My father-in-law turned 61 on Saturday and Dave and I went off to Western Maryland to wish him Happy Birthday. With us, we brought a cake--a big, chocolatey, gorgeousy cake. I won't bore you with my cake recipe but here's my secret: after your cake is ready to be poured into the pan, fold in a cup of sour cream. It's amazing.
After baking the cake, I melted down some homemade raspberry jam and some fresh raspberries in a pot until they were all jammy and lovely. I spread the raspberries between the layers of cake and then frosted with chocolate icing.
Since getting a stand mixer, frosting is my favourite thing to make. It's so easy to look impressive when the mixer mixes it to bits for 8 minutes and the result is light, fluffy and gorgeous.
2 1/2 sticks of butter
2 cups of powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
5 ounces of dark chocolate chips
1 tsp of vanilla
1 tsp of instant espresso
1/4 cup of heavy cream
pinch of salt
I started by beating the butter, cocoa power and sugar in the mixer for about a minute. While it was beating, I started to melt down the chocolate chips, vanilla, espresso and cream in a double boiler just until the chocolate was all melted (and tried very hard not to eat all of the chocolate mix). I added the melted chocolate mix slowly to the butter and sugar mix while the mixer was going and then set a timer for 8 minutes and walked away. I came back and it was soft and light and whipped and lovely. I topped my cake with raspberries and off we went. Delicious.
On occasion, if I feel like depriving everyone of chocolate icing in favor of gorgeous colours I'll do one of these, but in November, with the wind and threats of snow all week long, I think that chocolate is best. With a bit of coffee and a wool scarf.