Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Best Chocolate Cake with Old-Fashioned Cooked Vanilla Frosting

Today is my birthday. (Thank you, in advance, for your best wishes.)  I'm taking the day off, to spend the anniversary of my arrival into this world.

Honolulu, Hawaii.  Age? Not sure, but about six months old. Why do I look so cranky?

 My birthday card/gift from my brother, Fred.  I love it!

I'm happy to say that how I feel on the inside, doesn't match my true age. My birthday coincides with the that great leap for mankind-- our first landing on the moon. I was fourteen years old.  Yes, you can do the math and that's my age. 

Question: Is is strange for me to bake my own birthday cake?

There are very few good bakeries where I live.  The ones I do like are expensive.  I do not like cakes that come from those warehouse businesses (and I won't name names).  Suffice it to say that I don't care for frosting that is made with shortening.   Canned frosting is the devil.  I won't buy it, and I can taste it blindfolded with a clothing pin on my nose.  Chemicals, I tell you. Gross.   My preferred cake frosting is a Swiss Meringue, and I've finally mastered how to make it-- it's surprisingly easy.  A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a recipe for Old-Fashioned Cooked Vanilla frosting.  I was intrigued about a frosting that uses a roux of milk and flour.  Very interesting!   I started to fixate on my favorite chocolate cake recipe.  I'm not a big fan of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting-- but chocolate cake with white frosting?  Yes!! We had a barbeque, this weekend, as an early birthday celebration.  I decided to bake my favorite moist chocolate cake (recipe card will be at the end of this post.)

First you make a "roux" of flour and milk (I doubled the recipe, since I planned to frost a cake, instead of cupcakes.)  I've mentioned this in a few previous posts, but I only use King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour.  Sure, the flour costs a few quarters more, but it's the best quality flour I've ever used. You want to cook the milk/flour mixture on medium heat, until starts to thicken; then cook for 1-2 minutes more.  You don't have to do this, but I decided to run the roux through a fine mesh sieve because I didn't want to risk having lumps.  It's a bit labor intensive, but the roux looked nice and smooth.  Next, you want to use unsalted (softened) butter and granulated sugar... not confectioners, which is used for a more traditional buttercream.  Allow the roux to cool to room temperature, but don't refrigerate it!

You'll want to stir the roux every so often.  The consistency is thick and creamy. Perfect!

Whip the butter and granulated sugar until it's fluffy.  Add the roux a couple of tablespoons at a time...

...this is where the "magic" begins.  The butter/sugar mixture begins to morph into a very creamy texture (about 6-8 minutes)..

Amazing! This is beginning to resemble whipped cream.

This icing even tastes like whipped cream!  I added a little vanilla and then gave a final taste.  
VERDICT:  Delicious!  Creamy! Sweet, but not nearly as sweet as a classic buttercream-- and I like this!
I detect a bit of sugar grains.  Hmmmmm....

Time to frost...

This frosting is quite nice to work with...

Since there was leftover frosting, I decided to do a little piping. I was curious about how well this frosting would work in a pastry bag.  I decided to chill the frosting for about 15 minutes, since it was a bit soft.

Not bad!  I wanted roses on my cake, but I failed that part of my Wilton cake decorating class. My roses kinda looked like cabbages.  I gave up. Someday, I'll attempt to learn how to make them again.   (The "blob" of frosting, in the center,  was to support the real roses.)

I decided to go "monochromatic" and cut a few of our white roses.  Real roses would do just fine!

Happy Birthday to me!

Who wants a slice? 

I love the contrasts of the dark chocolate and vanilla.  I can hardly wait to serve the rest of my guests, so that I can have a taste.


TASTING NOTES:   If I do say so myself, this is one of the best cakes I've ever made!  The chocolate cake is incredibly moist. It should be, since I've used both buttermilk and canola oil in the batter. The coffee that I've added intensifies the chocolate flavor-- though the cake doesn't taste at all like coffee.  The frosting is silky and creamy and fluffy... and so good!  My guests ooh and ahh over this cake, and several ask for seconds. Best of all, the sugar "graininess" that I initially detected, was unnoticeable as I ate the cake.  
As a side note, once the remaining cake was refrigerated, the frosting hardens.  I enjoyed the texture of the frosting just as much this way, as I did at room temperature when it was soft.  
Now, I'm on the search for the Ultimate Moist White Cake!  I promised some friends that I'd bake cupcakes for them, and I plan to use this very same frosting recipe.  
 
