Saturday, February 14, 2009

Birthday Cake

Thank you so much to my awesome mother who made me a delicious birthday cake yesterday! The cake was a rich and dense chocolate with fluffy chocolate buttercream frosting. The recipe was the from the Barefoot Contessa's book - who I am obsessed with. Seriously - every single recipe from her many books turn out perfectly and please everyone. Every time I have to make anything for a party, I choose any one of her dishes, and I know for a fact that it will taste great. Though this recipe isn't the easiest, it is certainly worth it (I can say that because I didn't have to make it...haha). The addition of instant espresso adds a wonderful depth of flavor (doesn't taste like coffee - just adds a richness). Try it for yourself:

Chocolate Frosting:

6 ounces good semisweet chocolate (recommended: Callebaut)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.

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