Jan here, stepping aside for my daughter to make another guest appearance at the cafe.
Long story short - last January, when I was asked to take over the Christian Education duties at our church, VBS was just a distant cloud on the horizon. No problem, I thought, I'll just plan around that one week in July....
What I didn't know then was that I would have two (2!) deadlines looming, and what I had conveniently forgotten was what a time-sucker VBS is for the director!
So here we are, the first day of VBS 2013, and Carrie offered to make a cake for the blog.
"Sure!" I said, "I'd love it!"
So, take it away, Carrie!
All right, Folks, it’s Carrie again! This is beginning to become a habit, but it’s a habit I’m not sure I want to break. This blog is going to be a lesson in making recipes for the first time, and realizing that not everything you make will look a) pretty and b) exactly like it does in the picture.
Here is the cake recipe I used (you can definitely substitute your own favorite vanilla cake recipe). I found it in a Food Network Magazine. I had made the chocolate version earlier this month for my mom’s birthday. The chocolate version was delicious, fudgey and moist, so I figured the vanilla would be the same right?
Basic Vanilla Cake
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, at room temperature.
3 C. All purpose flour
1 TBSP Baking Powder
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ C. Sugar
4 large eggs
1 TBSP Vanilla Extract
¾ C. Heavy Cream mixed with ½ C. Water
1) Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9"x13" pan.
2) Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla (The mixture may look separated at this point) Beat in the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the heavy cream mixture. Beginning and ending with flour.
3) Pour batter into pan. Bake until the cake is lightly golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. About 30-35 minutes.
Sounds easy enough? It sure was, the cake went together great, but the batter was much thicker than I expected. I even reread the directions to see if I had missed some extra liquid. I hadn't, so I soldiered on. I baked my cake and it looked and smelled delicious. It even tasted delicious after I had let it cool. But the texture was something more like a coffee cake or a muffin than a delicious cake.
The frosting, that was a different matter. This frosting turned out delicious and I can see it being extra tasty on a chocolate cake.
White Chocolate Frosting:
3 oz. White Chocolate, finely chopped
1 ½ sticks butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
1 ½ C. Confectioners’ Sugar
10 Oreos, or other chocolate sandwich cookie, crushed
1) Melt the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth. Beat butter, vanilla and salt together in a mixer until smooth. Add the melted white chocolate and beat until combined. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth.
Frost the cake and then sprinkle on crushed cookies to top it off.
It didn't quite end up like the magazine. But it was worth a shot, and next time I get the hankering for a cookies and cream cake I'll definitely use the chocolate recipe!
Jan here again. One step Carrie left out is that she cut her 9"x13" cake in half and layered it. It was a VERY rich cake, but tasty. I agree with her, though - next time, it should be chocolate!
We'll leave you with some shots from the hike we took on Carrie's birthday earlier this month...at least, from the first half of the hike. We watch the thunderheads gather, and then the heavens opened up, and we were almost a mile from the car! Yes, we got soaked, but it was worth it!
And finally, a gratuitous puppy picture! Here's Thatcher at 17 weeks, playing with his best buddy, Maggie-the-Cat-who-thinks-she's-a-dog:
Wasn't it smart of me to get color coordinated pets?
We've had recipe fails at the cafe before, but we still keep pushing on, don't we? What's the next new recipe you're planning to try?