Saturday, December 06, 2008

Buttermilk Mini Cakes and Fudge Frosting

Last night, my husband and I realized we had zero sweets in the house. No more pie, no more ice cream, no more tasties! This was a sad state of affairs. So I grabbed my Settlement Cookbook, which has the unfortunate subtitle, very telling of its publication date, of “the way to a man’s heart”. Despite the sexism on the cover, I love this book. It has some of the very best baking recipes ever.

Even though our house was devoid of sweets, it had all the makings ready to go in the pantry. I decided on buttermilk cake and fudge frosting. Of course I could have just made my famous chocolate chip cookies (and I’m sure I will again soon), but I felt like being a little creative. Instead of the 9” cake pans it recommends, I used muffin tins. They’re smaller than most of my cupcakes, so I decided to call them mini cakes instead.

This made for a lot of dishes. I used my KitchenAid for almost everything except the egg whites, which I did in a separate bowl with a hand electric mixer.

Buttermilk Cake from The Settlement Cookbook:

Makes about 12 mini cakes or 2 9” cakes

2 c. cake flour
2/3 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2/3 tsp. baking soda
1 c. buttermilk (I always use Saco buttermilk powder. It’s amazing)
½ c. shortening (I used butter)
1¼ c. sugar
2 eggs, separated
1½ tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift flour. Add salt and baking powder and sift again. Honestly, I never sift anymore. I just mixed these together with a wooden spoon.

Add soda to buttermilk and allow to stand while cake is being mixed.

Cream shortening (butter), add sugar, and beat until fluffy. Add yolks, well beaten, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, continue beating. Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites.

Pour into greased and floured (I sometimes use sugar instead of flour) 9” layer cake pans (or muffin tins). Bake about 30 minutes.

Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. When it comes out clean, the cake is done. Allow to cool before frosting.

Fudge Frosting from The Settlement Cookbook:

2 squares unsweetened chocolate
½ c. milk or light cream
1½ c. sugar
2 Tb. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt the chocolate over low heat, add milk and sugar, boil until a few drops form a soft ball in cold water. I used my double boiler for the melting the chocolate part and then just the top pot for the boiling part.

Add butter and vanilla. Let stand undisturbed a few minutes, then beat until thick enough to spread. If too thick, stir in a little cream. I used my KitchenAid for this part.

Spread evenly over cakes and enjoy.

I have a quick warning about the cakes. They are very soft and crumbly. My first six came out of the tin very easily, but the second six were super difficult and only two made it out intact. Do not overfill, make sure the sides are well greased and remove while still warm. They are super delicious though and this is an easy cake to master. Even as a crumbly mess, they are tasty.


Carrina said...

Oh. Oh. OH. So this comment is in response to your unfortunately subtitled cookbook. I think we need to do some sort of blog crossover endeavor someday, wherein we use both "Settlement Cookbook: The Way To A Man's Heart" (that's "settling" in more ways than one - har) and "Cooking With A Foreign Accent," my own treasure from 1956. Contains such morsels of goodness as "Thai dinner is essentially the same as Korean dinner, except the food tends to be bite-sized."

I see big things ahead!

Rebecca Chernay said...

I agree! Let's wear frilly aprons while we do it too!

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