Saturday, October 18, 2008

Happy Birthday to Katie!

While Katie and Jason traveled to Ohio for a DEVO Concert/Obama Fundraiser I traveled to their house to let their dog out and to make some stealthy birthday baked goods. Yes, I baked in their kitchen while neither of them were home. I'm creepy like that.

First up I tried my hand at making my first ever apple pie. I cannot reveal the recipe as it is a shhhh! family secret of some sort that is not mine to reveal, but it is pretty freaking tasty, I can tell you that much. And, hey...not bad for my first attempt at from scratch pie.

Next up is one of the best things I have ever baked and one of the worst photos. When I was at Katie's I forgot to take a picture of the cake, so a week later we took this one, the cake had sank some while in the fridge and a week had not done much to improve its looks or probably its taste either.

The original recipe comes from Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes, but I found it via Life in a Peanut Shell. The original recipe included a sour cream triple layer chocolate cake, peanut butter cream cheese frosting (don't judge until you have tried it..Yum.), and a chocolate-peanut butter glaze that I opted out of.

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes

Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. Then freeze for 15-20 minutes while you prepare the frosting.

4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.

Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes about 5 cups

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

The surprise didn't work out very well, but we did have a tasty if slow dinner with Katie, Rich, Rob, Susan, Jason, Tracy, Jillian and Allen and then cake and pie at Katie's. Mmm...pie.

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