One of the teachers that I've had the pleasure to work with, for the last three years, is retiring after 20 years of teaching! He's one of those folks who always has a warm smile and the high school students just love him-- Todd "Bliss" (hence, the name of this cake).
His last day is this Friday, so I decided to make a cake for him. I asked him what his favorite flavor is (and I could have guessed) it's chocolate. I immediately thought of a chocolate cake I had made many months ago, that I frosted with a caramel frosting (when the salty caramel craze was in it's full glory). I made a mental note that, next time, I'd make this with cake with vanilla frosting-- better yet, a 7-minute frosting... and I haven't made that in many years. In fact, I think I made it from a Duncan Hines box mix!
Last week, King Arthur flour posted a recipe for fluffy white icing. After reading the recipe and looking at the step-by-step photos, I decided that this would be Todd's cake.
As luck would have it, both my son and husband would be home late. I had the kitchen all to myself, so I got started at 6pm. Since I was in hyper-drive, I didn't pause a lot to photograph the ingredients. You know what they look like! I prefer to photograph in natural light, so here we go:
The cake comes together really fast. I did use quality Dutch process cocoa (I always do). Buttermilk and oil make this cake moist. Coffee and chocolate are a good match, just like peanut butter and jelly.
I used three 9-inch cake pans. I was in a hurry, and I didn't want to cut parchment paper. I took a risk, and use the Wilton Cake Release product that I bought. The cakes were ready in 26 minutes at 350F. The "cake release"worked like a charm!
While the cakes cooled (on a table near an open sliding glass door), I decided to make a quick chocolate butter cream frosting. I wasn't sure if I'd have enough fluffy white frosting, so I decided to play it safe. I don't have a recipe for butter cream to post, because it's pretty standard-- one stick of unsalted butter, powdered sugar, half & half, unsweetened cocoa powder and vanilla and once I tasted it, just a little pinch of salt. Perfect!
The 7-minute frosting was super easy to do-- thank you King Arthur Flour!
I was a little leery about pouring boiling hot water, sugar and cream of tartar into egg whites (which were leftover from the pastry cream for the Strawberry Tart that I made, yesterday)...
Lo and behold-- it took about five minutes for the frosting to come together. Easy peasy! No standing over a double boiler!
Would you believe that I was finished by 7:30?!
As a rule of thumb, I prefer to test a new recipe at home-- just to be sure it tastes okay.
Like I said-- my boys were not home. I had to be the guinea pig:
I need to carefully transport slices of this cake-- do you really think I could keep my men away from this dessert, untouched and unscathed?
Not in your life!
As for my worrying that I might not have enough fluffy frosting...