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If you still can't view the recipe card, all of my recipes are stored on Key Ingredient, by clicking here.



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36 comments:

Becki's Whole Life said...

Your cake looks beautiful! I have seen this frosting a few times and I am always curious to try it. Thank you for your description - that made my decision for me. I love buttercream, but I would love a frosting a little bit less sweet and so I am definitely going to try this for my daughter's birthday which is in a few weeks. I love choc cake with white frosting, too. Thanks for sharing this - and happy birthday!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Happy Birthday Debbie. I can see why you'd want to bake your own cake, if it's this beautiful and delicious. You did a great job. Hope you have a wonderful day.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Happy birthday Debbie. I just wished you the same on FB. I can certainly understand why you baked your own cake. I wouldn't eat that other stuff either. You did a marvelous job and it looks so professional.

I recommend now that you put your feet up and act like Queen of the Day that you deserve. Hope you have a great one.
Sam

M D said...

This is exactly what I was looking for. Getting a heavy whipping cream in India is a real pain and if u do, soaring temperatures here won't let you whip. This kind of a cream frosting is a good alternative to whip cream. A true winning glory for us! Thanks!

Patti said...

Happy Birthday!
I love this frosting! I make it quite often to frost cupcakes and also use it to fill chocolate cupcakes and then frost them with a ganache. (think hostess cupcakes!) My mom gave me the recipe years ago..she's had it since 1950 and got it from her Aunt. I love that it's not a real sweet frosting and it's so fluffy and light. Love it!
Your not alone, I always make my own birthday cake too! :) Hope you had a wonderful birthday!

Amy said...

I use a very similar frosting recipe as well! Only I allow the roux to come to room temperature before adding it to the butter and sugar. My best friend and I call it 'cloud icing' because that silky smooth feeling is just what we imagine clouds would taste like!
Happy Birthday and enjoy your delicious looking cake :)

Penny said...

Happy Birthday Debby! Your cake is beautiful and worthy of such a special birthday gal. I am sharing this recipe with my DIL who doesn't like too sweet frosting. Thank you and do something special today.

FOODalogue said...

Happy Birthday -- that is one beautiful cake!

Mama Delicious said...

Happy Birthday. Your cake looks beautiful! I have seen this frosting a few times and I am always curious to try it. Thank you for your description

Joanne said...

Happy birthday love! I usually make my own cake also, and I love it. It means I get EXACTLY what I want. This year, though, my friends and I went out for dessert to this special dessert place for my birthday, which was also nice. This frosting sounds AMAZING. I'm totally a frosting snob so I need to try this!

OvenDelights said...

This is making my mouth water! Yummmmm!

Tracey said...

This is a gorgeous cake and the real roses are perfect! Have a wonderful birthday!

Kim said...

I hope you have a wonderful birthday, Debby! This cake with its white roses is absolutely gorgeous and I too love the contrast of the chocolate and vanilla. It looks stunning. Enjoy your day:)

Monica H said...

Happy Birthday Debby! I hope you got me email :-)

This cake looks awesome and I hope you had a great day.

LadyJayPee said...

Yummies! I'll have a slice! :) Happy Birthday!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

A belated Happy Birthday! I like the idea of a less sweet frosting. Your cake sounds delicious and looks beautiful with the white roses.

Ott, A. said...

Wow does this ever look good. And I am very jealous of the piping skills for the icing. Thanks a Latte' for linking up to the Iron Chef Challenge, as I'm glad to meet you and become a new follower.

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

I hope you had a wonderful, very happy birthday, Debby. I wish I could have been there to have a slice of your luscious cake. Chocolate cake and a good white frosting are my absolute favorites. And homemade is the absolute best!

Stacey Snacks said...

Stunning! This could be a wedding cake it's so beautiful!
Happy Birthday Deb!

