HAPPY 2ND ANNIVERSARY TUESDAYS WITH DORIE!
Wow. Just WOW! I cannot belive it has been 2 years. Did I ever in my wildest dreams think I would still be doing this into 2010? No. No way. Did I think that so many people would want to do it with me? No. Never. Do I like to ask myself questions? Apparently. I am so very excited that this bright idea took off in such a big, big way. I am even more excited that we are going to forge ahead. There are so many recipes left and I can’t wait to bake and taste each one. And share it with all of you. And once again, thank you, thank you, thank you Dorie. I couldn’t have picked a nicer author to create an army of stalkers for. 😉 MUAH!
Now, on to business. For TWDs 2nd Anniversary, I decided to let the members choose the recipe we would celebrate with. Of course, I put my 2 cents in. But, Tarte Tatin won by quite a bit. Dammit. Since I am a sore loser, I decided we would have 2 recipes that everyone could choose from. Neener neener neener. My vote went to Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake. Let me break it down, when I think of a party, Anniversary, birthday, celebration, I think cake. I just do. I do not think upside down apple tarte. No offense.! I quite enjoyed the tarte tatin. But, its all about cake for me.
I decided to make pastry cream to fill the layer cake. I made espresso-frangelico pastry cream, following the instructions in BFMHTY. It came out perfect. Then, I moved on to the cake. After I had it ready for cake pans, in a moment of weakness, I lined cupcake papers and scooped the batter into those. Hey, I can give away cupcakes. Its a lot harder to hack off pieces of a layer cake to dole out. To top the cupcakes, I chose chocolate cream cheese frosting. To thin it, I added heavy cream and then whipped it. Oh my. SO GOOD! I wanted to just eat the frosting. The cupcake as a whole is by far the best cupcake I have ever made. Ever. And you guys know me. I have eaten my fair share of cupcakes. (Shout out to Cupcake Hero!) This combo was perfect. I will definitely make them again.
On to the Tarte Tatin. I wanted to make my own puff pastry, but quickly zooming down the freezer section, I snagged some premade. Next time, I will try to make my own. Its something I definitely want to do. The tarte looked perfect, or so I thought, when it went in the oven. When it came out, and I flipped it. It was a runny mess and the apples were too pale for me. It just did not match the picture in the book. This meant I didnt cook the caramel/apples on the stove top long enough before putting it in the oven. I don’t think it affected the taste of the tarte too badly. We ate it up with a touch of whipped cream on the slices. I know next time to cook the caramel a lot darker. My worry of burning it bit me in the rear.
If you would like the recipe for the Tarte Tatin, click here.
Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake
FOR THE CAKE:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (optional)
FOR THE CHOCOLATE MALT BUTTERCREAM: (not the frosting pictured)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup malted milk powder
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup boiling water
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
GETTING READY TO BAKE:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.
TO MAKE THE CAKE:
Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until it is thoroughly blended into the butter. Add the eggs one at a time, then the yolks one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk; add the dry ingredients in 3 portions and the buttermilk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); mix only until each new batch is blended into the batter. Scrape down the bowl and, if you want, add the melted chocolate, folding it in with a rubber spatula. Divide the batter between the cake pans.
Bake for 26 to 30 minutes, or until the cakes feel springy to the touch and start to pull away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. (Once the layers are cooled, they can be wrapped airtight and left at room temperature overnight or kept frozen for up to 2 months.)
TO MAKE THE BUTTERCREAM:
Melt the chocolate with half the brown sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from the heat.
Whisk the malt powder and cocoa together in a small bowl, pour over 3 tablespoons of the boiling water and whisk until smooth. Whisking the melted chocolate gently, gradually pour in the hot malt-cocoa mixture and stir to blend–it should be dark, smooth and glossy; set aside.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining brown sugar and beat for 2 to 3 minutes more, until well blended. Beat in the salt and vanilla extract, then reduce the mixer speed to low. Scrape in the chocolate mixture and mix until smooth. Still working on low speed, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar. When all the sugar is in, increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for a couple minutes. Lower the speed and add the remaining tablespoons of boiling water, then increase the speed and give the frosting another quick spin. It will be light and should be thick enough to use immediately. If it doesn’t hold its shape, beat in just a bit more.
TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:
Place one layer top side up on a cardboard round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. Frost the top of the layer, then cover with the second layer, top side down. Frost the sides and top of the cake, either smoothing the buttercream for sleek look or using a spatula, knife or spoon to swirl it for a more exuberant look.
Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour (or up to 1 day, if that’s more convenient) to set the frosting, then bring it to room temperature before serving.
Whipped Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting (frosting pictured here)
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (about)
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
Cream the cream cheese and butter until fully incorporated and smooth. Add the cocoa powder, mix to combine. Add the powdered sugar until desired sweetness and consistency is reached. Add 1 tablespoon heavy cream, whip until light. (I added a 2nd tablespoon of heavy cream to make the frosting really light.) Frost cooled cupcakes. Yields enough to lightly frost 24 cupcakes.
Link to the pastry cream I used, click here. I added 1 tablespoon frangelico and 1 tablespoon very strong espresso to this pastry cream.
As always, go check out the TWD blogroll for all the tasty goodness you can stand.