#46 Black & White Cake and Edible Babies

I had been looking forward to this cake. I love vanilla bean anything, and my husband loves chocolate cake. This one is chocolate cake, with chocolate ganache AND vanilla buttercream as the filling. A cake for both of us. It gave me some trouble but mostly because I was getting impatient with it and George woke up hungry from his nap at an inconvenient time. Such is life. I love that sweet boy more than cake. He is even tastier than cake.

Speaking of tasty babies, apparently everyone doesn’t know that is a thing. My friend Allie always says she doesn’t understand my mother-in-law’s and my desire to eat babies. I think she must picture some cannibalistic act when we say thing like, “I could just gobble you up!” and “I will eat those cheese!” and “What delicious chubby thighs you have!” and “Om nom nom,” on their bellies. In case you are reading this and in the same boat as my confused mother-friend, I should let you know that we don’t mean we literally want to eat our babies, or anyone else’s baby for that matter. It is just another way of saying we want to kiss them, or play with them face-to-face. I don’t know about your experiences, but my baby George loves when I pretend to eat his belly and gobble him up. It is one of the things that always makes him laugh, so I do it all the time. Nothing it more sweet than being able to make your baby laugh, not even cake. 🙂

Speaking of cake…

Cake ingredients

Cake ingredients

I had to search far and wide for that darn “Special Dark” Hershey’s Cocoa. The recipe says to seek it out, and seek it out I did. I called about 6 different stores in the Vancouver area (Mill Plain Safeway, 164th Fred Meyer, New Seasons, Whole Foods, Chuck’s Produce, Chkalov Fred Meyer), and turns out only the Safeway in Washougal, WA carries this special cocoa. So I am thankful I don’t live in the Salmon Creek area anymore since it was so far on the east side.

Measured out

Measured out

Sifted flour

Sifted flour

Whisked

Whisked

Dark cocoa and hot water

Dark cocoa and hot water

With the vanilla and sour cream

With the vanilla and sour cream

butter and sugars

butter and sugars

Creamed

Creamed

After adding eggs

After adding eggs

After 1st dose of flour mixture

After 1st dose of flour mixture

After 1st dose of chocolate mixture

After 1st dose of chocolate mixture

All mixed in, pan-ready.

All mixed in, pan-ready.

Weighed and spread into the pans

Weighed and spread into the pans

Baked

Baked

Cooling

Cooling

I always forget to snap a photo of the frosting ingredients but I’ve made this recipe with a few modifications so many times now that I don’t think it’s necessary. It is the same buttercream recipe for the Banana Walnut cake, the Pink Cake, and the Cherry cake. Except instead of adding instant coffee powder, whiskey, walnuts, raspberry puree, processed dried cherries, or cherry brandy, you add more vanilla and some vanilla beans. I love anything that calls for vanilla beans, just the sight of those beautiful black tiny seeds makes me happy.

Egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar.

Egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar.

Cooking up the egg whites

Cooking up the egg whites

Whipping the white mixture.

Whipping the white mixture.

This is where I failed. I should’ve whipped it until it was stiff like meringue, but it is clearly not stiff, or meringue-like! Oops. Probably why it turned out so yellow as you will see. And very buttery and hard to spread. Buttercream is supposed to taste slightly buttery but it is supposed to look very smooth and spreadable. This did not happen this time.

After adding butter, it often looks like this, but you just have to keep whipping.

After adding butter, it often looks like this, but you just have to keep whipping.

Looks pretty yellow for being the frosting of my black and WHITE cake....hmmm

Looks pretty yellow for being the frosting of my black and WHITE cake….hmmm

After adding all the vanilla yummies

After adding all the vanilla yummies

Assembling the cake, Ganache first

Assembling the cake, Ganache first

A pretty thick layer there

A pretty thick layer there

After firming up the ganache in the fridge, some butter cream.

After firming up the ganache in the fridge, some butter cream.

Smoothed out frosting, Not quite as pretty as I expected.

Smoothed out frosting, Not quite as pretty as I expected, but I love those black little specks.

DSCF5626

Cut into. Perfect cake to cut into

Cut into. Perfect cake to cut into

A perfect lovely delicious slice

A perfect lovely delicious slice

DSCF5636

Everyone loved this cake. It turned out deliciously though I know I could do better with the frosting next time.

I also made a pumpkin pie for our group this time, we were doing a Thanksgiving dinner a week early and I decided to bring pie AND cake. The pie turned out beautifully but it was missing a key ingredient: sugar. Everyone said it was still good but I could tell right away that it needed sugar. How could I forget something so basic? Well I’ll tell you how. I am cursed. I have never made a successful traditional pumpkin pie. I have made praline-topped pumpkin pie (thinking it was traditional, that was my biggest blonde moment), splenda pumpkin pie, and pumpkin cheesecake, all no problem. But every time I have tried traditional I have made the wrong recipe, dropped the completed delicious pie in the oven, and forgotten sugar. I’ll just stick to cakes…

My accidentally sugar-free pie. It looks quite pretty and like it would taste perfect, but I sure fooled everyone...

My accidentally sugar-free pie. It looks quite pretty and like it would taste perfect, but I sure fooled everyone…

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