Jen_from_NJ said...

Happy belated birthday! Your cake is amazing!

Aimee said...

I just happened to stumble across your blog today. Love it! I'm a new follower. Also, you make my favorite cake (chocolate with white frosting) for MY birthday. Yep, we share the same birthday. I was meant to stop by here :)
Aimee @ ShugarySweets

Roz from 'la bella vita' said...

I'm so impressed, Debby! Sounds delicious and looks beautiful! You decorated your cake like a PRO! Happy Belated Birthday!

Judy said...

Years ago my late mother-in-law gave me her recipe for Red Velvet Cake, and this was the frosting that went on it. It's so delicious! When I read about cream cheese-based frostings on RVCs, I sort of think blasphemy -- they are way too sweet. This is a perfect match.

Hope your birthday was fun.

Anonymous said...

You can chill it in the fridge...just CAREFULLY! Put it in...wait 5....stir up with whisk....repeat 2-3 times and it works great! I have done this 4x no problem. Just set a timer so you do not forget...

Pnutsmom said...

Happy Birthday, I made this cake yesterday, I was so intrigued about the cooked frosting...OMG this is a dangerous masterpiece of confection. I had a tiny problem with the frosting breaking on me, but ran to the internet & found out my butter was to cold, so warmed the bowl & whipped...just as you said like whipped cream....wonderful!

Debby Foodiewife said...

Dear PnutsMom! Thanks for the feedback. So glad you got it to work. It's so different, and delicious!

Pat said...

Again not recipe. I am using chrome and still can't see any link to a list of ingredients so I will not be visiting this site again.

Debby Foodiewife said...

I guess, Pat, you'll never see my response since you felt it necessary to insult me. First, can you read? In BIG RED LETTERS, if you look, at the top right of my blog I say where to click if you can't see my recipes.
Second, can you read that all over my blog, including the comment box that I give you my email? I am very available to my readers. I hope you can work through your anger, and practice a little kindness. There is a recipe card, and you are the ONLY person who says you can't see them...and you don't have a profile so I can't contact you.

Sheryl said...

Both recipies look yummy. I would like to try it with a cookie butter (speculoos) frosting. Is your unsweetened cocoa dutch process or natural cocoa? Thanks for sharing these!

Whitley_michele55 said...

I would love to try this frosting! Does this frosting need to be refrigerated? So if I was to make some cupcakes with this frosting on could I store them in the cupboard or if not how long can I leave them out before putting in the fridge?

Debby Foodiewife said...

While the frosting has a whipped cream texture, it doesn't need to be refrigerated. Just like buttercream, it sets up better if chilled. How long it will last is an unknown, because cakes (in our home) last no more than 2 days!

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled across your page while looking for an old fashioned white icing recipe. Let me just say that when I read your intro I was hooked. I, too, am a person who doesn't care for chocolate on chocolate (like the rest of the family) - but a good, moist chocolate cake with white icing - yum! Can't wait to give these recipes a try this afternoon.

Debby Foodiewife said...

Thank you, Anonymous!

Jan said...

You made my day!!! I'm excited that I found your food blog and love seeing all of your delicious recipes! I particularly liked finding your amazing Chocolate Birthday cake with White frosting. I am going to make that this for my Son's Birthday on June 11th. He will love it, as I am sure we all will!

I can't wait to spend some time looking at your other delicious dishes and trying some. Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm making your cake now, and it's been in for 20min and is quite uncooked....we're leaving it for another 5min, but any tips? we think we followed it to a 'T', but it was very runny batter (we thought the coffee perhaps was supposed to be just the grinds? We did a cuppa coffee...). hmmm...

Debby Foodiewife said...

It's a shame you didn't email me directly, so I could have answered you back sooner. I've made this cake multiple times, and have never had a problem with it baking. Yes, the batter is a bit thinner than one might be used to, because of the coffee. Anytime people have problems with baking times, they need to know their oven. Have you calibrated it? Some ovens run hotter or lower than others. Hopefully, the cake turned out. This recipe is tested by my family, and is always our favorite chocolate cake. You can always email me foodiewife@gmail.com