Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The Tale of Two Birthday Cakes
I asked around for chocolate cake recipes, because I just haven't found the perfect one yet. Several people said the recipe on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa box was their favorite, so I made it with zero alterations. It was okay. I'm afraid I overbaked it, which is a danger when baking chocolate cakes. What I have in my head is a cake with more layers, with fudgy ganache and chocolate mousse between the layers. I just ran out of steam.
What is your favorite chocolate cake? After I wasn't completely satisfied, I got some interesting recommendations through Twitter, that I've bookmarked to try later. I'm collecting suggestions!
The second cake was the result of being hit by a wacky mood, and the idea to make peanut butter and jelly cake. I feel like someone suggested it to me, but I can't remember who. I adapted Dorie Greenspan's recipe for the Perfect Party Cake from Baking: From My Home to Yours, what I consider the quintessential baking cookbook. My theory was that peanut butter has a lot of fat, so I basically substituted peanut butter for some of the butter in the recipe, both for the cake and the frosting. For the cake I used about 1/2 peanut butter but only reduced the butter by 1/4 cup (this was purely by instinct, no idea why these amounts seemed right). For the frosting I replaced an entire stick of butter with 1/2 cup peanut butter. Then I used strawberry jam between the layers and left out the coconut.
I really loved this cake. The flavor combo seemed to scream Americana, summer, and fun, and I'd eat this over a pb&j sandwich any day! The basic recipe for this cake seems pretty infallible - I wonder if I could just make a chocolate version!
Categories: Cake, Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Strawberry
at 10:37 AM