Monday, July 11, 2011
I like to record birthday cakes here on my blog, although I don't try new recipes out for birthdays. I used my all-time favorite yellow cake recipe this time. It's the reverse-creaming method that I use that makes this cake so good. I've tried to duplicate it a couple of times since that first time I made it, but I was always impatient and my butter wasn't soft enough so I didn't get those same great results. The butter needs to be completely soft which it was this time. It came out perfect again.
I made one and a half times the recipe for an 11x15-inch pan. I split the cake after freezing it (so it would be easier to cut). For the filling, I used this recipe, except I opted to leave out the Cool Whip at the last minute and I'm so glad I did. It was just what I wanted - a thick, creamy texture. I also used Better Bowls pudding mix this time which I find superior to Jell-O or store brand. I discovered it recently when I bought the little single-serving bowls off of the clearance shelf. I thought it mixed smoother than boxed mixed and it tasted better. I have not been contacted by Better Bowls - this is just my honest opinion. I'm not sure about it's claims of being healthy, although I'm sure it's healthier than other pudding since it has some fiber.
Dan is a whipped cream freak so I used whipped cream to frost the cake. I used some gelatin to help stabilize it (it's debatable whether or not that is necessary but the whipped cream never weeped on the leftovers after days in the refrigerator). I added some food coloring and used powdered sugar to sweeten it. It wouldn't whip at first but I was just trying to whip too much cream at once (4 cups). I finally whipped it in batches but I was frustrated and tired so I didn't add any fancy touches (I was going to pipe a border). Not the best decorating job (when I'm also cooking for a party - I can only do so much with the cake) but personally I thought this was one of the most delicious cakes I've made. I guess I'm a bit of a fan of whipped cream too. In one of my most unselfish acts of motherhood, I let Dan eat the last piece of this cake.
My go-to chocolate cake recipe does not translate to cupcakes very well so I used this recipe for cupcakes with my Easy Buttercream Frosting. I didn't do a cream filling for the cupcakes and they were okay, not the worst chocolate cupcakes but not the best either. I should have used Duncan Hines. I really never have much luck with cupcakes, especially chocolate.. No matter how hard I try not to overbake them, they almost always seem dry to me. Since I decided to frost the cupcakes as soon as I mixed the buttercream, I ended up with 'dots' on my cupcakes (the color didn't absorb evenly - I try to let colors sit overnight usually).
He knew just what to do with the candles: