In my last post, I asked what you would like to see me write about, or see me do. The first response I got was from my friend Angie, telling me to grow a pair and use my pressure canner.
My set isn’t big enough yet. But soon girl, I promise.
The second response I got, was from a good friend of mine who lives in the Yukon. She asked if I’d do a tutorial on how to make chocolate cake from scratch. Ever willing to bake if I have the ingredients on hand to do so, I’ve done not only that… but I’ve done one on how to make a traditional buttercream icing, and how to make a simple piping bag out of a sandwich baggie (in-case you feel like wearing your fancy pants). Now the hard part, which sifter will I use?
So, in honour of my bodacious, beautiful friend Drea (who isn’t a gold-digger, actually…. nor does the cake have anything really to do with gold), I present to you a cake so nice I’d make it twice (probably more than that, but twice rhymes). It’s like a big airy brownie, and as moist as it is rich:
Yukon Gold-Digger’s Cake (as adapted from David Lebovitz’s Devil’s Food Cake)
- 9 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp bakind powder
- 4 ounces (once stick / 1/2 cup) butter *at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 2 large eggs *at room temperature
- 1/2 cup coffee
- 1/2 cup milk (or cream)
1. Make sure your rack is in the center of your oven. then preheat to 350*.
2. Butter two 9” x 2” cake pans (I didn’t realize I’d run out of parchment paper, but you should use it if you have it). **IMPORTANT** Don’t go thinking you can substitute wax paper for parchment. They are NOT the same thing.
Sift twice then stir to make sure everything is well incorporated. **Don’t have a sifter? Substitute with a mesh strainer, and sorta shake (or stir with a spoon) the ingredients gently into your bowl. The reason you’re doing this is to remove any hardened clumps of ingredients, and also to thoroughly combine them so that your mixture is completely even.
4. Add your room temperature butter and your sugar in to a mixing bowl, and beat until well creamed together, roughly 5 minutes. Add your eggs one at a time, beating them in to your butter/sugar combo after each addition.
5. Mix together your coffee and milk. Mix half of your ingredients in to your butter/sugar/egg combo, then add your coffee and milk. Mix until well incorporated, then add your remaining dry ingredients and beat until combined.
Cool on a wire rack completely before frosting, or your cake will look like balls.
- 1 cup butter *room temperature, softened
- 3 or 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2-4 tbsp milk or cream
3. Turn your mixer on to medium and add your vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tbsp milk or cream, and beat for 3 minutes.
**If your frosting needs to be stiffer, add the extra cup of powdered sugar. Need it thinner? add your remaining milk or cream bit by bit until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
Now the fun bit. Decorating.
Start by finding a nice flat platter, board, dish, plate or whatever your desired surface may be to serve your cake on. Put a lil’ bit of your icing on there. This prevents it from sliding around, and acts as a kind of glue, if you will. Make sure it’s centered, then place your cake on your surface.
Take a sandwich bag (doesn’t matter if it’s ziplock or the folding kind),and fill about half of it with icing. Smooth it all in to one corner, then cut the very tip of the corner off. The smaller amount you cut off, the smaller your piping will be, the larger you cut it, the more will come out (think about when you cut the corner off a milk bag). Do a couple little test lines if this is your first time doing piping. As you work, twist your bag a bit so that the pressure stays consistent.
Now what you want to do, is go around the perimeter of your cake, and do a nice thick line of piping (don’t squeeze too hard, it’ll go all squiggly on you), thus creating what is called a “Dam”. This prevents the filling from oozing out (think if you were doing a caramel, or jam like filling), and it also helps patch spots around the edge of the cake.
Now fill in the center with your desired filling (make sure it’s about halfway up the sides of your dam, no higher or it’ll ooze), and gently place your top layer of cake on to your bottom layer. Get down and look at it head on, and make sure it’s level. If it isn’t, lightly touch the cake down until it is. Now put a big ol’ blob of icin’ on the top. If you don’t have an icing knife, use a butter knife, and smooth it out over the top layer, and around the sides.
Tip: If you get icing on your plate (or whatever you’re using), use the damp corner of a napkin to wipe it off.
Or. If you’re like me.
You mix a tablespoon of cocoa in with your leftover icing. Throw it in to a new sandwich bag (unless you have icing bags, which I do, but that’s not the point!), don’t forget to do a test line to rid the tip of bubbles… and decide to do some decorative shiz.
First: You discover your printer isn’t working, so you take a toothpick and freehand the outline of the Yukon territory (no Drea, I’m not kidding), and mark the location of the city where your friend lives. Pipe around the outline of the Yukon with your cocoa buttercream.
Then, you take a piece of paper or cardboard and cut a little heart out of it, hold it over the spot you marked (very closely), and sprinkle cocoa over the hole. Lift off, then make another heart stencil, and do the same thing.
Pipe some fancy little things, squeeze the bag just a little too hard because the baby is starting to torment the dogs and you need to hurry up, stand back, admire your work. Then cut your heart cake all jagged like it’s broken that your friend lives in the Yukon (which is quite honestly the furthest away she could live from me and still live in Canada),….and eat your feelings about it.
Feelings never tasted so fuckin’ good, y’all.