Showing posts with label cake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cake. Show all posts

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chocolate Cake~It's Good for the Soul!

One of my husbands favorite desserts is chocolate cake. So, why don't I make it very often? I guess it's because it's not fancy and different and something new, it's just chocolate cake. But, it's not really just chocolate cake, is it? It's memories. It's comfort. It's home. It's sneaking in to the kitchen at midnight, sitting at the  table with a glass of ice cold milk, and polishing off a slice with your best friend who is staying over for the night. It's sharing the last piece with your mom after she has had a long day at work, and listening to her tell you about her day. It's what you know will be served at the picnic, because grandma makes her special chocolate cake for every family get together. So when my husband asked for a chocolate cake, who am I to say no? I wouldn't dare thumb my nose at something so rich in tradition!
Chocolate Cake
 with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
(this recipe is straight from The Cake Doctor)
1 package Duncan Hines Devils Food Cake Mix
3 tablespoons unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 1/3 cups Buttermilk
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
3 Large Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Blend on low for 1 minute.
Stop and scrapes down the mix on the sides of the bowl.
Blend for 2 more minutes on medium.
Scrape down your sides again.
Prepare your pans by greasing the pans, 
and then flouring them with cocoa powder. 
Place your batter in your pans.
Bake at 350 degree for 20-25 minutes.
I used mini cake pans, and refrigerated the rest of the mix.
Immediately after removing your baked cake from the oven,
take a spatula knife around the edge between the cake and the pan.
Let the cake cool for 15 minutes, them remove from your pan.
Once the cake was cool. I placed it in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
This made frosting the cake a lot easier.
 Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces Softened Cream Cheese
1/4 cup Softened Butter
2 cups Confectioners Sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
 1 teaspoon Vanilla
Cream together the cream cheese and the butter.
Add the confectioners sugar  and cocoa powder
and mix on low.
Add the vanilla and continue mixing until completely
combined. I had my husband try the icing until it
was the chocolatey goodness that he wanted.
That is why I varied the amount between 1/4 -1/2 cup.
 I split the cake in half, and iced the top of the
bottom layer. The mini cake pans are very tall, so it
worked well. Then I iced the sides and top of the cake.
I placed the cake on a candle plate. Perfect fit!
I decorated around the edge of the top layer with
Orange Non Pareils, then I placed
10 Pearl Lime Sixlets around the edge also.
I sprinkled Yellow Jimmies on top and on the side.
I made this table decoration just for fun. I am
planning a big graduation party for next May
when my son graduates, and I am experimenting
with different ideas. I will be making one in his
school colors next week. I think these colors
look happy and summery, don't you?

Thanks for joining me today!
Cookie Journey Thursday is back tomorrow
with a special "Back To School" cookie.
Hope to see you then!

The Freshman Cook is attending the following parties!!!!:
Foodie Friends Friday
Mouthwatering Mondays
Made By You Monday
Melt in Your Mouth Monday
Recipe Sharing Monday
Crazy Sweet Tuesday

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tall Stack Cake

Not too long ago a friend had a birthday party, and the family asked if I would make the cake. Ha! Of course, I will! I never turn down the opportunity to bake anything. I was pleased as punch that they asked me. The only guidelines they gave me is that my friend loves chocolate and peanut butter. Well, yeah, who doesn't?! So I got busy baking, and I came up with a cake that was a big success.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tall Stack Cake
Cake Decorations
Mini Reese's Cups
Peanut Brittle
Party Peanuts

Chocolate Buttercream
(adapted from Cooks Illustrated)
10 tablespoons unsalted Butter, softened
1 cups Confectioners' Sugar
pinch Salt
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
4 oz. semisweet Chocolate, melted and cooled

Beat the butter at medium speed for about 20 seconds.
Add confectioners' sugar and salt. Beat at medium speed,
incorporating the sugar, for about 45 seconds. Scrape down your bowl,
and beat again for 15 seconds.
Scrape down your bowl, and add your vanilla extract.
Reduce the speed to low, and slowly pour in your chocolate.
Beat for 4 minutes until all the chocolate is incorporated
and buttercream is light and fluffy

Peanut Butter Buttercream
(adapted from Cooks Illustrated)
8 tablespoons unsalted Butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Confectioners' Sugar
pinch Salt
1 tablespoon Heavy Cream

Beat the butter and peanut butter together at medium speed for
20 seconds. Add the confectioners' sugar and salt. Beat at medium
speed, incorporating the sugar for about 45 seconds . Scrape down your bowl,
and beat again for 15 seconds.
Scrape down your bowl, and add your heavy cream.
Beat at medium speed until incorporated, then beat at
medium speed until light and fluffy.

