|Hamming it up over my dad's birthday cake|
LUCY BURDETTE: Happy Mother's Day everyone! We are grateful for all the mothers in our lives, in what ever form they came--mothers, grandmothers, aunts, stepmothers, friends, sisters... Now on to cake:)...
My mother loved to eat and to read and loved her family and her pets. But she did not love cooking. Of course she did cook most every night for our family of six.
And she did love to celebrate birthdays. Each birthday person was allowed to choose the cake of his or her desire. We were predictable. My father always chose yellow cake with mocha icing. My older sister and I always had angel food cake with whipped cream as the frosting. My mother didn't like cake, so we made her tapioca out of a box.
But I've been thinking about that yellow cake, so cake it will be for my retro Mother's Day contribution. I suspect my mother's cakes came from a box, too, as the 50s and 60s were the age of convenience foods. (And how could she have made food from scratch when she had a full-time job and four children and 3-6 pets?)
This frosting is basically chocolate with coffee added instead of milk. If you don't like the taste of coffee, skip the coffee and replace it with milk. If you want a more intense chocolate flavor, add more cocoa.
2/3 cup unsweetened Cocoa powder, sifted
Two sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons strong coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla
After sifting the cocoa powder, beat in the unsalted butter until fluffy. Now and one cup of confectioners' sugar and 1 tablespoon coffee and beat well. When the mixture is combined, beat on high for one minute. Repeat that procedure with the other sugar and coffee. Then beat in 2 teaspoons vanilla and taste for sweetness.
This batter may look familiar and that's because I'm crazy, crazy for this yellow cake:). It's the perfect host for chocolate frosting, delicious without being overpowering. I found this in the BACK IN THE DAY BAKERY COOKBOOK, which I highly recommend for your cookbook shelf.
Ingredients for the cake
1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 and 3/4 cup cake flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 cups sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 cup milk
4 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two cake pans.
Mix all the dry cake ingredients in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add cool cubes of butter, a few at a time, and continue beating on low for about 1-2 minutes. Beat the eggs in one at a time, mixing well but minimally after each.
Mix the milk with the extracts.
Add 1/2 cup of milk mixture to flour mixture and beat until combined. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat for about 1 minute.
Distribute batter evenly into the two prepared cake pans (well buttered and floured.)
Bake at 350 until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and cake springs back when touched, about 25 minutes. (check for done-ness with a toothpick or wooden skewer.)
Cool for ten minutes in the pans, then remove the cake to a plate to cool completely. Then ice as usual, beginning with the middle, layering the second cake on top, and icing top and sides.
Happy Mother's Day!
|Lucy with her mother, circa 1969|
When she is not blogging and cooking, Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries
Fatal Reservations, the sixth book in the series, will be in bookstores on July 7, but you can certainly order it now!