Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Chocolate Covered Hobnail Cake
There is something about baking that just makes my heart leap. Sure, baking is fun. Buying kitchen gadgets is addictive, buying spices and ingredients...even more so. But there is something about it- beyond the obvious. The blending of all the flavors. The chemical reactions that occur. Do you ever stop to think, "Who decided to put all of these ingredients together in one bowl hoping something delicious would come from it?" My dad would say, "Well, that's kind of like saying, 'Who walked up to the cow and said, "I think I will pull on this utter and drink whatever comes out of it."'"
Creating sweet, fluffy, flaky memories for friends and family. Food is such a happy memory for me. Rolling biscuits out with my grandmother and great grandmother. The sizzle of the cornbread batter as it hit the hot cast iron skillet in my mother's kitchen. So many wonderful times were surrounded with aromas of wonderful food.
One of the best parts of baking for me, is baking for others. It is especially wonderful when it comes as a surprise. The lit up smile covered face that truly appreciates that you made the cake just for them with your hands and with your heart. Maybe I am a little too sentimental about baking, but I do put my all in it. If I bake you a cake, it is just as special to me as a gift wrapped in pretty paper and tied with a bow.
This weekend we were invited to a Memorial Weekend BBQ at Derrick's board president's house. I volunteered to bring potato salad and secretly brought a cake too. Everyone loves chocolate so I picked a recipe from the Gooseberry Patch Sweet and Simple baking book that my wonderful Aunt Andi sent me for Valentine's day. I had a ton of the marshmallow icing left over from the Cupcake Hero cupcakes that needed to be used before it failed and a pint of sweet, fresh strawberries. The cake turned out perfectly! I made 2 layers and filled it with marshmallow icing and sliced strawberries. I covered it with marshmallow icing, used my round tip to create a hobnail look and drizzled it with chocolate. The finishing touch was chocolate covered strawberries.
We walked into the party holding our dish full of potato salad and the surprise cake. Our hosts' eyes smiled. That's my favorite part. The reaction was almost overwhelming. "Which bakery did you get your cake from? It's beautiful." One guest asked if I made wedding cakes. I was so very flattered. Derrick gave it two thumbs up as he crushed his piece and started in after mine. I will be trying more recipes from this sweet little book soon.
Ingredients: adapted from Jennifer Licon-Conner's Double Trouble Recipe from Gooseberry Patch
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
4 1-oz. sqs. unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350.
Prepare two 9 inch round or square baking pans.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy.
Add sugars and mix well.
Add eggs, one at a time, blending well after each one.
Blend in the sour cream and mix for 30 seconds.
Add the melted chocolate and mix well until combined.
Add flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk until all ingredients are incorporated.
Pour ingredients into baking pans.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cake passes the toothpick test.
Let cakes cool and then top with favorite icing.
For icing, see the marshmallow ingredients from May's cupcake hero post.
For chocolate topping heat 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips and 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a double broiler until smooth. Pour over iced cake or drizzle. Refrigerate 30 minutes to set.
I also used this to chocolate coat the strawberries.