Let me start off by thanking my bestest friend, Ann, and my sister-in-law, Emily, for giving me both the urge to bake a gazillion cakes and the nutty desire to start a blog.
Since this is my first actual cake post, I suppose I should explain that the idea to kick off the year with this particular choice was because of them. It all began when a box arrived on my doorstep - a box that I didn't even realize was for ME! This past Christmas about 95% of my shopping was done online. When this particular box arrived I didn't open it right away because I thought it was just another gift that I purchased for one of my children. A day later it occurred to me that I had no idea what was in that box. It was addressed to me...but so were all the other boxes. Out came the knife and in one big slice across some sticky tape, the most wonderful cookbook appeared. Ann had sent me Baking, From my Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan. I was simply giddy over getting a true surprise in the mail. The fact that it was a yummy book all about baking was a major bonus! As you can see here:
The cake pictured on the cover is the Devil's Food White-Out Cake. I didn't take any pictures as this cake took shape. I hadn't realized until it was devoured that I was going to start this blog, so for the lack of pictures, I apologize. The cake was actually baked on New Year's Eve. I wanted to get that part out of the way as I was expecting a house-full for New Year's Eve and Day.
I thought that it tasted quite yummy. The only disappointment was that it was much more difficult to cut than I had anticipated. It did not look as pretty as the photo in the book...but is that really important? Looking back, I wish I had taken more time while frosting. I would have been more careful in making sure that each layer was even. Had you been in my kitchen that morning, you would have understood why the cake was lucky to be decorated at all!
More fun was had while whipping up the frosting, I must say that. Many family members, including Emily and her crew, had spent the night and a few more were arriving as the frosting was being prepared.
One of the things that I hope to learn from this experience is how to make many more types of frosting. I am used to buttercream and even had my first experience with fondant this past summer. This recipe caused me a little anxiety. For some reason I find the need to try brand new recipes when I am having guests over. Why I add more stress to my life, I don't know. This marshmallow looking frosting required the use of a candy thermometer and whipped egg whites.
I had a lot of fun whipping this one together, despite the fact that I had never used a candy thermometer before and the part where you read the temperature on the thermometer melted on me when the hot sugar syrup reached about 230 degrees. (That poor thermometer is now sitting on my counter awaiting a trip back to the store...)
The cake was more dense than I expected but the light airy frosting paired nicely with it. Once the candles were blown out, Emily and I realized that we never took any photos. So you may see some little candle holes on the top. My pictures don't really do this cake justice as it had been a very busy day.
Hope you had a Happy Birthday Emily!!