I suffer from a little something that I like to call 'The Baker's Curse.' (Don't worry--it's far from lethal. ;-P) The Baker's Curse is when you're the designated baker in your circle of friends, and you make everyone birthday cakes for their birthdays (and wedding cakes for their weddings, and so on), but no one ever--and I mean ever--bakes *you* a cake for *your* birthday. I'm sure many of you out there are familiar with this affliction. Everyone seems to get so flustered and worked up with the misconceived insecurity that no cake they bake, they think, could ever possibly live up to your standards, but what they don't all realize is that it's not really the cake that counts as it is the thought. To just have someone put in the time and energy and thought into wanting to make a cake for me and then spending the effort to decide on a type of cake, look up the recipe, go to the store for ingredients, turn on the oven, etc etc --I don't really care if the cake doesn't rise or I could use it to play frisbee; all I care about--and I'm sure that many who suffer from Baker's Curse would agree with me--is that you actually tried.
So this year, for my birthday, I'm determined to escape the Baker's Curse, and to do so, I've enlisted the help of the awesome, awesome folks at Rosanna, Inc. Rosanna, Inc. is the tableware company behind my absolute favorite cake stands--the ones I've used on this blog over and over again. I have quite the collection of their cake stands, and I can honestly say that they are downright gorgeous and whimsy and cute (otherwise I wouldn't be using up blog space to tell you about them!). And now, the folks at Rosanna, Inc. have graciously donated this beautiful 8" La Gateau cake stand as incentive to you all for helping me cure the Baker's Curse this year.
Here's the deal. This giveaway is now closed. Thanks for participating, and stay tuned for the winner announcments!
What cake would you bake for me for my birthday?
|Oh yeah, and did I mention that Rosanna, Inc's stands always come packaged in the cutest hat boxes?!|
I am so looking forward reading everyone's cake ideas! Please do go and check out Rosanna, Inc. (like them on facebook; follow them on twitter), because they make absolutely wonderful things. :-) And here's to ending the Baker's Curse this year!
Read on for recipe....
*That* Chocolate Cake
adapted from The Essence of Chocolate
makes one 3-layer 8" cake
1 3/4 cups (350 gr) sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
7.5 oz (213 gr) unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
12 Tbspn unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 tspn vanilla extract
1. In a saucepan, bring the sugar and heavy cream to a boil over medium heat.
2. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the cream and sugar for six minutes. Be careful not to let the saucepan overflow.
3. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate and butter until they have completely melted.
4. Stir in the vanilla extract.
5. Let the frosting cool completely, whisking every now and then during cooling. (You can do this step in the refrigerator to speed up the process) Once completely cool at room temperature, the frosting will be spreadable.
3 cups (600 gr) sugar
scant 3 cups (425 gr) AP flour
1 cup + 2 Tbspn (135 gr) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 tspn salt
2 1/4 tspn baking powder
2 1/4 tspn baking soda
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cup hot coffee
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease, flour, and line the bottoms of three 8" round cake pans. If desired, wrap the cake pans with bake-even strips.
2. In a mixer bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix to combine.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the beaten eggs, vegetable oil, and milk. Stir to mix. Then, with the mixer on low, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix on low until evenly distributed.
4. Pour the hot coffee into the batter and mix on medium low until smooth. The batter will be soupy.
5. Divide the batter between the cake pans.
6. Bake for 35-45 minutes. When a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out cleanly, the cakes are done. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
7. Level the cakes (this is easier if they've sat in the freezer for at least one hour beforehand).
8. Stack the cakes, spreading a layer of frosting in between each cake layer. Frost the outside of the cake--for a smoother finish, use a hot knife.
Note: this recipe also works for a 3-layer 9" cake, with slightly shorter layers.