My calculus teacher senior year of high school, Mr. Jernigan, was an amazing teacher with an endless supply of ways to motivate students in his class. On top of that, he was the fastest grader of any teacher I can ever remember. As in, always got your grade the next day or earlier. When you turned a quiz in during class he’d grade it right in front of you (pretty unnerving the first time) and if you got a perfect score would shout ‘100!’ at the top of his lungs so the entire class knew how well you did. As I was icing this cake to celebrate my 100th post on Bakers & Best that was all I could think of. And the cake was just about perfect. 100!
I believe it was Isaac Newton who said “If I have made better bread it is by baking on the shoulders of giants.” I thought it would be nice to showcase a few of the books that have led to many of the other 99 posts on this humble little site of mine. The Bread Baker’s Apprentice was the first bread book I purchased four years ago, and at this point I have made almost every loaf in the book.
This is the second cake I’ve ever made, and a far less complicated venture than the first. When I started looking for ideas I scoured several baking blogs, notably Sweetapolita. There were so many things that looked good, but in the end only one truly spoke to me.
While I enjoy many of the finer things in life I am a simple man when it comes to cake; yellow cake and chocolate frosting is an unbeatable combination if you ask me. I almost always asked for some variation of this on my birthday and have truly enjoyed getting to eat this over the past week.
On a related note, what exactly do people who run baking blogs (particularly cakes and pastry) do? We can barely keep up with eating all the bread I post about, nevermind richer things like this.
Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Fudge Frosting
Note: The recipe below makes a three layer 8 inch cake. If you want to make a four layer 4 inch cake like I did, use 1/3 the cake batter recipe and 1/2 the frosting recipe.
Cake (Ingredients should be room temperature)
- 4 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 C cake flour
- 2 C sugar
- 1 1/4 C buttermilk
- 1 C (2 sticks) butter, diced
- 1 T baking powder
- 2 t vanilla extract
- 1/2 t salt
- 6 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
- 4 1/2 C confectioner’s sugar
- 1 1/2 C (3 sticks) butter, diced and at room temperature
- 6 T half and half
- 1 T vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 F and butter and flour the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans.
In a bowl mix together the eggs, yolks, vanilla, and 1/4 C of the buttermilk. Whisk to combine well and set aside.
In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and remaining cup of buttermilk and mix on low until blended together. Then raise the mixer speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer still running on medium gradually add the egg/milk mixture. Mix until everything has combined.
Pour batter evenly into the three cake pans and bake for 28-32 minutes (If you bake in 4 inch pans they will take 20-22 minutes), or until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean. Take the cakes out of the oven and let sit in the pans for 10 minutes. After turn them out onto cooling racks and let them cool completely.
In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or in a food processor combine all ingredients for the frosting and mix until totally combined and smooth.
Stack the four cakes on top of each other, putting a layer of frosting in between each. Frost the top and sides of the cake as desired. You can use a pastry scraper or palette knife to smooth out the frosting once completed.
Recipe courtesy of Sweetapolita.