The Best Cakes Ever: Perfect Balance of Salty & Sweet

Best chocolate cake ever!
Best chocolate cake ever!

I know…I’m crazy….Crazy for cake!

Left over cake is….a true test of my will power. Few things can derail me. The only thing that beats cake is my husband sweet talking to me (I’m afraid, that I will never get over). Cake is a close second. Coming in at a close third is bed time. I tend to run a little hot (over doing myself) and at the end of the day, bed is all I can think about after 8pm.

I don’t like anything to control me, especially food. Cake has lots of things going for it. It’s usually beautiful to look at. It smells like goodness. The texture melts away, and it tastes like heaven in your mouth.Simple chocolate cake

Okay, I know there are some bad cakes out there…from the over sized super dee duper bake a thousand cake in one day bakeries & Markets. Those cakes taste like chemicals. Sometimes, people who bake cakes forget about salt and their cakes taste like nothing more than a sugar cube. Those cakes remind me of the first time I had rock candy as a kid. I was super excited to taste the pretty looking pink rocks that ended up tasting like the sugar bowl that sat on my kitchen table. Blahh! Oh and don’t get me started on fondant..double yuck!!

Rib, anyone?
Rib, anyone?

So how can a cake derail you from your deepest will power and convictions? With the perfect combination of sugar and salt. A few years ago, I remember reading about the worlds perfect food combinations that are irresistible. They all had the perfect combinations of salt & sweet. Think of things like caramel corn and hummmm; sweet corn on the cob with salty butter dipping down your fingers. Or, salted caramel, waffles and fried chicken and sweet BBQ ribs. I know your with me. Those things are irresistible, aren’t they? Yes, I’m hungry too.

So here is one recipe of many for perfect chocolate cake. There is a bakery in Minneapolis that makes a cake similar to this one and they call it the Yum Cake- how perfect! I have to agree with them. They are one of the few bakeries that get it right.

Simply delicious
Simply delicious

Treat yourself to a little piece of heaven tonight. Note, I said a little piece. Then give the rest away. You will make yourself happy and those that you gave some love to. Or, you could have a love hate relationship with cake like me. You’ll be standing in the kitchen, minding your own business then all of sudden you here that small cakey voice calling to you. Saying things like oh, one little taste won’t hurt. Before you know it one little sliver has led to another little sliver and by the third little sliver you will be wishing you had just taken a normal size piece in the first place. Cake love…hate…or what ever you want to call it.

Duffus welcoming his new playmate D2
Duffus welcoming his new playmate D2

Even my kitty and doggy-Duffus remind me of chocolate cake with butter cream frosting.

Incredibly Irresistible Chocolate Cake

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s one bowl chocolate cake

Makes three 8-inch cakes, 24

2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 ¼ cups buttermilk or powdered buttermilk with equal addition of water
2 eggs, plus one yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups brewed coffee, cooled to luke warm temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch cake pans with Baker’s Joy (worth every penny). Line the bottoms with parchment and spray with Baker’s joy.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Easy to make!
Easy to make!

With the electric mixer on low-speed, blend for about 30 seconds. In another bowl, combine the oil and buttermilk and blend on low until moistened.

My secret ingredient
My secret ingredient

Whisk the eggs and coffee together, and add to the oil and butter milk. Make a well in the flour mixture. Pour the liquid ingredients in and beat on low for 30 seconds. Beat on high for an additional 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Batter will be very wet. Pour into prepared pans and tap out any air bubbles.

Bake for 38 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cakes cool for about 10 minutes. Carefully turn them out onto the wire racks and cool completely. Remove the paper liners. Proceed to frosting the cake… your almost there.

Best Butter-Cream Frosting

2 sticks of butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond flavoring
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 – 1/2 cup whipping cream

Whip butter until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add sugar, salt, vanilla, and almond to the butter. pour half of the whipping cream over the top and mix on high. Beat for 2 minutes and add rest of the whipping cream. Mix until fluffy. Quickly frost the cake. If there are lots of air bubbles mix again on low till frosting is smooth.

Almost done...
Almost done…
Perfect!
Perfect!
Slice the hump off the tops of the cakes.
Slice the hump off the tops of the cakes.
Spread a big blop in the middle and smooth it outwards,leaving a ridge on the outer rim.
Spread a big blop in the middle and smooth it outwards,leaving a ridge on the outer rim.
Place other layer on top
Place the other layer on top
Crumb coat and...
Crumb coat and…
Frost and your done! Where is my fork?
Frost and your done! Where is my fork?
Oh, so good!
Oh, so good!

 

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