frosting.  Just the way the frosting looked one the cake was fantastic.  I turn to the recipe in the cookbook and I had all of the ingredients except the chocolate on hand.  I ran by the store the next morning to pick up the chocolate so that I could knock this recipe out.

I only had one problem with the frosting.  I didn’t completely follow Martha’s directions about cooling the chocolate to room temperature because I actually had to finish the cake in one hour (make frosting, frost cake, and assemble).  So, I guess you could say I was in a bit of a hurry.  I made the frosting according to the rest of the directions and then place it in the freezer to firm up a little for the next 10 minutes.  It turned out great, and I was only 5 minutes late.

But of course I forgot to take a picture of the cake 😦

Well, the best part was seeing my friends face when she saw the cake.  She loved it.  That night she dug into the cake and said it was great and that everyone that was eating it was making yummy noises.  That make me so happy.  I never got a slice of the cake but I did eat the scraps left from when I leveled the cake, along with licking the batter and frosting bowls.  All I have to say is Martha knows her stuff 🙂

One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes – cake style

Source: Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook by Martha Stewart

1 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4  teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans; line the bottoms with parchment paper. Butter parchment; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla; mix batter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.

Divide batter between the prepared pans, and smooth with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until cakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 20 minutes. Invert cakes onto the rack; peel off the parchment. Reinvert cakes and let them cool completely, top sides up.

Dark Chocolate Frosting

Source: Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook by Martha Stewart

1 pound best-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
6 tablespoons boiling water
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
Pinch of salt

Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water. Turn off heat; stir occasionally until chocolate has melted completely, about 15 minutes. Set bowl on counter top, and let chocolate cool to room temperature, 25 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine cocoa powder and boiling water in a small bowl; stir until cocoa is dissolved.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add melted chocolate; beat on low speed until combined, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in cocoa mixture.

Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level; brush off crumbs. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan. Place the first layer on the cake plate, and spread top with 3/4 cup of frosting. Place the second layer on top, bottom side up, and spread top with 3/4 cup of frosting; repeat process with the third layer. Place the remaining layer on top of the third layer, bottom-side up.  Spread entire cake with remaining frosting.