April 6, 2013

Back...with CAKE!

So, I took a step back because I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue blogging. However, I miss it! I try new recipes every week, and I miss sharing them with people...so Brina's Kitchen is back!

I have a slew of new recipes and pics to share, and a bunch of recipes that I didn't capture on film, but I know you'll love them anyways.

I'll start as far back as December 2012, when we celebrated Eli's 2nd birthday. I can't believe it, but my little munchkin is growing up - and we have the bins of outgrown clothes to prove it! Eli loves (okay, is obsessed with) trucks and constructions, so we made that the theme of the party. I used Pinterest for inspiration, and was immediately struck with this construction tape striped cake. I don't know why I do this to myself, but once I see a cake challenge, I can't resist.

I found the blog, Fredellicious, and the blogger had kindly put together a step-by-step tutorial. It wasn't hard, per say, but just time consuming. If you're going to attempt this, I *HIGHLY* recommend that you make your cakes from scratch. Fredellicious warned me, but I didn't listen. Box mix cakes are just too soft and fluffy, and they broke often during the construction phase. There were many bad words muttered in Brina's kitchen.

You can use any favorite cake recipes you have in your recipe books, but I've included two of my favorites.

Basically, you bake a yellow cake and a black (dark chocolate) cake, carve them into rings, and then put them back together like a puzzle.

When all is said and done (and frosted), the inside of your cake looks like this awesome construction tape stripe. Which, of course is totally lost on the 2-year old guests who were running around, pounding stickers and cake into my carpet. Heathens.
Construction Cake Layers
Chocolate Cake - adapted from Hershey's
This is the recipe on the back of every can of Hershey's cocoa. It's amazing.
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa (I used Special Dark Cocoa for the black shade)                       
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder                        
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2  eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Instructions: Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

Yellow Cake
Adapted from Crumbly Cookies and Cook's Illustrated
This is a white cake recipe that will need yellow food gel

Nonstick cooking spray
2¼ cups cake flour (9 ounces), plus more for dusting the pans
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites (¾ cup), at room temperature
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¾ cups granulated sugar (12¼ ounces)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1½ sticks), softened but still cool

Set oven rack in middle position. (If oven is too small to cook both layers on a single rack, set racks in upper-middle and lower-middle positions.) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray the paper rounds, dust the pans with flour, and invert pans and rap sharply to remove excess flour.

Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.
Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.

Add all but ½ cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1½ minutes. Add remaining ½ cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.

Divide batter evenly between two prepared cake pans; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. (If oven is small, place pans on separate racks in staggered fashion to allow for air circulation.) Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes.

Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Reinvert onto additional wire racks. Let cool completely, about 1½ hours.

Follow the rest of the instructions on Fredellicious's tutorial for the stripes. These can be done in any color! Use the white cake recipe with food color gel and have fun!