Buttermilk Devil's Food Cake
(adapted from The Cake Doctor)
1 box Duncan Hines Devil's Food Cake Mix
3 tablespoons unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 1/3 cup Buttermilk
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
3 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

The first thing you should do is multiply the above amounts
by 2. The ingredients listed will make 2 - 9" round cakes.
You will need 4 - 9" round cakes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare your pans by greasing them with pan spray and
dusting them with flour or cocoa powder.
Mix all your ingredients together for 1 minute on low speed.
Scrape your bowl.
Turn it up to high, and mix for 2 minutes.
Pour into your pans.
2 pans need 28-30 minutes to cook. If you are making
all 4 at one time, keep an eye on the time. You may need
a little more time.
Let cool completely.
When cool, wrap each cake in plastic and place in the
freezer for about 30-45 minutes.

Putting It All Together!
Take each cake out and slice the cake through
the middle, sideways. In other words, each cake becomes two.
Have the cake circle or cake plate or whatever you
want to present the finished cake on ready to go.
The cake is heavy to move to a plate after completion.

Plus you take the risk of it falling.
Put the bottom layer on your cake circle.
Frost the middle of the cake with the
peanut butter buttercream. Keep layering the cake
pieces until all eight layers are stacked evenly,
with frosting in between each layer.
The cake is great to work with when it is slightly frozen.
I took 1 cake at a time from the freezer to insure they
would be semi frozen.
Once all the layers had peanut butter buttercream on them,
I stuck 4 wooden cake rods in a square design through the
top of the cake. I measured them before I inserted them.
I wanted them from the bottom of the cake until just
short of the middle of the top layer.
This kept the cake from falling.
I set the cake in the fridge so it would set up quickly.
When it was set up enough, I took it out of the fridge,
and quickly frosted it with the chocolate buttercream.
Then I stuck the mini reese's cups around the bottom and then
haphazardly wherever I thought they needed to be.
I added the brittle and the peanuts because I thought it added
much needed color and texture.
Then I placed it in the fridge for several hours.
My friend was happy with the cake.
I hope they ask me to make his cake again next year!!
Thanks for stopping by!

This recipe partied at the following shindigs:
33 Shades of Green 
Tutorial Tuesday
Crazy Sweet Tuesday
Full Plate Thursday

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Birthday Cake and The Freshman Cook Gets a Makeover!!

A few weeks ago, a friend of a friend had an impromptu Birthday party. Since no one had given much thought to the Birthday Cake, my husband volunteered me! Now, don't get me wrong, I love to bake. Anything, pretty much anytime. But I only had 2 hours to have it completely ready to go. So, I grabbed a box of Devil's Food cake mix, and made my favorite cake from The Cake Doctor, Anne Byrn. I have posted cakes in the past that I have made from her book. I just love it, because the cakes are so moist. (I think I have said that before! :o)!!) But the question of how to decorate the cake was really driving me crazy.! I thought about peanut butter, reese cups, chocolate chips, all of the usual cast of characters. Time was flying by, and going to the grocery was out of the question. Here is what I finally came up with.

Chocolate Cherry Double Layer Birthday Cake
1 box Duncan Hines Devil's Food Cake Mix
3 tablespoons unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 13 cups Buttermilk
1/2 cup Corn Oil
3 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Mix all the ingredients together in your mixing bowl
Mix on low for 1 minute, then scrape the sides of your bowl,
and mix on medium for 2 minutes.
Pour into 8" pans, and bake for 30-40 minutes.
Remove from oven, cool on rack.
After 5 minutes of cooling, take a knife or offset spatula
around the edge of the cake, between the cake and the pan.
Let the cake continue to cool for 15 more minutes.
Release cake from the pan. and let it continue to cool
on the cooling rack.
I made Chocolate Ganache for the frosting. 
Melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips in a double boiler on the stove.
Add 1/4 cup of heavy duty whipping cream. This is my normal
recipe, but I ended up adding another 
1/4 cup of whipping cream because I wanted this ganache to 
drip down the cake.
Mix the ganache until completely smooth.
Cover the top of the bottom layer with ganache.
Cover the ganache with a thin layer of
cherry pie filling.
Top with top layer.
Cover top layer with ganache. 
Add some additional ganache on top until it drips
down the sides and looks pretty.
Add a circle of cherry pie filling in the middle of the top layer.
Happy Birthday My Friend !!

The Freshman Cook Makeover!!

If you have read The Freshman Cook in the last week, you know that this blog, just received a fabulous makeover. It all started when I won a contest hosted by Ashton of Something Swanky. My prize was a full blown blog makeover designed by the incredibly talented Leah over at Just Call Me Blessed!!! Am I lucky, or what!! I emailed Leah answers to her questions about what I was looking for, and she hit the nail on the head.!!! She designed the gorgeous header that you see now, and I just love it!! I hope you do too! If you are looking to make some changes in the design of your blog, you must contact Leah. She has an etsy shop so you can check out what she does, and she is such a patient person to work with. She gave me detailed instructions on how to install the features she designed. Of course, she will  install them for you, but I was curious and wanted to learn how to do it myself. If you are looking to make any changes in your blog, or your facebook page, maybe a button for your blog, or you just want something different, contact Leah. You will be so glad you did!! Thanks, Leah! You are the best!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chocolate Cake w/ Cherry Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting

