What a crazy week it has been... can you believe I went nearly six days without a single moment of crafting? It's quite frustrating, actually. I finally started work on a new card last night around midnight, but my frazzled mind is having heaps of trouble with it despite it being such a simplistic one. Hopefully I will finish and post it tomorrow. I know I'm a bit behind on blogs, but I'm trying very hard to catch up. This lack of crafting and Blogger time is disheartening. :(
I am elated to tell you that my You Sweeten My Journey card was selected as a Top 5 winner at Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog and a Top Chef at Cooking with Cricut! I am honored to have been recognized by these talented design teams. Thank you! :o)
You know what helps when life is throwing all sorts of stressful circumstances at you? Cake. Tall, delicious, classic cake. Feast your eyes upon... Tuxedo Cake:
(Just pretend my sweet boyfriend hadn't removed the pretty leafies from the berries... for some reason he thought I wanted him to.) This dessert is fantastic. It is visually appealing with its three layers and tastes just as scrumptious as I had hoped. The flavors are classic, but I think that works well for this celebratory cake. I made this for my parents' anniversary and they loved it. :o) When cut, it looks absolutely beautiful. The alternating layers of moist chocolate cake and white whipped cream filling are simply stunning.
You might be wondering why I don't have a picture of the gorgeous interior. You won't believe what happened. Mere hours after completion... after only one slice had been enjoyed by my parents... my cake fell. I valiantly tried to save this masterpiece as it tumbled, evidenced by my arms and shirt being covered in frosting and chocolate glaze. I cried over this cake's early demise.
This massive cake was my first time delving into triple layers. I certainly learned a lesson along the way in dealing with whipped cream filling for a cake of this nature. You probably noticed that the side I happened to photograph isn't the smoothest. If only I had noticed at the time. I'm fairly certain this somersaulted to its ending because I stopped whipping the frosting a smidgen too early... I was so worried about overbeating that I did the opposite! So when I snapped a quick picture before serving, I didn't realize one side had begun to sink a bit. Regardless, I'm sharing this with you today because it's all part of the creative journey. My first Tuxedo Cake wasn't perfect in appearance, but the taste was incredible. Next time it will go much more smoothly... with perfectly whipped topping and more patience with drizzling the glaze so it'll be prettier. I thought I had to force it to the sides to get it to drizzle over... but if I had just waited, it would've done it on its own much more nicely.
Note: If you don't want this gargantuan tall cake, you can use the same amount of batter in two 10-inch round pans instead. But I say go with gusto! (Even if it falls in the end. *tear*) ;)
Note II: Lyle's Golden Syrup is called for in the chocolate topping, but I couldn't find it anywhere near me. You can substitute light corn syrup instead, which is what I did.
For the cake:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups water
1 cup canola oil
4 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the frosting:
4 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1¼ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
For the chocolate topping:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup light corn syrup (or Lyle's Golden Syrup)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
To make the cake layers, preheat the oven to 350º F. Line three 9-inch round pans (or two 10-inch round cake pans) with parchment paper. Butter and flour the inside edges of the pan, shaking out the excess flour.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, water, and canola oil; heat until the butter is melted. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cocoa powder, and flour; whisk to blend. Pour the melted butter mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, then whisk in the buttermilk. Add the baking soda, salt, and vanilla to the bowl and whisk just until incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each cake layer and invert onto a wire cooling rack. Allow the cake layers to cool completely before frosting, at least 2 hours.
To make the frosting, add the heavy cream to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and continue to whip until thoroughly combined and stiff peaks form. Be careful not to overbeat!
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a platter and spread a layer of whipped cream frosting over the top. Top with the second cake layer, another layer of frosting, and then the third. Frost the top and sides of the assembled cake. Refrigerate until the frosting has stabilized, at least 1 hour.
To make the chocolate glaze, place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let set 1-2 minutes. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and homogenous. Blend in the corn syrup and vanilla. Pour the glaze into a pitcher or measuring cup and let cool for 10 minutes. (Do not let the glaze cool longer or it may become difficult to pour over the cake.) Slowly pour the glaze over the cake, ensuring that the top is covered and the glaze drips over the sides.
Refrigerate the cake until the glaze is set and the whipped cream frosting is firm, at least 1 hour. Slice with a long, sharp knife, wiping the blade clean between slices.
If desired, garnish with strawberries. I dipped mine in melted semi-sweet chocolate and then drizzled with melted white chocolate.
Source: The Pastry Queen (found via Annie's Eats)
Finally, I am honored to have received several blogs awards over the past week! Each one means more to me than I can adequately express... the friendships I've made over my first couple months of blogging make me happier than the pearliest clam. :o) Included in the awards are two that are new to me, so I'm extra sparkly today because of you! I've seen them on sidebars and watched as incredible crafters received them, but wasn't sure if I'd ever be a recipient.
Extra heartfelt thanks to the following ladies for thinking of me:
* Amy of Redheaded Crafter
* Karen of Crafted With Love by Karen
* Lisa of A Mermaid's Crafts
* Shen of My Curious Crafts
I cannot resist passing them back to you, even though I know you've received them before. :o) I'm also passing them along to:
* Nita of Nita Notes
* Sabrina of Scrappin' with Sabrina
* Tiffany of Sparkled Memories
Please don't feel the need to re-post them since it is repetition for most of you.. just know that I am truly honored and count myself extra blessed to have you all in my life. :o) And I hope everyone visits all of these talented sweethearts... they are unique, lovely, and full of inspiration. :o)
Thank you for swinging by! I'm sorry for the lack of cards lately. Like so many of us, the days seem to be getting busier and busier. Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow with an actual craft! Woohoo! Have a sparkly happy day, my sweet friends! :o)