Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Holy mother...

Sit down.
We need to talk.

It's about this frosting. And this cake. And the maniac it has turned me into.

It was a pretty weird, confusing, and ultimately nirvana-reaching experience. 

You see, I have a ton of cake pans. Approximately 14. I have several that I stole borrowed from my parents, and yesterday I had the urge to try some of them out, along with an incredible-sounding recipe. And even though I'd been awake since early in the morning, gone to class, and was exhausted, not to mention had completed SIX baking projects in the previous 7 days, I wanted to bake. 

8in, 7.5in, 6in, 4.5in
The cake... didn't go so well. The blogger I borrowed the recipe from insisted I use parchment paper, but I'm a haughty baker, and I had never needed to use it before, so I didn't. Oops. 

EVERYTHING broke apart. And I made FOUR layers! It was pretty bad.

I froze the layers, one for an hour, the other three overnight. This was such a great suggestion, and I'm so glad I did it. I'm never slicing layers unfrozen again!

I made three individual cakes (the fourth is still in the freezer, I'm trying to come up with a use for it other than to eat it all myself), one that I plan to give to my neighbor, one mini I ate myself, and one big one that I am splitting with the roommate I love. 

I'm not even going to focus on the failures, because I can't wait another minute to tell you these recipes. I'll try to figure out how to keep the layers together soon, but for now... Just make these. You will thank me later.

1-2-3-4 Cake
Courtesy of Paula Dean, via Something Shiny
*note: I'm altering my typical format because it's cool to see the 1 2 3 4 :D
1 c butter (2 sticks), room temp
2 c sugar
3 c self-rising flour*, sifted 
4 large eggs, room temp
1 c milk, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp butter flavoring 
*If you don't want to buy self-rising flour, add 1 1/4 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt for EACH cup of flour*

1. Grease your pans, then line with parchment paper. Grease again, and sprinkle flour on top of greased parchment paper. DO IT. Don't be a haughty baker! For a tutorial, click on the link to "Something Shiny."
2. Cream butter until fluffy. 
3. Add sugar and continue to cream well, 6-8 minutes. 
4. Add eggs 1 at a time, beat well after each addition. 
5. Alternately add flour and milk, beginning and ending with flour. 
6. Add vanilla and butter extract and beat until just mixed. 
7. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees. 

This frosting is incredible. I've tasted A LOT of frosting in all my years (20 to be exact, whatever! I've eaten a lot of frosting!), but this was different. It has FLOUR in it. Weird, right? But it's sooooo good. TRY IT. TRY IT NOW! (a la Dwight Schrute)

Magic Buttercream
Sugar- 1 c
Flour- 6 tbsp
Milk- 1 c
Butter- 1 c, room temp
Vanilla extract- 1 tsp

1. Pour sugar and flour into a medium sauce pan. Whisk together to incorporate the flour into the sugar, then add the milk and whisk.
2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. This will take a while, but it will happen! Just have faith and keep whisking :) Cook for only a minute or two after it thickens, or it will burn!
3. Remove from heat and cool completely. (30 minutes in the fridge should do the trick)
4. Combine the cooled mixture with the butter in a stand mixer and whip for at least 5 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add vanilla, and whip for another minute. 
5. Eat the frosting by the spoonful frost the cakes... And enjoy the insanity.

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