It's time again for the Crazy Cooking Challenge! This is such a fun challenge. Each month we are assigned a featured food. This month it is chocolate cake! Yum! Our job is to go out into blog land and find a chocolate cake made on a fellow bloggers blog. Then make the cake, and post it on your blog. There are some rules, of course, so once you join, you'll have to read the fine print. But you are going to join, right? It easy, fun, tasty, and really interesting! You will love it!! You should join!
I found my chocolate cake on a blog called Chef in Training. This blog is so incredible! I love it. It is authored by Nikki, who has the most incredible recipes ever! Her chocolate cake is the BEST! EVER! I am in love with her Copycat Wingers Sticky Fingers recipe. I love Wingers, so I can't wait to make them.  Her Navajo Tacos recipe looks incredible and honestly, I never met a Navajo Taco that I didn't devour! But wait until you try the chocolate cake!! Here it is:

1 box Devil's Food cake mix 
1 small pkg Jello instant chocolate pudding mix 
1 cup sour cream 
1 cup vegetable oil 
4 eggs, beaten 
1/2 cup milk 
1 tsp vanilla 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.
The batter will be thick.
Pour the batter into your prepared pans.
Let cook until done, about 20-30 minutes.
Let cool on a cooling rack.
  Cream Cheese Icing
2  8 ounce Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Butter, softened
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 cup Confectioners Sugar

Make your icing by creaming the cream cheese 
and the butter together. Add the vanilla.
Slowly add the confectioners sugar.
Make sure it incorporates and mix well.

Cut the two layers in half, widthwise.
Cover each inside half with a thin layer
of cream cheese frosting.
Then on top of the bottom cream cheese
frosting, place a layer of cherry filling.
Put the top on the cake.
Frost bottom layer.
Do the same thing to the top layer. 
Add top layer to cake before frosting. 
Frost top.
Decorate how you wish. 
Because it is the season of love I 
thought this cake was begging to be decorated with a heart!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Some changes:
I changed a couple things from the original recipe.
Nikki used chocolate chips in her cake. I omitted them.
In Nikki's recipe she decorated with chocolate icing and
Skor candy bars. It looked beautiful, and I'm sure it 
tastes heavenly. But when my husband discovered that I was 
baking a chocolate cake, he asked if I would make cream cheese
icing and add cherries to the layers.
Because I can't say no to him, I honored his request.
It was delicious!
My husband swears that this cake is 
the moistest, unbelievably best chocolate cake he has ever had!!
He is right! You will love this!
Here is the original recipe.

Thanks Nikki for making this such a great
Crazy Cooking Challenge!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Improv Challenge~Simple Lemon Pound Cake

This months Improv Cooking Challenge is upon us again!! This month our two products to use are  Lemon and Sour Cream. A lot of different recipes went thru my head. I thought about dips, certainly appropriate for all the football parties going on everywhere. I considered some type of bread, but I just wasn't sure. I finally decided on a Lemon Pound Cake that I have baked several times in the past.  It's a simple cake, and if you are a lemon lover, it's perfect!

Simple Lemon Pound Cake 
(adapted from Southern Living)

1 cup Butter, softened
2 1/2 cups Sugar
6 large Eggs, separated
3 cups Flour
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
8 oz. Sour Cream
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Lemon Extract
2 tablespoon Grated Lemon Rind
1/2 cup Sugar
Confectioners Sugar

Prep Work:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Make sure your butter is softened.
Separate your eggs, into 2 different bowls
 Mix your baking soda into the flour.
Grate your lemon rind.
Grease and flour pan.
Cream your butter on medium speed.
Add your sugar, and beat, still on medium for 4-5 minutes.
I don't have any pictures of this, but add your egg yolks only,
1 at a time, beating after each one.
Now, we are going to add flour and sour cream alternately.
Starting with the flour and baking soda mixture, 
add some to your butter mix.
I usually scoop 2 spoonfuls each time.
Let the mixer mix in the flour mix.
Add a spoonful of sour cream.
Alternate with each until it has all be added.
You don't have to stop the mixer each time, but you 
might want to when you are adding the sour cream.
You don't want to be hit by flying batter!
Because you started with the flour,
the last thing in should be the last of the flour.
Add your lemon extract and vanilla extract.
Add your grated lemon rind.
Mix well.
Now we are going to make meringue.
If you don't have another mixer, put your batter in 
a large bowl until you are done making the meringue.
In your bowl, add your egg whites. 
Beat until foamy.
While the whites are mixing, add the sugar,
1 tablespoon at a time, until the peaks are stiff.
Gently fold the meringue into the batter. 
Pour batter into prepared pan.
 Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
Let cool on rack for 10 - 15 minutes, 
then remove from pan.
Sprinkle with confectioners sugar.
Cake can  be served warm or room temperature.

Don't forget to check out what everyone else
made with Lemon and Sour Cream!!

Improv Challenge

Linking to these Great Parties:
Check 'em out!!