I do not bake often. I much rather cook! With baking you have to be exact and I like to improvise in my cooking. I add a little of this a little of that. Well, I had a friend request I make her a cake for her husband’s Birthday. I said I would. Then I went on the hunt for that perfect chocolate cake recipe. The chocolate cake that got a lot of high ratings on the internet was that published by Ina Garten. Only the cake called for 8 inch cake rounds and all I had was 9 inch. I proceeded to follow the recipe. Only instead of using 1 cup of hot brewed coffee I used the room temp coffee that I had brewed earlier in the day. I used the 9 inch cake rounds that I had and baked them… but they fell. That is right the center of the cake collapsed during baking. It rose around the outside perimeter, but there was a definite valley in the center of my cakes. But we tasted the cake and it was delicious! The hint of coffee was good. I was about to abandon ship on this recipe. But it was good… so I went in search of the 8 inch cake tins. I hit up 6 stores before I finally found disposable foil ones in the right size at Walmart. Armed with this, and the information that the HOT liquid makes all the difference I tried again.. and my second attempt was much better! But it also was full of issues. I do not bake.. I do not bake.. I do not bake…
About 15 minutes into baking time my blower on the oven stops blowing, which only means one thing: the oven has come to a cool enough temperature that the blower is not blowing!!! WHAT!!!?? I had the oven all preheated and now my second attempt is in the oven? and the blower stops blowing? Sure enough. My oven is most decidedly OFF! This is not good! I removed the cakes, got the oven back up to baking temperature and baked them again. Keeping my fingers crossed! They came out beautifully, but it was the stress I could have lived without.
A few reviews of the frosting were negative, but I had a Vanilla Frosting that I have used before that came out with good success, so I decided to use that. My friend was thrilled! For the frosting recipe I used please go to my Choir Cake.
You can find the original recipe at this link. Thank you Ina for a winning recipe of Chocolate Cake. I may make it again.. once I get over the shock of this past baking experience. And my dear readers can learn from my mistakes – do use HOT coffee!!! or your cake will look like this:
As a side note: I have not been as active on my blog in recent months. I have taken on home schooling my high school student and have found less time to cook creatively. I have been still cooking, but many recipes I have already posted here. Next year I am home schooling two of my three kids, so I imagine I will have even less time to blog. Home schooling is going pretty well overall, other than it is even harder to get the kids up in the morning. I never saw myself to be a home school mom, but I have found a great support group and do not feel alone in this endeavor. My son has also started to play baseball. While he is brand new to the sport, it is quite fun to see him learn a sport I have no knowledge about. My husband and I joke that we don’t have the sports gene. We don’t watch it on TV. I used to ride horses, and occasionally play volleyball, but I was not into sports by any means!