Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Yellow Cake with Raspberry Buttercream Filling and Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

My niece Kate turned 4 not so long ago.  This year, she had a family party and a kid party.  Clearly two birthday cakes were required.  The children’s party had a butterfly theme, and hence a butterfly cake.  And it had to be chocolate.  But more about that later.

For the family cake, we went with flowers.  Chocolate frosting was still an absolute necessity, but Kate decided to try something different for the cake itself.  We went with yellow cake, raspberry buttercream filling. chocolate buttercream frosting, and yummy vanilla flavored frosting roses.  Don’t worry, the buttercream can be made in one batch, then split up and flavored with raspberry and chocolate.  The roses can also be made a couple of days ahead of time. The raspberry and chocolate buttercreams are light and creamy and go together extremely well.  The yellow cake is very moist.

I was so worried about keeping the buttercream from melting during the 3 hour drive to New York City, that I totally forgot what a roller coaster the Taconic highway with its potholes and bumpy ridged roads can be.  Luckily, I had the cake in a bakery box, packed tightly into a soft cooler bag, placed snugly into a larger cooler, wedged between a suitcase and other assorted packages in the trunk of my car.  I was thrilled to arrive on the upper west side, cake unscathed.  Phew!

And most importantly, the birthday girl loved her cake!

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Healthy Berry Cake

The food I tend to cook is definitely on the healthy side.  I love vegetables, avoid processed foods, don’t eat any meat, use only whole grain bread and pasta, avoid recipes with cream. My own personal definition of healthy definitely excludes all things labeled “low-fat”, “low-calorie”, and “reduced-sugar.” If you could somehow trick me into drinking a diet coke, you’d be treated to all sorts of strange facial contortions if not a big soda shower as I rid my mouth of  the offensive liquid.

Does that philosophy seem strange given the abundance of decadent treats on this blog?  I hope not.  I’d trade a small piece of Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake for plate full of sugar free cookies any day.  So it’s no surprise that I haven’t really baked with Splenda, and most of my recipes don’t call for applesauce or yogurt to replace the butter. 

This recipe, however, is a little different.  There’s applesauce and yogurt, and whole wheat flour (still no Splenda or anything else of that ilk).  And lots of berries.  But I promise, it won’t taste “healthy.”  Sure, it’s not as decadent as this Chocolate Cake with Brown Butter & Frangelico Frosting, but it’s perfect as a humble mid-week 9x13 pan cake that you sneak a square of  for your daily sweet tooth fix.  Or you can even dress it up a little in a 9” round cake pan and serve it at your next dinner party.  I've served it to lots of college students with fancier and more outrageous desserts at dessert parties, and it holds its own.

There are a lot of bowls to clean with this recipe, but it's very easy - you don't even need a mixer!
Also, I'm not quite sure where the recipe originally came from, my mom has been making it for a few years now.

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