recipe #2: yellow cake with chocolate icing.

5: the number of times the german woman in the office next door to mine blasts george michael’s heartfelt hit “never gonna dance again” per day.
3: the number of fresh eggs in my fridge.
1: the number of post-neurosurgery/birthday parties i will be invited to in my life (i hope).
0: the number of times i’ve made a cake from scratch.

add ’em up and i’ve got the inspiration to bake my very first homemade cake for my dear, divine friend kevin, who just bravely underwent brain surgery (unscathed…whew), turned 28, and threw a small party to celebrate the two. oh, and i’ve also got “gifted feet have got no rhythm” running through my head. anyways…

Kevbo Yellow Cake with Chocolate Icing
Soundtrack: The Best of Ray Charles – The Atlantic Years (sorry, george.)*
Time: 10 minutes for icing, 50 minutes for cake

Servings: 10 nicely sized slices

Ingredients:
Icing
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 cup of butter, 5 tablespoons whole milk, 4 tablespoons (cold) expresso, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Cake-
3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 3/4 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ cup butter, 3 large eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla, ¾ cup milk, 2 teaspoons nutmeg

*very important: keep a spare spatula handy for singing along to “night time is the right time”
The plan: i will admit that i only like cake because it is covered in icing, so i spent more time playing around with that than the cake. okay, yes that also meant i got to take lots of samples to check the taste but whatever, that’s not important. nor is the fact i had chocolate all over my face for a large part of this baking experience.
Icing: in a large bowl, mix confectioners’ sugar and cocoa together so the mixture is consistent – use a sifter if you have one. then melt the butter and stir that into the mix, next add the milk, vanilla, expresso and cinnamon. and taste. and get another spoon and taste again. and, oh, wait, sorry… hide frosting in airtight lid in fridge so you will stop tasting.
Cake: preheat your oven to 350 degrees. in a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together. melt the butter and in a separate bowl, mix it with the sugar and then add eggs one at a time while stirring. add milk, vanilla and then dump liquid mixture into the dry mixture. then mix it on up with a handmixer until those bumps be gone.

grease a pan or two depending on how thick you want your cake to be or if you want layers. i think 9″ is best and chose to try out my new fancy-pants springform pan. pour the mixture into the pan and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the top is a golden brown. test the cake by sticking a toothpick into the center and if it comes out clean, your cake is ready! you did it! it’s tempting, but please do not give the cake a high-five.

Things I learned: to be careful to use baking powder instead of soda unless you want one sorry looking cake (fortunately i found this out on the internet and not from experience). i also should have used a 9″ pan and not the 11″ one i did because my cake turned out – like me – very short. finally, that i don’t think i will ever be able to eat chocolate icing again unless it has expresso in it and that drizzling it on the homemade vanilla ice cream i also made (another post) was one of my most brilliant moments.


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