Friday, February 17, 2012

February family bdays...Chocolate Cake

I don't think I'm very good at cakes...yet. I haven't been happy with the last two I've made (see previous post for Naco's bday funfetti cake - disaster!). But at least this one tasted really good! Cookies are just so much more forgiving!

Ash & I decided to take a little jaunt over to our aunt Tami's house for part of last weekend. Our Grandad is living there for the winter and I just love spending time with their family. I realized that Lyle, Landon, Grandad, and Roger all have February bdays so decided I'd make a cake to take over. I've always known Grandad's favorite cake is german chocolate but I wanted to try something else so emailed my mom with a couple of options. She told me he'd like the chocolate cake I told her about and/or that his favorite cookies are oatmeal nut. Well I'm terribly indecisive and love baking so I decided to make chocolate cake and cowboy cookies (oatmeal nut doesn't sound great to me but cowboy cookies have oatmeal and nuts and everyone loves those). Of course, I decided this on Thursday, was attending a ballet Thursday night, and needed to leave right after work on Friday. Sleep was sacrificed to make things work. NBD. Because I learned my lesson the hard way last time I made a cake, I borrowed one of Naco's round cake pans beforehand (did I mention in the last cake post that Ash later discovered two round cakes pans in one of our cupboards?!?). One trip to the grocery store before the ballet and one trip after and I was in business!

I read about this cake on Marta's blog, one of my favorites. She raved about it more than once so I decided to give it a try. She calls it a manly piece of chocolate cake and I was making it for 4 bday males so thought it should hit the spot. (Side note: Am I right or wrong in my thinking that men don't love chocolate like women do? It's so hard to believe but I've heard it more than once.) I made three layers again (love the look of more than 2 layers!). As I was preparing, I asked Wend & Ash if they thought it was fine to just spray the pans instead of using Crisco and flour. They both agreed that spray was sufficient. Well I knew better than that but wanted them to be right so that's what I did. BAD IDEA. The cakes stuck to each pan. I didn't over-bake them, though, which was satisfying. And I wasn't crazy about the taste of the frosting when I sampled it.

What I'd do differently next time:
1. I'd grease and flour the pans. That's really the best way.
2. I'd double the recipe and do it in four pans (how exquisite would that be?!?).

I would not change the frosting. Although I didn't love it by itself, it was perfect for the cake.

I said I wasn't happy with it because I knew it was kind of a mess underneath the frosting because the cake stuck to the pans. But the chocolate frosting covered it up nicely and nobody knew any better. Serve it with ice cream because it's super rich!

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 container (16 oz.) dairy sour cream
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. (I used 3 round pans and had to adjust the baking time but don't remember how long.)

2. Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking, and salt in large bowl. Add butter, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 3 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pan.

3. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Frost with fudge frosting.

Fudge Frosting

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/3 cup Hershey's cocoa
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Add cocoa; cook, stirring constantly, just until mixture begins to boil. Pour mixture into medium bowl; cool completely. Add powdered sugar alternately with milk to cocoa mixture, beating to spreading consistency. Stir in vanilla. About 1 cup frosting.

Note: I doubled the recipe for the frosting.

Both recipes from Marta Writes

Landon (sorry for the blur!)

Roger (who has lost over 30 pounds and didn't even eat the cake!)

Precious cargo - yes, that's a Christmas tree stand. It worked like a charm!
The cake. So yummy.

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