“A best friend always helps herself at your house.”
My best buddy literally does just that.
Each time she arrives at my house, the first thing she will always do is to open up my cupboards and my refrigerator to see if there’s anything to eat. And when she found something to eat, she’ll simply help herself to the food, most of the time not seeking my permission.
She’s a monster when it comes to food. During one of our cooking sessions together (me cooking, she eating), I cooked a mega loaf of French toast and the French toast never had a chance to be piled up high because every time once it’s cooked, it will be devoured by her. Another time I baked a cake that can serve 8 people, she ate half of the cake, which was equivalent to 4 servings. She eats practically anything cooked and edible, but the only thing that she won’t touch is vegetables.
Nevertheless, I have known her for almost 8 years. It’s amazing how much we’ve been through and how much we’ve grown. And for her 21st birthday, I baked a yellow cake. Sounds so-not-impressive huh? I know I know, but it has a luscious chocolate frosting that made it all perfect and yummy (not that the yellow cake is not yummy, it just that chocolate makes everything perfect and round :D) And a uber chocolatey cake would probably too heavy to have during lunchtime.
The cake was easy to make, and I divided it into 2 7-inch moulds and pour the extra in a smaller pan. Then I dabbed some Baileys onto the cake to give it a more adult-ish flavour before frosting it with the perfect frosting. The frosting, not only is it easy to make, is not cloyingly sweet. Most recipes will call for substantial amount of icing sugar to be added so that it will allow the frosting to be piped or swirled, but most of the time I will cut the icing sugar by more than half so that it's not too terribly sweet. However, this results in the frosting to be less stiff and made it harder to pipe patterns on the cake. This frosting used unsweetened chocolate (I used Hershey's unsweetened chocolate) and it is so good ("so good" is really, truly an understatement), because not only is the frosting creamy and rich, it is not terribly sweet that people will hesitate to ask for seconds.
Using Deb's suggestion, I reserved some frosting and tinted it with red and yellow to get erm... orange. It wasn't the orange I really wanted, but... I guess it'd do. :p The cake was well-received by the birthday girl and our friends and I will definitely keep both the yellow cake and chocolate frosting recipes for future use. Now on to the recipe!
P.S. So sorry if you've been waiting for this post for a long time, because I'm now currently on attachment and boy, I must admit that work seriously drains all of my energy that I spend weekends sleeping in to catch up on lost sleep. I don't know how people who have a 9 to 5 job still manage to blog so frequently! They are really and truly amazing. I have a handful of recipes that I wanna blog about, but they'll have to wait till I have the time! 🙁
Yellow Cake with Instant Fudge Frosting (serves 10 to 12)
adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Best Birthday Cake
I dislike buying cake flour because of a very simple reason - I hardly use it. Very few recipes that I have required the use of cake flour and most of the time the cake flour was left forgotten deep inside the cupboard, until one day I will find out that it has expired - and it will make me very, very angry, frustrated and ashamed because I've wasted such a precious ingredient. So, after I found out that cake flour can be substituted easily with plain flour and corn flour, I stopped buying cake flour altogether.
I've also cut down the sugar in the recipe and convert them into weights (grams) for easy reference. I've always prefer to look at weights instead of cups. Cups confuse me.
If you don't happen to have buttermilk at home, simply add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to every 1 cup of plain milk and let it stand for 5 minutes. Watch the magic unfolds! 🙂
300 grams + 1.5 tablespoons plain flour
100 grams + 0.5 tablespoon corn flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1.5 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
225 grams unsalted butter, softened
150 grams sugar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
500ml buttermilk, well-shaken
Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Butter 2 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the parchment again.
Sift together the flour, corn flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Set the bowl aside. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then beat in the vanilla. Turn the speed down to low and beat in eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute until fully incorporated and scraping the sides before adding the next egg. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until combined. Fold in the flour in three batches. Divide the batter evenly and rap the pans on the counter several times to eliminate air bubbles.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted to the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes before running a sharp knife or rubber spatula along the sides of the cake to loosen the cake. Turn the cake out and let it cool completely.
To keep the cake, wrap the cake in 2 layers of plastic wrap, place it in a freezer ziploc bag and stash it into the freezer.
Instant Fudge Frosting
170 grams unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled (6 ounces)
500 grams icing sugar (sift if you're not using a food processor to make the frosting)
340 grams unsweetened butter, softened
6 tablespoons half-and-half or whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Using a food processor: Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to incorporate, then process until the frosting is smooth.
Using a electric mixer: Cream the butter and icing sugar until fluffy. Beat in melted chocolate and then stir in milk and vanilla extract.
Happy Birthday, my friend!
What are you thinking?