All four choices sounded delicious as always this month. But this one definitely stood out for a couple of reasons. The first being I had all of the ingredients on hand. That is always one of the most important factors, so that one alone would have probably been enough! The second was that it made a small single layer square cake. We were having dinner at my mother-in-law's and I knew it would be the perfect size to bring and share without burdening anyone with 15 pounds of leftover cake. (I know, life is rough sometimes isn't it?) The third intriguing part of this cake is that instead of using oil or butter, Maida uses cream. And last but not least, this cake had a fun chocolate frosting and we all know that as far as I am concerned it is the frosting that makes the cake.
I don't actually have a square cake pan. It's hard to believe, I know. But I did have a glass square pan. Had this cake been a layered cake, the hard edges would have been more important. But I figured in this case with one layer and a more rustic feel to start with the rounded edges of the casserole pan would work fine. In the end I actually liked the rounded look, but again would not recommend using a pan like this if I were stacking.
The frosting was a little hard to deal with. Maida made it clear that you had to pour very slowly or you'd end up with a cake in a pool of frosting. She wasn't kidding! I thought I was working slowly enough and the next thing I knew, there was frosting pooled around the cake. Luckily I had rimmed the cake with wax paper strips. I just spooned a bit of the frosting at a time back onto the cake until it mostly stayed put. Other than that, I really liked the frosting. It did form a skin as time went on and the cake traveled fine to dinner. But when you cut into the cake, the inside of the frosting was still super soft and moist. It was almost like a thick chocolate pudding. It went really well with the cake.
We all enjoyed a slice after dinner and a few even went back for seconds right away, which is always a good sign! Luckily my in-laws were happy to keep the rest of the cake, which was especially good as I had made a couple of cakes that weekend. This is definitely a cake that would be worth making again! It has been a lot of fun baking our way through Maida Heatter's Cakes with the Cake Slice Bakers. I have had good luck with most everything I've made and I have really enjoyed seeing everyone else's bakes as well. It won't be long and we'll be starting our new book. I can't wait to dive in!
Farmer's Daughter Cake
makes 1 8" cake, serves 9
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Preheat your oven to 350 F and grease and flour an 8x8x2 pan. (I use the spray with the flour in it)
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl, or your mixer, beat together the eggs, vanilla & almond extracts and sugar until combined. Add the cream and mix until incorporated.
- Stir in the dry ingredients, beating just until smooth.
- Pour into prepared pan and smooth out the top.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean. (Maida warns that the top may dome, but will flatten and that is may crack and that is ok.)
- Let cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto a rack to cool completely.
- Once cool, place upside down on a cake plate so that you have a flat surface on top.
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (I used a nice dark chocolate)
1/2 cup cold milk
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 generous Tablespoon butter
1 tsp vanilla
- In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, stir together milk and sugar. Add chocolate and heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and chocolate is melted. Be sure to stir frequently as you go. Remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks just enough to break them up. Gently temper with a bit of warm chocolate mixture. (I added a few Tablespoons of chocolate mixture and beat vigorously then repeat the process to temper the yolks and keep them from scrambling in the hot chocolate mixture.) Then add egg yolks to the remaining chocolate mixture, beating to combine.
- Warm the chocolate mixture over low heat, whisking constantly, for one minute. (Mine stayed pretty smooth, but Maida warns that it may not and you should forge on anyway.)
- Transfer chocolate mixture to the bowl of your mixer and stir in the butter and vanilla. Let stand until cool. This may take a while, but I put mine in the refrigerator for a bit to hasten the process.
- Beat the icing at high speed for 10-15 minutes. It should be smooth, shiny and about the consistency of corn syrup.
- Be sure to place wax paper strips under you cake as this icing can get messy if you are like me and are short on patience!
- Pour about half of the icing on the cake and then step back for a minute or so. Then continue to pour the icing just a bit at a time onto the center of the cake. If you poor too quickly, all of the frosting will run down the sides. Gently coax the frosting with a spatula if it needs help going in a certain direction.
- If you went slowly enough, the frosting should have stayed mostly in place. If not, just scoop the large puddles off the wax paper and place back on the center of the cake until most of the frosting is on the cake. Carefully remove wax paper strips.
- Let the cake sit for a couple of hours so the icing sets.
And now to see what everyone else baked!
This recipe was shared at Meal Plan Monday