Tuesday, November 29, 2005

You're fired!

Devil's Food Cake
The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion Copyright 2003

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) soft butter
1 3/4 cups superfine or granulated sugar I used superfine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup natural cocoa powder
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk or water I used milk

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and salt till fluffy and light, beating for at least 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa and baking powder. If lumps remain, sift the mixture. Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix together the milk or water and the vanilla. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, then add half the milk, another third of the flour, the remaining milk, and the remaining flour. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally throughout this process. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans, three 8-inch round pans, or a 13 x 9-inch sheet cake pan. Wrap the pans with Magi-Cake Strips(r), to prevent doming, if desired. Bake the cakes in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes (a bit longer for the sheet cake), until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove the cake(s) from the oven, cool them for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove them from the pan (leave the sheet cake in the pan, for easiest serving). Yield: Two 9-inch or three 8-inch rounds, or a 13 x 9-inch sheet cake.

I used the yellow cake recipe from this cookbook for my Halloween cupcakes and it was great. So I tried their Devil's Food Cake recipe for my mother's birthday cake. It came out kind of dry. I think I may have overbaked it. It wasn't acceptable and I decided to bag it and try another recipe. I ended up making a recipe (very good!) off of the box of cake flour that I had in the cupboard. I froze this cake and took it out to bring to my co-workers. It wasn't so bad I was going to throw it out, just not good enough for birthday honors. I thought freezing it might have helped but it still wasn't as moist as I would have liked. I frosted it with my mother-in-law's peanut butter frosting recipe (nope, I'm not sharing that!) and that made up for the lackluster cake.

I'm surprised to be disappointed by a King Arthur recipe so I really do think this was user error. Never bake a cake while watching the Apprentice, especially if it's due to come out of the oven around the time the candidates are in the boardroom.


Anonymous said...

Paula--So you're generally happy with the King Arthur cookbook? I was thinking of getting it.

The Cookbook Junkie said...

Yes, Lisa. The Classic Yellow Cake, Fudge Drops and All-Purpose Cut-out cookies were all great. This is a great 'go-to' baking book. I was at fault here for overbaking this cake.