The other day I was thinking to myself… ‘Self… why haven’t you posted much about cake yet? Its in your blog name, you love cake, you’re all about cake… you bake it all the time….” So it got me thinking… when was the last time I baked cake? I made that Apple Cider Gingerbread Cake back in December… but nothing since then. I guess I was focusing on pies, tarts, soups, and other things. My baking bug had apparently gone into a mini hibernation spell. But don’t worry, the bug is back. So this weekend I got back my baking legs. I made a basic yellow cake yesterday but didn’t love it. But thats what I wanted. I wanted something basic, simple, clean and sweet. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting creative with cake. But I just wanted something classically delicious; something that never fails to satisfy my sweet tooth.
So I tried again today… I went with a tried and true recipe from a tried and true baker. And out they came… smelling perfect, bouncing back, with a nice golden color on top. Moist, just crumbly enough, and topped with something not too milky and not too dark. A nice smooth sweet but not too sweet basic yellow cake topped with chocolate icing.
Mmmm… Perfect. Perfect enough to share the joy with everyone else later on tonight.
(Warning: People will ask if this came from a box.. and you can then joyfully smile at them and state that no… this came from the work of your very own hands. Enjoy.)
Magnificent Moist Golden Cake and Luscious, Creamy Chocolate Icing
Adapted from Bakewise by Shirley O. Corriher
For the cake….
1 3/4 c spooned and leveled cake flour (don’t use any flour but cake flour or it will result in a sunken center)
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 c sugar
1/3 c water
4 tbsp unsalted butter cut in 1 tbsp pieces
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c canola oil
3 lg egg yolks
2 lg eggs
1/2 c heavy cream
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cupcake pans with liners. (You can also use a 9×2 in cake pan.) Beat flour and baking powder for a full 30 seconds at medium speed with a mixer, put in a large bowl and set aside. Don’t wash the mixer bowl. Add the sugar to the bowl and place it back on the mixer. Heat the water to a simmer on the stove or in the microwave. Add it to the sugar in the mixer bowl and beat a few seconds to dissolve the sugar, the add the butter, vanilla, and salt. Add the oil and mix on medium speed to blend. Sprinkle 1/3 of the flour mixture over the sugar mixture. Blend in on low with a minimum amount of beating. Continue adding the flour until all is incorporated. By hand stir in the egg yolks one at a time, and then stir in the whole eggs one at a time.
Put a bowl, beaters, and the heavy cream in the freezer to chill for 5 min. Whip the cream until soft peaks form when the beater is lifted. Whip just a little beyond soft peak stage. Stir about a quarter of the cream into the batter to lighten. Then gently fold the rest of the whipped cream into the batter. Scoop batter into the cupcake liners. Drop the pans onto the counter a few times to get out any bubbles. Bake for about 15 min, checking every few minutes after 12 min. (I use an ice cream scoop with a trigger, and they all come out the same size.)
Cool for about an hour on cooling racks.
For the icing…
12 oz milk chocolate (Chopped into small pieces)
9 oz semisweet chocolate (Chopped into small pieces)
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp light corn syrup
1 1/2 c sour cream
Heat the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water (double boiler style) until smooth and melted. Remove from heat. In a small mixing bowl stir together the brown sugar, salt, vanilla, and corn syrup. Stir in the sour cream with 1 or 2 strokes only. Add the melted chocolate. Beat on low until very smooth. If too thin, allow the icing to stand at room temperature an hour or so until slightly thickened.
Decorate your cupcakes with a nice helping of icing and serve fresh to good friends and family you like.