Well, yes, that picture IS a few years old, but I don't feel like I'm any older than I was when this picture was taken...um...
nineteen years ago.....
Now he's tall, lanky, shaves, and can drive a car and everything. He also just finished his sophomore year of college.
Where does the time go?
|Eagle Scout Project, 2010|
On his birthday, this college boy got up and went off to work at 7:00 like he does every day, and never told me what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday.
So I got to choose. Baker's prerogative.
I didn't take long to decide on chocolate, so I got out my cookbook - this time it was my trusty Better Homes and Gardens red plaid cookbook from 1982 - and found a recipe.
If you've never baked a cake from scratch, try this recipe. You'll never go back to box mixes again! This is so easy, and the cake is so moist and delicious, you'll love it.
Sour Cream Chocolate Cake
1 3/4 cups flour (I always use cake flour for cakes!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 squares (3 ounces) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup cold water
Now one problem was that I had all the ingredients I needed except one - no unsweetened chocolate squares. But it's easy to substitute! I have plenty of cocoa powder...
And yes, that does say 3.5 POUNDS. I love that store....
Anyway, to substitute cocoa powder for unsweetened chocolate, use 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder and 1 Tablespoon butter for each ounce chocolate in the recipe.
Here are the steps to making delicious chocolate cake:
1) Let your butter (1/2 cup PLUS 3 Tablespoons if you're using powdered cocoa) warm up to room temperature.
2) In a separate bowl (not the one you're going to be mixing the cake in), combine the flour, baking soda and salt. This is also where you add the powdered cocoa if you're making that substitution.
3) Prepare your baking dish - 2 round cake pans, or a 9"x13" rectangle, or cupcakes, and pre-heat your oven to 350°.
4) Once the butter is room temperature, use your mixer to beat it for about 30 seconds.
5) Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until well combined
6) Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition
7) Mix in the sour cream (and melted and cooled chocolate if you're using that option)
8) Add the dry ingredients and the 1 cup cold water alternately, beating on low speed after each addition until combined
NOTE: step 8 is very important when making a cake from scratch. This is what keeps your cake light. When you add the ingredients, add about 1/4 of the dry mixture, beat, 1/4 cup water, beat, 1/4 of the dry, beat, and so on until all the ingredients are combined.
9) Pour the batter into your pans
10) Bake in a 350° oven for 30-35 minutes or until done. You can insert a toothpick into the center - if it comes out clean, then the cake is done. Or you can use the touch test - lightly touch the top of the cake. If it springs back, it's done, but if a depression remains, you need to bake it a few more minutes.
11) Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pans. Let it cool completely before frosting it.
I frosted our birthday cake with Chocolate Buttercream frosting, and added mini chocolate chips.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
about 2 cups powdered sugar
about 2 Tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
In your mixer, or in a medium bowl, cream the butter until smooth. Add about 1/4 cup powdered sugar and vanilla and stir well. Add a splash of milk and combine. Add cocoa powder and combine. Alternate adding milk and sugar until you have enough frosting and it's the consistency you want. Add more milk or sugar as necessary.
The birthday boy wanted to have dinner at Olive Garden. I'm not sure about your family, but no one at our house felt like eating cake after Olive Garden! So we opted to save it for the next day.
Remember how the birthday boy has to be to work by 7:00 am? This is what the cake looked like when I got up the next morning:
We have another birthday coming up at our house next week. How should we celebrate this one?