Frostings and Fillings Although I like to experiment with wild flavors and combinations in my baking, when it comes to a cake that everyone can really obsess over, I find that simplicity rules. These are my basic, tried-and-true frostings and fillings that complement a variety of cakes. All you have to do is mix and match them for a cake that tastes unique.
Vanilla whipped buttercream | Makes 3 1⁄2 cups frosting, enough to frost and fill one 8-inch layer cake or to frost 24 cupcakes|
I love using this as a frosting or a filling because it is light and creamy, and less sweet than the Classic Americana Icing. It tastes just like whipped cream.
Cream the butter on medium speed, 3 to 5 minutes, in a standing mixer or with a hand mixer until soft, about 30 seconds.
Add thesugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. In a small saucepan, combine 1⁄4 cup of the milk, the flour, and the vanilla extract, and whisk until there are no lumps.
Over mediumheat, slowly add the remaining 3⁄4 cup milk, whisking constantly, and cook until the mixture comes to a low boil. Then reduce the
- 2 sticks (1 cup) organic unsalted butter,
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 cup organic wholemilk
- 1⁄4 cup sifted organic all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons organic vanilla extract
easiest chocolate cake | Makes one 8- or 9-inch layer cake or 24 cupcakes}| This is the easiest chocolate cake in the world-- perhaps in the universe! You don't even need eggs, butter, or milk, and you probably have all the ingredients on hand. I use this recipe when I'm in a time crunch, because nothing needs to be creamed, beaten, or whipped; you literally just stir things together. It tastes like the best dark chocolate sponge cake you have ever eaten. It's also the base for Goldies (page 137) and Silver Ring-a-Dings (page 141). You really can please all kinds of people with this one. It happens to be vegan, since
There are no dairy products in it. That sounds scary to some people, so don't tell them until after they've eaten about three slices!
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans, or place liners in 2 muffin pans for 24 cupcakes.
In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix the vanilla extract, oil, vinegar, and cold water.
Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, being careful not to overmix. The mixture will be quite wet, but this is okay.
- 2 1⁄4 cups organic all-purpose flour
- 2 cups organic cane sugar
- 1 cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract
- 2⁄3 cup organic canola oil
- 2 teaspoons organic white vinegar
- 2 cups cold water
- melted chocolate ganache
- Let the ganache cool to lukewarm before you use it. If it's too hot, it will simply absorb into the cake and disappear.
- | makes about 21⁄2 cups
Cool for 15 minutes or more, until thickened, before using. Besides dusting the ganache with metallic powder, you can simply drizzle melted white chocolate on top of the dark ganache for contrast; or after coating the Goldies with the ganache, freeze them for 10 minutes and then dip them halfway in warm melted white chocolate--a twist on the black and white cookie.
- 1 stick (1⁄2 cup) organic unsalted butter
- Two 7-ounce bars organic 70% baking chocolate (or for real dark-chocolate lovers, use unsweetened chocolate)
- 2 cups organic semisweet chocolate