11 June, 2010

Don't Hate Me Cuz I'm Ugly

Let me lay the groundwork of excuses for the following picture of Barefoot Contessa's Beatty's Chocolate Cake that I made for Babe. First of all...you've got to be an alchemist to work the beach house oven. It burns everything and burns it fast. Secondly, all of my fancy baking accouterments are in storage annnd lastly, it was late at night and I was too impatient to wait for the cakes to cool completely...

Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper (apparently, an imperative step), then butter and flour the pans.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

6 ounces good semisweet chocolate (recommended: Callebaut but I used Ghirardelli)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake. "Cooled" being the operative word...

Don't hang your head in shame Pilgie. Mummy has just the trick for hiding the ugly...

Cold Stone's Sweet Cream Ice Cream will cover many an imperfection...

Kindness of Babe for laughing with love at my très lopsided and collapsed birthday cake. Everyone knows, it's how it tastes that counts and it's tasted goooOOOD...XXOO


  1. Proper equipment ...including the oven....is essential. I'm sure he appreciated the effort...and I am sure it tasted great.

  2. looks pretty ugly, now serve me a sliver.

  3. Looks like a WONDERFUL recipe...but thanks for starting my day with a giggle!!!

  4. Belated Happy Birthday to
    MR. Summer is a Verb.
    Well your cake may be lopsided but your heart isn't.
    Best wishes to you,

  5. Seriously, who cares what it looks like. That cake looks delicious!

  6. The topsy turvy cakes are all the rage right now!

  7. Ha! It's all about the taste.

  8. lopsided or not, I would love a slice... a big scoop of ice cream too!!!

  9. oh my deliciousness! you do know I can't turn down anything tasty! xo

  10. That is the BEST cake recipe. The funny thing is, I made it for my mom's birthday this year and I had a similar experience.

    My problem was that I was at my parents house, so I had to use 9 inch pans instead of 8 inch. I also didn't have parchment paper (which is critical!)

    It still tastes amazing, even when it's ugly!

  11. Okay, you really had me laughing reading that post, but I know that recipe and it is one of my favorites! I know it tasted wonderful!!!

  12. Icing covers a myriad of sins. Belated happy birthday to Babe - and keep Pilgie away from that chocolate!

  13. Pilgie wasn't hanging head in shame, but in disappointment because kitties can't have chocolate. >^..^< Cakes baked with love are the best! Add a little ice cream and yummmm!

  14. Haha- ice cream hides everything! I know you're always on a diet or fast or something girl, could you actually eat this one? xx

  15. You are a brave girl to do this cake without all the necessary prep material and a tempermental oven. I'm still in hiding from some friends I gave a lemon pound cake to at Christmas that was not done in the middle!!! I think Pilgie approved your cake! Hope you all enjoyed Babe's birthday!!
    Happy summer..