Thursday, May 1, 2008

Cookbook Series: Birthday Cakes!

D. and R.'s birthdays fell within a week of each other, so I had the opportunity to work on my cake skills. D.'s cake actually went first with his Bouchon dinner and I had hoped to recreate his favorite: yellow cake with chocolate frosting. He told me to make it from a cake mix with canned frosting and I was pretty horrified at the idea. Turns out it might have been better. I used the recipe in Kathryn Kleinman's Birthday Cakes (see sidebar) titled "Gold Cake with Grandma's Fudge Frosting".

To be fair to the recipe, the cake sat on the counter for a long time. I baked it the night before and left it out to cool. While I prepped the next day, it sat on a cooling rack until I had time to frost it. I've done this before with other cakes and had no problem.

It tasted great with a warm eggy flavor. However, it was dry as sand by the time we sliced it. I frosted it with the accompanying fudge recipe, which was really good. It was so dry, in fact, that I suspected that it was overbaked, even though I baked it for the recommended amount of time. I'd try it again, but decrease the amount of cake flour (maybe 2 cups instead of 2 1/4) and frost as soon as it cools.

R.'s birthday cake came out with better results. It's the lemon olive oil chiffon cake from Lori Longbotham's
Luscious Lemon Desserts.

It's baked in an angel food cake pan, but chiffon cakes have some egg yolk versus angel food cakes, which are egg-whites only. It was incredibly good, with the olive oil serving up a subtle richness. It was topped with a lemon glaze, which was brain-searingly tart and good.

The chiffon cake was awesome. It was very light, but rich in flavor. The texture was perfect, fluffy and spongy. It was slightly dry, but the glaze helped with that. My parents like to make butter chiffon cakes, so it reminded me of childhood.

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Darlene said...

Both cakes look delicious although I am partial to the yellow cake with chocolate frosting regardless if it is dry or not. I have memories of my mom baking me that cake for my 5th birthday party.

1 bites