Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Special Treat

Mmmmmm....... Looks good, doesn't it?

I put this little cake together in honor of a visit from my in-laws. Nothing too fancy, but oh was it good!

I did this the same weekend as the fishing cake, so I needed something simple. But it was just right.

The cake is my own yellow cake with Nutella swiss meringue buttercream filling. I used the same buttercream to cover it and give it a rustic look.

Don't you just love the term "rustic"? For me and cakes, it means I didn't take the time to smooth it all down as perfectly as I could. It's like a short-cut that is in vogue. Or like when a house listing says "charming" and really means "small."

I'm not judging, though! I like a rustic look on a cake. Sometimes looking homemade is comforting. It reminds me of home and childhood treats.

The chocolate shavings on the top were the perfect simple decoration.

To make the Nutella buttercream, mix up a batch of vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream. You can find my recipe and instructions here. Add Nutella a little at a time until it suits your taste. This buttercream can handle quite a bit, but don't try to add a whole jar at once! I think I added around 1 cup. (Sorry, I wasn't measuring!) This buttercream would be really good with chocolate cake, too!

I just finished revising my recipe for my yellow cake, so I'm sharing it with you. You are going to love it!

Now you can make this yourself and enjoy it with your family! Or hide it and eat it all yourself after the kids go to bed. Uh, not that I've done that. Very often.

Or with your morning coffee. Tasty!


Yellow Vanilla Cake
Makes 2 8-inch cakes
10-1/2 ounces (3 cups) bleached cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
10-1/2 ounces (1-1/2 cups) granulated sugar
6 egg yolks plus 1 whole large egg
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
4 ounces heavy cream
2 ounces (1/4 cup) plain yogurt
4 ounces unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl fo an electric mixer, combine cake flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix on low for at least 30 seconds. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, egg, extracts and a couple tablespoons of the cream. Set aside. Add the rest of the cream, the yogurt and the butter to the dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Turn the speed to medium-high for 1-1/2 minutes. Scrape the bowl with a spatula, then add the egg mixture in three parts, adding each part on low speed and then mixing on medium-high speed for 20 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Pour into 2 greased and parchment-lined 8-inch cake pans. Bake until the top springs back when touched lightly with a finger and a toothpick inserted in the center comes back with moist crumbs clinging to it, about 35 minutes. Cool in pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then remove from the pans and cool completely on the rack.

To make this into a white cake, sub in 6 large egg whites (6 ounces) for the yolks and whole egg. Voila! White cake. If you use pure vanilla bean paste instead of simple extract, the cake with be flecked with little vanilla seeds. So pretty! And very tasty too!

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