January is a heavy birthday month for me. In fact, just one week in January is a heavy time for birthdays for me. My dad and my sister both celebrate their birthdays in January, only 5 days apart. Then there are my sisters Gabby, Tricia, MacKenzie, and Sarah, as well as my Aunt Terry. And I'm sure there's more as well. Needless to say, it's been a busy week for me birthday-wise.
Actually, I'm exaggerating a bit. I only had to make one cake this week. See, we purchased a few cakes from a fundraiser through my dad's school, and one of them was a coffee cake. My dad had sampled it and really loved it, so we saved the one we bought in December in the freezer until his birthday, when we enjoyed it. And boy, did we enjoy it! We also ordered a red velvet cake with cream cheese glaze icing from the same place, but that wasn't nearly as good as the coffee cake. (imho, it was not dense enough, and I wasn't a fan of the glaze icing. Give me a dense red velvet cake with rich cream cheese icing any day of the week!)
So that leaves me with my sister's birthday, where I'm in charge of both the cake and the "appetizer"...fruit kabobs. So guess what that means?
Yup! A new cake recipe! :-D
First is the chocolate chip pound cake, as seen below.
Pretty, isn't it? It really did turn out great. I had made this cake for my birthday, but I used regular sized chocolate chips. This time, per request of my sister, I used miniature chocolate chips. And I think it looks great! (and if the batter gives any inclination, it tastes great too! ;-) ) I found the recipe on cooks.com, so, courtesy of them, here's the recipe.
Chocolate Chip Pound Cake
3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. (2 sticks) butters, softened
1 1/3 c. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1-12oz. pkg. (2 c.) miniature chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and soda. Set aside. In large bowl, combine sugar and butter; beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sour cream and vanilla extract. Gradually blend in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into greased and floured 10 inch round pan or 10 inch tube pan. Bake for 70-75 minutes (70 did the trick for me). Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
I really love sour cream-based pound cake recipes. I feel like they are more moist, and just generally tastier, than those without sour cream.
So what about the icing? Well, I knew that my sister loved buttercream, and I really like the look of fondant, so that was a no brainer...buttercream base with fondant overlay and decorations. I was perusing , where I came upon this awesome meringue-based buttercream icing recipe that I wanted to try, which you can find . Italian Meringue Butter Cream, or IMBC for short. It looked really cool, and I knew it was going to be a challenge. What's interesting is that it does not use powdered sugar, like my usual buttercream recipe; instead, it uses a sugar syrup. Well, I tried it, and wouldn't you know, it took me over 30 minutes to make it! Ridiculous! I can't afford that kind of time to make an icing. At first, I thought it tasted great. Once I took another taste, though, it seemed really buttery, and not so sweet. And then I tried piping with it, and i had a lot of difficulty with my small round tip...and I even used a bigger one than I usually do! One batch makes about 9 cups, and that was too much for me; I ended up tossing the last bit of it, sad to say. So, I probably will just be sticking to my Wilton Recipe from now on. I am hoping that the icing tastes better with the cake than alone. *sigh* I guess I can't expect all experiments to turn out perfect, now, can I? If you would like to give the buttercream a try, feel free to use the recipe at the link provided. There are some great photo tutorials, as well. I'm just not a huge fan...but if you try it, I hope you like it!
So, my sister wanted white and blue polka dots for her cake, so I obliged. Only, I had some extra blue and pink fondant from my last cake, so I also made purple (with her permission, of course), and I mentioned aqua to her, and she was all for it. At first, when I was planning this cake, I was frustrated that she didn't give me more direction and told me to "have fun" with it...but in the end, that's exactly what did happen...I had a lot of fun! The colors worked really well, and it really was fun creating color and size patterns with the circles. Picture are included below, so that you can see for yourself.
So, that's the cake! I think, overall, it turned out pretty good. I love that I'm learning as I go along. I really think I would have preferred if the lettering on top were in fondant, but I did not have letter and number cut outs, nor did I have a stencil. So, I guess I'll just have to reserve that for next time!
Oh, and Happy Sweet 16th, Marygrace!