Tag Archives: Chocolate

Yellow Butter Cake + A Frosting to Fight Over

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This is installment II of the recipes from last week.

CAUTION: the following recipe involves a dangerously addicting combination of sugar, butter & chocolate, but holey moley is it delicious.

Sadly, this past wednesday was the last practical in the lab. I am now forced to invent some new excuse to bake sweets. Since I had only ever baked cookies for the class, I wanted to finish this semester off with something more special and I think cakes are special, especially when made from scratch. It couldn’t just be any old cake, I wanted the perfect cake. I needed to create the most righteous flavor pairing between cake and frosting. So off I went to get some inspiration from the internet. After days of searching and bookmarking I made my decision: Yellow butter cake with a dark chocolate, espresso, cream cheese frosting. HOLY CRAP, it was good. I didn’t really get any good pictures of it because it was dark by the time I started to make the cake and the iphone has a hard time in the dark. Regardless of my inability to capture this cake in it’s full glory, please take my word for it and bake this cake.

The recipes were adapted from two different blogs: Slow Like Honey and Tasty Kitchen.

Yellow Butter Cake

Recipe from: Slow like honey

Fills: two, 9 inch cake pans

ingredients

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising) (or make your own by subtracting 2 tblsp of flour and adding 2 tblsp of corn starch and then sifting that mixture three times!)
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups milk

Procedure

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray cake pans with oil and lightly flour the entirety of the inside. Then, revert back to kindergarten and trace the shape of your pan bottoms onto parchment paper, and using your safety scissors cut out the circle you have just made. Then set the cut out circle inside your pans and lightly oil and flour that as well.
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  • Now, sift together the two kinds of flour, baking powder and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar until it becomes fluffy and beautiful.
  • Add the eggs to the mixer bowl, one at a time, with the mixer on low speed.
  • Add the vanilla.
  • Now add the flour mixture, in three parts, and the milk, in two parts. You want to make sure you begin and end with the flour mixture.
  • Portion your cake batter between two pans (and possibly some in a bowl for yourself…). I underfilled my cake pans so I could make a third smaller cake in my heart shaped spring form pan, which I got on my birthday because I made the boyfriend buy it because it was probably the cutest thing I’d ever seen. Hey it was only like 7 dollars, don’t judge me. Pop them in the oven and rotate halfway through baking to ensure even cooking. The whole cake bakes in about 32-35 minutes depending on your oven. You’ll know its done when a cake tester can be inserted into the middle of the cake and comes out clean.
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  • Once done transfer cakes to a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes and remove parchment paper from the bottom. (so here is where I kinda messed my cakes up…I don’t own a wire rack to cool things on so I tried to cool it on my inverted dish drainer, which didn’t work and I basically destroyed the right side of the first cake layer. Then, too afraid to screw the next one up, I just put second cake layer upside down on a plate thinking I would just let it cool and then try and flip it over. WRONG. Instead the top of the cake stuck to the plate.
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    But always remember…..frosting covers/fixes almost all cake issues 🙂

  • Let cool completely before frosting.

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting

Adapted from: Tasty kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter (softened)
  • 8 ounces, cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • ½ cups dark chocolate cocoa powder, sifted
  • 6 tbsp brewed coffee, cold ( I used an espresso roast)

Procedure

Make this ahead of time so it has at least 5 hours to set up in the fridge and become the right consistency. If you find that it’s not thick enough, go ahead and add more powdered sugar and when you’re ready to frost, throw it in the mixer and beat it until it becomes more fluffy!

  • Sift together the powdered sugar and dark cocoa powder.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until combined and lusciously smooth.
  • Add the vanilla.
  • Add the sifted sugar/cocoa mixture, 1 cup at a time and beat until incorporated each time.
  • Add the coffee.
  • Put in a container and refrigerate for at least 5 hours. Or eat it all that moment, which is fine…because I said so.

As a side note, this makes a crap ton of frosting and I still have some left over in my fridge (shhhh the boyfriend doesn’t know about it though). I would say you could half the recipe but I don’t know if that would mess it up or not…for those of you daring bakers out there give it a shot, let me know how it turns out!

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The final product! I didn’t manage to get a picture of the main cake, but it really was amazingly delicious.

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Two Cookie Recipes + The Week In Review

It all began on Sunday. I embarked on the journey of microbiology. We had an exam today (Friday) and along with it came a 116 question study guide. Not only was that an overwhelming amount of information, it was also annoyingly vague. Anyone know what I’m talking about?? Its like oh here’s a study “guide” except all it did was guide me to the realization that it was saying to study EVERYTHING. So that would be seven chapters, two of which were covered Monday and Wednesday. Ahhhhhhhrghrrrhgh. Since Sunday I have phased through the different emotional states that accompany an entire week spent studying for one exam.

