Monday, July 18, 2011

Catching up

Lemon Sour Cream Cake
Reader's Digest Cakes 1,001 Classic Recipes from Around the World Copyright 2003

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
6 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, to dust

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 13x9-inch baking pan. Sifted the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until just blended after each addition. With mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the dry ingredients, alternating with the sour cream. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cake completely in the pan on a rack. Dust with the confectioners' sugar.

I have so many recipes that I haven't told you about. Here's one of them.

I made this so many months ago that if there were any details I wanted to mention , they are long forgotten. I  remember loving the moist, dense texture of this cake.  It's one of the better lemon cakes I've made and it would have been great with a couple of berries and some whipped cream but it was great plain too. I would make this again.

I wish I had more to say but I don't. Sorry.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Birthday cake

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: