baking with becca

this week i made a mini-cake for a colleague's birthday. my previous one-and-only layer cake experience tanked big time; had i repeated that effort, i would have had to secretly compost the cake and rely on my amazing card-writing skills to pull me through. like "happy birthday! hope you enjoy this card! it goes well with chocolate buttercream. not that i would know." but this week i proceeded to bake with caution, and the mini-cake (using a great 4-inch cutter from sur la table similar to this) turned out well! i also made a second for the chef's cheerleading squad (led by todd), and in addition, we now have unassembled leftover layer pieces that'll be snackworthy for weeks. or days. or in some cases, minutes.

a few notes on the barefoot contessa recipe linked above: i used low fat buttermilk and egg whites in the cake. i also replaced 1/2 of the coffee for 1/2 cup of nonfat greek yogurt in the batter. the cake turned out very rich and moist!

i baked the two layers in silicone cake pans. the centers were definitely more moist than the outer edges; maybe my oven's off? i also had a hard time "popping" them out once they had cooled (about 80 minutes).

here's the valrhona chocolate melting in the double broiler. yum!

i admit that this is the "test" cake that i made first (we've slowly chomped away at it at home). it's leaned a little bit (note that i tilted the camera to one side so that the center filling looks even), but after a little refrigeration, it stayed put! the leaning came from the center of the cakes not "drying" as much as the rest of the cake, so in the "real" mini-cake, I added to the layers a bit. the cake was moist enough where it restuck (thanks to some expert smushing on my part) where needed.

a slice of (blurry) leftover bday cake. small pieces, but very rich!

the final, official product! not too shabby for a teeny tiny cake.

1 comment:

Leah said...

Yay! What a wonderful birthday treat :-)