Monday, May 10, 2010

A birthday cake for my sister-in-law

My sister-in-law turned the big 3-0 last week, and I volunteered to make the cake for the party I couldn't attend. 

I ran into a few speed bumps but nothing I couldn't handle. It was my first time using the recipes I used, and the frosting was a bit temperamental, but I managed to get it to do what I wanted it to do.

I guess that's what I get for cheating on Martha. Yes, I have cheated. Martha has always been my go-to girl for cake recipes. Hers are the ones I use time after time. But this time I decided to stray from my loyalty. And with a friend of hers, no less! I have cheated on Martha Stewart with Ina Garten. It's no secret that I also have a deep love for Ina and all the amazing things she makes. Her recipes are delicious, simple, and pretty easy. But for a while now my eyes have been wandering onto the pages of her chocolate cake recipe. So I decided to use it - just once - to really see if it is as good as it looks. 

It is.

The good news is that it is quite different from Martha's one bowl chocolate cupcake recipe (my go-to chocolate cake/cupcake recipe). Just as chocolatey, just as delicious, but in a different way. The flavors were more intense, but the cake was less dense.

The icing. Well, that's another story. The icing was a pain to get to the right temperature/consistency, but it was so worth it! This may be my go-to chocolate frosting. AMAZING. So rich, so chocolatey. With even better ingredients, I can only imagine how much better the frosting would be. 

Anyway, enough about my scandal. I'm sorry that I cheated on you Martha, but I love Ina too. 

The cake:
Ina Garten's Chocolate Buttercream Cake from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, pg 194.

I doubled the recipe and used two 10" pans, two 8" pans, and two 6" pans. The layers were smaller than a regular cake, but it still resulted in a good sized 3-tier cake.

The frosting:
Ina Garten's Chocolate Buttercream from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, pg 196.

Doubled this recipe also, and used this for the crumb layer and the frosting. Had a decent amount left over.

The difficulty with this is getting the melted chocolate to cool enough before adding it to the mix. I thought I did this but the buttercream was still too soft. Some time in the fridge and lots of additional beating got it to the right consistency. This one takes time and patience!

The fondant decorations:
My now go-to fondant recipe found online at the Food Network, found HERE.

I used some luster powder on the white fondant shapes to give it a little glitz, and just went a little crazy with the decorations (mostly to cover the no-so-smooth buttercream).

The cake:


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Denise said...

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Chocolate Sundaes said...

wow this looks amazing and So yummy! I'd love for you to link up to

The Crunchy Kitchen said...

Stopping by from Trendy Treehouse’s MM to check out this fantastic looking cake! I am impressed and your newest follow, hope you will come check my site out too, I just launched it yesterday!

Sandy@Life Began In A Garden said...

Wow, that looks good enough to lick the computer screen!

Red Couch Recipes said...

Your cake looks so good. The fondant decorations also look great. Now the question I have is what is the pedestal the cake sits on? Joni

ZAMS said...

BEAUTIFUL ABBY! I wish I could try it! AMAZING work as always I am sure she loved it! If only you could make my wedding cake!

Kathryn said...

I love the colors you used with the chocolate frosting and I love the base that you put it on. Nice touch!

**Amy** said...

Love this! Just featured you over at The Idea Room.

Michelle said...

Oh, I just love cakes like this. We did one similar for my daughter's 1st Birthday. So cute!

Marvelous Mommy said...

That's amazing!! What a beautiful cake!!