My husband had a fairly significant birthday over the weekend, which he wanted seriously downplayed. We tiptoed around the occasion pretty well, but I felt that some observation of the event was appropriate. So, I baked a cake.
I've been watching the PBS show Great British Baking, and even though I don't really bake much, I wanted to try out something more than the usual Pillsbury boxed cake effort. The recipe I chose was called Chocolate Mocha Caramel Cake, with a Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting. I am not going to share the recipe here because it was fairly complicated, but if you want it, it is in the current issue of Paula Deen's Fall Baking magazine, available on newsstands right now.
I had my little helper with me of course, and she was extremely useful licking beaters and bowls as we worked our way through the recipe.
I'd never made frosting in the way the recipe called for, which involved cooking 6 egg whites and a cup and half of sugar in a double boiler until it reached 140 degrees, then beating it for 10 minutes in a stand mixer before adding a pound (!!!) of butter and salted caramel ice cream topping. It was the best frosting I have ever eaten!
Eva was suspicious of the pecans on the top, but felt pretty proud of the finished results. The cake was quite delicious, but I believe I could have baked the chocolate cake layers a couple of minutes less than the recipe suggested. My husband had two pieces and I deviated from my "clean eating" regime and had a sliver as well.
The whole process of making the cake was very relaxing, and I believe next time a dessert is called for I will try something elaborate again. We eat dessert so rarely, why not go all out when we do? No sense in wasting the calories on something mediocre.