The Newbie Cook
- 19,442 forkfuls since 16.Oct.10
Making everything for the first time
Also known as the heart-shaped man-cake. My dad turned 51 today. I promised that I would make something appropriately birthdayish to bring to work. Last night, I conked out while reading at 7:30 pm. I woke up at 4 am the next day, realized that I had made NOTHING and that I had 3 hours to make something great.
I deserted my fiancé on Skype and ran to the kitchen, wondering if I should make something new and unique or just trust older recipes. I did both, sort of. I used my mother’s trusty chocolate moist cake recipe, added a caramel glaze center and marshmallow vanilla icing. Having a n00b kitchen meant that I had to improvise on borrowed portions of the recipe.
By the time my dad woke up, I was assembling the cake. He had my grandparents on Skype. It was noon in the Philippines and we talked as I worked. (Grandma Emma: “It looks too sweet. Aren’t you putting too much almonds?”)
The end result was a pretty, two-layer, heart-shaped cake placed in the tackiest flowered tray I could find. Now I know why this was the only tray that no one bothered to steal or keep from potluck parties: no one wanted it.
Oh yeah, I even had enough to make a little cake just for us here at home.
Chocolate Moist Cake
2 ½ cups + 2 tbsp flour
3 cups sugar
2 ¼ tsp baking powder
2 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1 12 oz can evaporated milk (or 1 ½ cups milk)
¾ cups canola (or corn/sunflower) oil
1 cup + 2 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stir flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and salt in one bowl.
With an electric mixer, mix sugar, eggs, evaporated milk, and oil. Add flour mixture slowly and mix for two minutes. Add boiling water little by little and mix for one minute. Put mixture in a baking pan and bake for 35-40 minutes.
For me, this was enough to make two heart-shaped layers and a small square cake.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 can (170 g) cream
1/3 cup sugar
Bring cream, sugar and a pinch of salt to a boil in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Boil for 10 minutes. Cool for 15-20 minutes before using.
Marshmallow Vanilla Icing
Adapted Smitten Kitchen
4 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp water
2 tsp vanilla extract
Combine frosting ingredients with a pinch of salt in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and beat with a handheld electric mixer at high speed until frosting is thick and fluffy, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat until it can form white peaks. Use frosting the day it is made.
Place the first heart-shaped layer on a tray, bottom up. Spread the caramel with a baking spatula. Carefully place the second layer over it, top up, so the bottom parts of the two cakes are touching. Spread vanilla icing all over and top with chopped almonds.