Thursday, August 5, 2010

choco-nilla cake with marshmallow frosting

 last fall my boyfriend and i had a small dinner party with some of his closest friends and i used this as an excuse to try out this cake.  i saw it posted and i had just been waiting for an occasion to try it.  unfortunately for me, i ate too much dinner and appetizers that i was pretty full by the time we got to this gorgeous cake, BUT i did eat plenty for leftovers :)  it was relatively easy to make, but the frosting is a little involved.  worth the effort though, i promise!  i just cut my chocolate cake in half to make it 3 layers, but you could always choose to leave it 2 layers if you feel like making your life easier.  and if you have the wilton bake even strips, use them!!  i hadn't gotten mine yet when i made this cake, but they are worth the investment.

 Choco-Nilla Cake with Marshmallow Frosting
 copied from my baking adventures

Vanilla Cake
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour

Chocolate Cake
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbs. cornstarch
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup water
2  greased and floured 9 inch cake pans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Make the vanilla cake: Whisk together the yogurt or sour cream, eggs, sugar, salt, baking powder, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Stir in the flour, mixing till smooth. Pour the batter into one of the prepared pans.  Bake the cake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the cake is beginning to brown on top. Remove the cake from the oven, and after 10 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.
 Make the chocolate cake: Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, oil, and vanilla, beating until smooth. Gradually add the water, beating until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for about 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven, and after 10 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.

Marshmallow Icing - adapted from Dorie Greenspan
1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 large)
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Put the egg whites in a clean, dry mixer bowl or in another large bowl. Have a candy thermometer at hand.
Put the sugar, cream of tartar and water in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, cover the pan and boil for 3 minutes. Uncover and allow the syrup to boil until it reaches 242 degrees F on the candy thermometer. While the syrup is cooking, start beating the egg whites.
When the syrup is at about 235 degrees F, begin beating the egg whites on medium speed with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer. If the whites form firm, shiny peaks before the syrup reaches temperature, reduce the mixer speed to low and keep mixing the whites until the syrup catches up. With the mixer at medium speed, and standing back slightly, carefully pour in the hot syrup, pouring it between the beater(s) and the side of the bowl. Splatters are inevitable — don’t try to scrape them into the whites, just carry on. Add the vanilla extract and keep beating the whites at medium speed until they reach room temperature, about 5 minutes. You should have a smooth, shiny, marshmallowy frosting.

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