Saturday, May 15, 2010

Britt's Graduation Cake

My idea was to make a graduation hat cake. Originally it was supposed to be chocolate cake with peanut butter icing and a chocolate ganache to finish it off so it looked black. The bottom of the hat was a Bundt cake and the top was a square 8” Pyrex. I had made the cake after work and after reading that her school colors were gold and maroon I decided I could get away without the ganache since the cake and icing took so long for me to make and put together. When I got home from work the next day the icing on the bundt cake had completely fallen into the middle because the cake was on my kitchen table and in the sun. I also used all natural PB so it didn’t have anything besides peanuts in it so it’s runnier than regular PB. Unfortunately, I do not have another place to put cakes so I will have to remember this for next time. Then when I drove the cake up to my parents the Bundt cake had cracked. I didn’t even attempt to fix it since Erie is a 6 hour drive and it was quite sunny out the day we drove up. When we arrived in Erie the cake was a complete mess. I attempted to fix it with more icing but the cake was just to moist and started to come apart even more. Lessen learned unless you own a van that is flat and have a cool place to store cakes do not attempt to make a cake and transport it 7.5 hours. Also, next time I would use a drier cake that would stand up to the icing. But that’s not the end of the story. I bought natural food dies to pipe Congrats Britt on the cake but I couldn’t get it red enough. So basically everything was a disaster with the cake. I was really upset but you’ve got to roll with the punches, especially when it comes to cooking and baking. Plus it still tasted great so that’s all that really matters anyway!

Here is a picture of what the top was supposed to look like minus the Congrats Britt.

 The tassel is Twizzlers pull and peel.

For the cake and the icing I made 1.5 of the recipe so I would have enough batter for both the Bundt and the Pyrex.

But here is the original recipe. I would suggest making this with two rounds or a 9x13.

My Mom’s Dark Chocolate Cake

2 cups flour (I used organic unbleached)
½ cup cocoa (I used Ghirardelli)
1 ¾ cup sugar
1 tbsp baking soda
1 cup strong boiling coffee (I used a freeze dried organic instant Mount Hagen which is available at whole foods)
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup sour milk (add 1 tbsp of white vinegar to 1 Cup of milk, let stand 5 minutes)
2/3 cup canola or vegetable oil (I used canola)

Grease and Flour 2 9” cake pans (or do yourself a favor and get the spray. I like spectrum canola oil spray for baking) Sift together dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add egg, milk, oil and coffee to dry ingredients. Beat until batter is moist and well blended. Batter will be thin. (Note: be careful because it’s like trying to put soup into the oven so it is easy to spill) Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Obviously if you are using a 9x13 you will have to bake it much longer. This is the moistest and richest chocolate cake I’ve ever had. I’m forever grateful to my mother for sharing her recipe. You can use any of your favorite icings on this cake too.

Brittany’s Grandma Counterman’s Peanut Butter Icing

1 lb powdered sugar sifted (I used organic)
1 tsp vanilla
½ stick of butter
½ cup of vegetable shortening (I used spectrum organic)
¾ cup of Peanut butter

Add all ingredients together and mix well. Then add a little bit of milk at a time to get your desired consistency.

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