Sunday, March 18, 2012

They Say it's Your Birthday

Buttercream Frosting Cake with Bitter Chocolate Drizzled...all over

March 7 was my 18th birthday! The weekend produced loads of delicious food, not all of which I can take credit for, including some very interesting cookies (made by all those at my party) which I should get on this blog soon enough, a buttercream frosting cake with bitter chocolate drizzled over it (which i did solo), and risotto with mushrooms (by my papa). 
We did not have 1 and 8 candles since no one in the family has been 18 or 81 in a while. So, my mathematically inclined party-goers decided that you could add up the five and the four and multiply by two. When I attempted to decipher their logic, I was quickly reprimanded for omitting the parenthesis essential to any successful order of operations. 2*(5+4)=18. Yes, we could all get a out a little more...
Not sure if you can tell, but in the above picture, which happens to be me on my 1st birthday, I am enjoying a slice of this very cake. Of course, my father made it for that party, but he passed on the tradition or weakness to me and so we revisited this wonderful recipe 17 years later.
To begin the cake you need 3 3/4 cups of flour, 2 1/2 tsps of baking soda, and 2 1/4 tsps of baking powder all mixed together. In a mixing bowl cream 1 cup of butter and then add 2 1/2 cups of sugar gradually, and three eggs (preferably separated with the egg whites folded in towards the end). Also add in 2 1/2 tsps of vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients little by little, and alternate by adding 2 1/2 cups of buttermilk. Make sure the batter is thoroughly mixed with no lumps.
This is a double layer cake so you will need two buttered and floured cake tins (about 9*13 in). Pour the batter into both tins about 3/4 of the way since the cake will rise. Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes or until you can insert and remove a knife without batter on it. Also feel free to add lemon zest to the batter.
In the meantime, you should begin to make the frosting, which is the best part of the cake. I don't have exact measurements for this because it's really obvious when you've done it right: it stops tasting just like butter and it becomes whiter. I used 4 cups of butter (this must ice the entire outside and the middle of the cake so it's not as ridiculous as it sounds) and a box and a half of confectioner's sugar. Cream the butter first and then add the confectioner's sugar little by little, scraping the sides and the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Towards the end, when the color and taste satisfies you, add about 2ish tablespoons of brandy or grand marnier and beat for one last time.
When your cake is done, let it cool and then very carefully dislodge the cake from it's tin with a pie cutter. Make sure you completely free it otherwise the top will rip off as you lift the tin (as mine did). Once the cake is cool enough, use a rubber spatula to spread the frosting on one of the cakes and then press them together. Finish icing the cake, making sure you reach all the sides (you can always make more frosting if you need to). You should also melt the baking chocolate in a double boiler while the cake is baking. Don't use chocolate with any sugar in it since the cake is fairly sweet on it's own and you really need a flavor to cut it. Finally, refrigerate for as long as you can before you eat it (30 minutes minimum).
My friends enjoyed licking the whisks and scraping the sides of the icing bowl, which I was happy to provide and I will admit that I had a slice of it for breakfast the Monday after my birthday weekend. I'll pay for that one day, but on that morning it was exactly what I needed. Until next time.


  1. Yum! Now that you all have the recipe I HIGHLY suggest you bakers out there try making this special treat! You will be glad you did and so will your guests!

  2. okay Nika (this is Willa) we ALL remember how I turned into a batter-crazed monster (I did things to Amelia that I am very ashamed of) while you were making this cake. I would like to recreate my sugary bacchanal-like romp and am so excited that you posted this recipe!
    Love the blog!

  3. you have a way with words my friend