Monday, March 30, 2009

Mom's Birthday Cake: Part 1

I always try something new for my mom's birthday cake, and this year was no exception.  I was tempted to just use a box of cake mix, but when I mentioned the Mocha Cake recipe I had found in Ellie Krieger's The Food you Crave, my mom oooohed and yummed enough to get me to bake one from scratch.  Another good thing about this recipe (and all recipes from that book) is that it is attempting to be more healthy.

I know that you are supposed to follow the recipe exactly when you bake, which is why I think I'm a pretty good baker, but this recipe got off to a rough start just from gathering ingredients.  The first problem was that I couldn't find instant espresso powder, so I just bought some instant coffee.  The next change was that I already had regular pastry flour (that I rarely use) so I didn't want to buy whole wheat pastry flour.  The final change we made was using vanilla nonfat yogurt instead of plain (in case there was extra I wanted it to be edible.)

Once the ingredients were gathered, I promptly spilled a lot of cocoa powder all over my mom's kitchen table.  Next time I will not try and pour it, I will get a spoon.  My mom asked if she should leave and I said no as long as she doesn't mind watching me make a mess out of her kitchen.  For the wet ingredients we mixed a tablespoon of instant coffee with a tablespoon of hot water and it instantly made the kitchen smell wonderful.  I do not drink coffee, but I sure love the smell!  We started pouring in the yogurt and realized that we were about half a cup short (apparently I had mistaken weight ounces for fluid ounces, oh well) so I substituted half a cup of sour cream.  The batter was delicious.  The coffee was there but not overpowering.

The recipe called for the cake to be baked in a 9 x 11 pyrex dish, but I wanted to do rounds so we compared baking times on the back of a cake mix box and came up with a good estimate.

With all of these changes, you would think that the cake wouldn't turn out well (believe me, I was worried.)  In actuality, it turned out moist and perfect.  We let the cakes cool and then covered them overnight to await decorating the next day.

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