Monday, October 3, 2011

Chocolate Chip Vanilla Birthday Cake

One of my dearest friends and biggest supporters celebrated her birthday yesterday. She has always encouraged me in the 20 years that we've known each other so I wanted to gift her a cake.  I couldn't remember if she liked chocolate or not so I went with my standard yellow cake recipe. For the frosting,this time I went with Italian Meringue because I'd had a Swiss Meringue disaster. It came out soupy. I continued whipping it, beating it, refrigerating it, rewhipping it....But, nothing worked, so I had to dump it and start all over again:(

Last year when I first started experimenting with frosting, Italian Meringue was the first one I tried. I watched this Warren Brown video and it came out great. Later on I saw a Martha Stewart recipe of Swiss Meringue and decided to try it. The ingredients and results are virtually the same, it's just a slightly different process. I personally prefer the Italian Meringue because I don't have to stand over a double boiler whisking the sugar and egg whites. It's easier to me to make the sugar syrup and pour it into the egg whites while being whisked by my KitchenAid. Today, I used a modified version of Martha Stewart's Italian Meringue recipe. I just reduced the amount of butter from 4 sticks to 2. It comes out tasting just as great with a lot less fat and calories. I decided to dust it with cocoa powder, dot it with chocolate chips and do a chocolate chip monogram of her first initial.

I'm blessed to have an abundance of great friends so I was extra excited to make this cake as a symbol of gratitude for her friendship to me. Happy Birthday Mariama! Luv u girl:)

Caramel Birthday Cake

I lost my baking mojo for a little bit but I finally got it back! My mom asked me to make a birthday cake for her friend so I went with something simple that I thought most people would like- a yellow cake which I made using buttermilk and 4 eggs. Then I made a caramel sauce for the center layer.
Lastly, I made Swiss Meringue Buttercream to frost it and piped on shells in green. Unfortunately my camera was M.I.A for a while so I had to be creative and use my web cam. I didn't realize the writing would show up backwards :-( but the cake said "Joyeux Anniversaire."  My mom's friends and guests loved the cake and the next day I went over for my piece and was very pleased. I love Meringue frosting! It's so much lighter, fluffier than regular buttercream. it reminds me of whipped cream. Thank God for the MOJO:)