Monday, October 25, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake

This may be the best cake recipe ever.  I love it.  Tastes amazing.  The Washington Post ran Restaurant Eve's Cake recipe.  (Restaurant Eve is this delicious place in Old Town, Alexandria.  If you get the chance eat there.  There is a great lunch deal, cause the place is not exactly the cheapest.)  So this is where it's from.  Mix the batter and the icing for a long time.  That is the secret.  

I made it into a Steeler helmet.  Well, I tried really hard.  They make it look really easy on TV.  It's not so simple.  I used 3 pans instead of 2 pans.  Using parchment paper makes the cake level when you bake it, instead of that round top that you normally get.  I have no idea why.

Ingredients- Serves 12.
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus additional to grease pans
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk (may substitute low-fat or nonfat)
Frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
Melt butter and let it cool to room temperature.  Combine the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in the large bowl of a stand mixer. (A stand mixer is preferable for this recipe, though a hand-held electric mixer may be used.) On medium speed, add the butter, incorporating in several additions. Beat for about 2 minutes, or until combined; the texture should resemble cornmeal.
In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla extract and milk. Add to the flour-butter mixture in two batches (scraping the bowl once), and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until smooth.
Distribute the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes. Remove cakes from pans to cool completely. Frost the cake. It can stand at room temperature for 1 hour; otherwise, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

This makes a generous amount of icing, so those with a not-so-sweet tooth may want to reduce the quantities or expect leftovers.

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 pounds (7 1/2 -8 cups) confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream, (may substitute whole, low-fat or nonfat milk)
Food coloring (optional)

In a stand mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until fluffy. On low speed, add the sugar in batches, increasing the speed to high after each addition is incorporated. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla extract and cream in a steady stream on low speed until incorporated. Add a few drops of food coloring, if desired. (Restaurant Eve uses red to make pink.) Beat on high speed for 8-10 minutes, until light and fluffy.


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