Sunday, May 27, 2012

We baked a cake

The three day weekend meant my friends had time to make the drive from Seattle to Pullman, so Selena, Kara, and Keith have been over to visit! Yesterday Selena and I attended the Kendrick Locust Blossom Festival in Kendrick, Idaho. Kendrick has a population of around 300, and while many people come in from the nearby towns, it was definitely a small town affair! We watched the parade, then strolled in the park and looked at the booths.

On the way back into Pullman we started getting excited about cake. I'd come across a recipe for an Almond Joy Layer Cake a couple of days before and thought it could be interesting to try, so we gathered the necessary ingredients and got started!

The recipe comes from Rachel Ray Magazine, though we didn't follow it 100%, so I'll give you a breakdown.

For the cake batter you need:
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup water
1 stick (4oz) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
3oz (about 1/2 cup) semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 packed cup sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Oil and flour two 8x2 cake pans (or 9 inch since that's what we had...).
Boil the water in a medium saucepan. Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth. Whisk in butter and chocolate over low heat, until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 2 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 tsp salt. Whisk in 1 egg at a time; beat well after each addition.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Pour in chocolate mixture, incorporate until smooth. Add coconut. Pour batter into two prepared pans, and bake in the lower third of the oven for about 35 minutes.
Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely.

Now, once the cakes are cooled most normal people would cut them in horizontally in half into two layers. Because we had 9-inch pans, our cakes were a little thin for that. Instead, we cut each round in half and stacked the four half circles we were left with to make one very tall cake. In the picture it looks like we made a completely cylindrical cake, but that's not quite it... only half!

To frost the cake, we departed from Rachel's recipe and did our own thing. Toast 2 cups sliced almonds in your 325 degree oven for about 12 minutes, then let cool. We used a store bought whipped cream frosting, and just mixed about 2 cups of coconut, and 1 1/2 cups of the toasted almonds with only 2/3 of the frosting. This mixture was put between the layers, and on the very top of the cake. What was left without coconut and almonds we used to frost the outside for an attempt at a finished look. :)
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