Thursday, May 17, 2012

Homemade Yellow Cake


Admittedly, I can never seem to make a boxed cake; said to be easy and heard to be true, yet for some reason I just can't seem to make it work in the kitchen. In my attempt to make a homemade version of a childhood favorite I came to this: a simple yellow cake. In the recipe I utilized the Rich Chocolate Ganache from a previous post whipped with a little cream to fluff. Yes, I was tempted to add in a little extra and did to some degree, but simply put, the cake served its memory; baked and layered, chilled and served, the cake yielded reactions of "Yummy!" "Sooooo goooood" "I want more cake!" I'm glad it's not still sitting in my kitchen, or I'd have some difficulty keeping away!

Servings: 12 Slices
Prep Time: Up to 1hr 15min
(including frosting time)

Yellow Cake
1 Cup Butter, Unsalted
1 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
8 oz Sour Cream
4oz Nonfat Milk
2 3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
4 Tbsp Corn Starch
2 Tsp  Baking Powder
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda

Chocolate Ganache Frosting
1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream, chilled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

When there are more than a handful of ingredients, it sometimes is easier to separate the 'wet' and the 'dry' items to simplify the recipe. With this thought: mix all items under (1) together in a large mixing bowl and sift all items under (2) together in a smaller mixing bowl. Mix (1) until creamy and sift (2) at least twice, ideally three times. Note - using items at room temperature can facilitate the combining.

Fold in (2) - flour, starch, powder, and soda - at about 1/2 cup at a time, scraping the sides inward with any excess dry ingredients. And voila! Yellow cake batter!

Grease and flour three 9" round baking pans, or two if wanting a thicker cake. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until golden and an inserted knife comes out clean. Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes and cut with knife to loosen and remove. Transfer to a cooling rack until room temperature. Note - using parchment paper to line the pans can alleviate the worry of the bottom of the cake sticking.

Ganache Frosting: The frosting is made by whipping the cream in a chilled bowl until it begins to fluff then whipping in the ganache until evenly mixed; this lightens the richness of the ganache. If not immediately frosting, set aside in fridge to chill.

To Frost: Chill cake layers in fridge for 15 minutes. Remove and cut off rounded top with a serrated knife - this will even out the layers for an even stack. Frost each layer using 2/3 to 3/4 cup of frosting. Frost the top and sides with a very thin coat of frosting, until smooth, and set aside in fridge for 15 minutes to harden - this is often referred to as a crumb coat, to allow for a smooth finish. Once chilled, frost another layer over the crumb coat and set aside in fridge until about 15 minutes before serving. Note - Cutting the cakes and maintaining clear cuts in the frosting is easier the colder the cake.

The cake can sit covered, comfortably, at room temperature away from sunlight. Keep in mind that it is a whipping cream-based frosting, so sun exposure and heat will cause the frosting to soften a lot. As a little 'extra' for this dish, I did a very light glaze with a Peanut Butter Buttercream on the top coat - a last minute, but tasty decision!

Nutrition Info (Homemade Yellow Cake: 1 Slice)
Calories 410, Total Fat 19.1g, Sat. Fat 11.5g, Cholest. 100.9mg, Sodium 285.9mg, Carb. 54.2g, Fiber 0.8g, Sugars 25.9g, Protein 5.7g

Nutrition Info (Chocolate Ganache Frosting: 1 serving)
Calories 144, Total Fat 11.8g, Sat. Fat 7.2g, Cholest. 23.1mg, Sodium 7.8mg, Carb. 11.6g, Fiber 1g, Sugars 9.6g, Protein 1.1g

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