Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Butter Cake with Perfect Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting...For My Lauren

Catagory: Desserts
Difficulty: Medium-Hard

For all of you who like frosting that is not too sweet but sweet enough to be sunshine on a cloudy day--this recipe is for you. I created it for my very grown-up daughter Lauren. She has lots of nick-names too: Munchkin...Bee-Bee...Miss Lauren...Boo-Boo etc. She is also "Chef Lauren" because she had a cooking column in her high school paper. She is a fabulous cook!  But when she has her birthday she always wants the same cake: Butter Cake (the Duncan Hines mix) with Fudge Frosting (whatever ready-made is on sale). This is because that's what I made her every year when she was a little girl. This year... now that I have more time to cook, I am going to try to lure her away from prepared mixes and plastic tubs with a from-scratch version. I recently found the most delicious butter cake recipe EVER in Saveur magazine. It's so moist and buttery... with a very fine crumb which can only be achieved with cake flour. I paired it with a Perfect Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting. All for you Lauren! Love you! Yield: 8 servings


Butter Cake:
16 T unsalted butter
3 C cake flour
2 1/2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 C milk
2 t vanilla
1 1/2 C sugar
4 eggs (at room temperature--or warmed while still in shells in a bowl of hot tap water for 5 minutes)

Perfect Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
12 oz. cream cheese
1 C sifted good cocoa ( I like Droste)
1 stick salted butter (softened)
1 1/2 t vanilla
6 C powdered sugar
Add one or two t milk if needed


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 9-inch cake pans and set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and vanilla in a bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted witha a paddle, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, alternately add dry ingredients in 2 batches. Increase speed to high and beat until batter is smooth, about 5 seconds. Divide batter in prepared pans and smooth top with a spatula or knife. Bake cakes until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cakes cool for 20 minutes in pans, then remove to wire racks if you have them. If you don't--that's OK. Keep them in the pans. I usually can't find my own racks. I think I used them last Christmas to spray walnuts gold.

For Frosting: Mix first three ingredients in a medium-sized bowl on medium speed until creamy. Add vanilla. Gradually add 6 C powdered sugar 2 C at a time--beating on high speed the last few minutes. Be sure and let the frosting "rest" for a couple of hours either in the refrigerator or on the cake or cupcakes before you serve them. For some reason this makes any bitter aftertaste of the cocoa go away. I don't know why. Ask Alton Brown when you see him.

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