  1. Laziness. “Oh man I’ve got all week to do this, how about I just watch Deadwood now.
  2. Desperation. “How am I possibly going to get through all this material, I’m only one woman, and I already wasted yesterday watching Deadwood!”
  3. Focus. “Ok, today will be the day that I get through at least three chapters, and then I’ll be fine”
  4. Boredom. “……………”
  5. Acceptance. “Hey soon it’ll be over and I’ll be enjoying a beer and a pizza and maybe some cookies, and I’ll have my life back……maybe a hundred cookies.”
  6. Readiness. “Mr. Microbiology exam, prepare for total domination”

Did I also mention I had a nutrition exam right before the micro exam? Yeah, I didn’t study for it, but I think it went O.K. Thanks, in part, to my recently acquired obsession with my own nutrition.

But guess what??!! ITS ALL OVER. And, now, I can post these recipes that have been sitting here lonely and dormant all week. Lets start with cookies.

Peanut Butter, Chocolate, and Bacon Cookies

As usual, I had a great excuse for making these cookies. I am a preceptor for an anatomy and physiology lab. Basically, for those of you who don’t know what a preceptor is (because I certainly didn’t before I came to U of A), I am a TA’s assistant. I help out with distributing papers, leading review sessions in class, and about once every week I present a clinical application of the information the students learned that week. Its pretty fun and it helps me work on my public speaking. I have that pesky problem where I turn tomato red every time I get up in front of people to talk. Anyways, the students were having an exam (Wednesday) and I like to bring baked goods for them because a) I need guinea pigs to test out my recipes b) I remember how annoying those exams were, and, c) I enjoy the appreciation that comes along with bringing sweets to a bunch of college students.

I found this recipe on the Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body blog. I made some modifications to the original recipe but the fact that there is bacon in it, remains.

Ingredients

Makes about 36 cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/1 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt ( I like to add a little more than this but I like copious amounts of salt in everything)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. (I wanted to use dark chocolate chips, but Safeway was out of them and I’m too cheap to by a bar of dark chocolate for cookies)
  • 5 strips bacon, cooked until crisp, then crumbled

Procedure

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and lightly mist that with cooking spray.
  • In a standing mixer, set up with the paddle attachment, combine the peanut butter and butter, then add the sugar and cream it with the butter, until nice and fluffy.

  • Add the egg and combine on medium speed for about 1 minute
  • In a different bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

  • Add the flour mixture to the mixer and beat on low speed, just until combined. Add the chocolate chips (dark or semi-sweet) and the bacon and mix until evenly incorporated.

  • Refrigerate dough for 30 min or more.

Silly cat, cookies are for me.

  • Scoop the dough onto the cookie sheets using a tablespoon measure and press the cookies as flat as you can with the back of a fork, making pretty cross-hatches on the tops of them. You want them to be about 1.5 inches apart. (I failed at this part. My cookies kept falling apart. However I did an experiment and even though they seem to be in pieces they come together during baking to make one complete cookie. They do,I found out, taste just fine even if you don’t press them down.)
  • Bake for 7-10 minutes or until the edges and bottoms of cookies are golden brown.
  • Cool on a wire rack.

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies

These cookies were also very, very, very, good. If only I could combine this and the previous recipe in my evil laboratory and create a chocolate chip, peanut butter, bacon, oatmeal, and coconut confection. It would most definitely be the alpha cookie. One word of caution though…DO NOT underestimate the spreading powers of these cookies, I did and the most terrifying creature emerged from my oven………

Cookie Blob!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (I didn’t have any and the cookies still tasted fine)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup dried, shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tblsp honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Procedure

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and mist them with cooking spray
  • Cream the butter and sugar in a standing mixer
  • Add egg and vanilla
  • Add all remaining ingredients and mix well
  • Measure out 1 tbsp of batter and roll it into small balls placing them at least 2 inches apart, unless the cookie blob is the kinda thing you’re into.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes depending on your tastes. 10 minutes will give you a chewier cookie and 12 minutes will produce a crunchy one.
  • Let them cool on the cookie sheets for a while, they will be very soft when they’re first taken out of the oven.

Here’s a secret…….

I’ve been using bread flour for all my baking lately. Shhhhhhh. But seriously, this HUGE bag of flour was $6.59 at Costco.