Friday, April 23, 2010

taste the rainbow

Bug Bug and I had a little trouble agreeing on a design for her 6th birthday cake. The party had no discernible theme (Ariel tablecloths and a homemade invitation with a robot (for the boys) and a butterfly (for the girls)). I wouldn't agree to a Hannah Montana cake since I am a mean mommy and think she's a little old for 6-year-olds, and we'd done Tinkerbell last year. Finally, we decided on a rainbow made out of colorful candies (I went with Skittles) and puffy clouds made of mini-marshmallows. And here it is!

(Please excuse my lame method of Photoshopping her name off.)




It was a really simple cake, but actually lots of fun to make. I'm not sure if you can tell, but I tinted the frosting to match the Skittles. I used my salad bowl to make an appropriately-sized rainbow shape out of parchment paper which I then laid on the cake and used as a guide for the red frosting. It was easy enough to pipe the rest of the rainbow frosting following that curve.

I had the most fun making the marshmallow clouds. The bottom layer stuck to the chocolate frosting, but when I started to build up, out, and over the edge, I dabbed a bit of untinted vanilla buttercream on each marshmallow as glue.

For the cake, I went with Hershey's one-bowl deep dark chocolate cake, since I'd been looking for an excuse to try it. It was very good, but having made both that one and Martha Stewart's one-bowl cake several times recently, I prefer the taste of Martha's. Both are nice and chocolatey, neither suffers from that weird cocoa taste, and both are moist with a good crumb. Hershey's is a good recipe for the arsenal because it contains ingredients I nearly always have on hand.

The frosting was my (mom's) standard chocolate fudge frosting. You'd be hard-pressed to sway me from that family favorite. I am intrigued by a chocolate-sour cream frosting recipe I saw recently - it probably has a nice tang to it - but that's not a great choice for a party where the cake is sure to sit out for several hours.

Not only did the guests all love the cake, the kids kept sneaking past it throughout the afternoon and pulling Skittles off the sides and top. Don't you love it when they think they're pulling a fast one?

Hershey's One-Bowl Deep Dark Chocolate Cake
2 cups (14 ounces) sugar
1 3/4 cups (7 3/8 ounces) flour
3/4 cup (2 1/4 ounces) cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350. Line 2 9" round pans or a 9x13" pan with parchment.

In a large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for two minutes. Stir in boiling water. Batter will be thin!

Pour into prepared pans and bake 30-35 minutes for round pans, 35-40 minutes for 9x13 pan. A wooden pick inserted in the center should come out clean or the cake should spring back when pressed lightly with a finger.

Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, and then remove to wire racks and cool completely. Frost and eat!


Happy birthday, Bug!

2 comments:

ButterYum said...

Adorable, adorable, adorable!!!

:)
ButterYum

Sandra Dee said...

How cute is THAT!!??!! LUV. IT.

Hugs to the Bug :-)