…or something Kristina kind of made up. Well, I followed the cake part of the recipe to the letter. Then I really went out on a limb with the frosting. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I wanted to stop right at the “cream butter and sugar” phase when I made the pecan sandies. Well, I did that this time. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about the result, but I’ll talk about it a bit at the end of this post.
First step: Make coffee. This reminds me of my mom’s chocolate version of her basic cake recipe. I think Rose and my Mom would really get along. Mom developed her own basic yellow cake recipe, many years ago, with 2 variations: spice cake and chocolate cake. The chocolate version has a cup of hot coffee in it, just like this one.
The next few steps involved measuring and mixing various ingredients. This cake is fairly far off Rose’s normal butter cake methods, so I actually had to pay attention, and it made a lot more dishes than I was used to.
The melted chocolate is actually sitting on top of the measuring cup of coffee. I set both of them on a sunny windowsill to “keep warm.”
Cream together the butter and sugar.. somewhat like a normal cake recipe, but rather different from Rose’s. She has you adding the butter to the flour & sugar mixture.
As I said, this made a lot more dishes than I’m used to for a butter cake. Fortunately, most of them are dishwasher-able. 🙂
Into the oven with you!
I over baked the cakes a little bit. When the timer first went off, they were still gooey in the middle, so I put them back in for 5 minutes. Then about 10 minutes later, I wondered why it hadn’t beeped yet. Forgot to hit “Start.” Oops.
As I said, I made the first step to the pecan sandies as the frosting for this. I figured it was worth trying.
The result is an unusual crunchy frosting, with some great flavours. I think if I did this again, I’d mix together the sugars and salt as a sugar syrup, and turn it into a somewhat standard buttercream, somehow. On the other hand, this is truly unique, and I like the little hits of crunch I get from the turbinado sugar, and little spots of salt, too. Very salted caramel, but only good in small doses – I’m glad I did a very thin coat. The cake itself was fantastic. Moist, chocolatey, and held together well. I’m not sure which would win when placed side by side with my Mom’s, which is high praise.
I wish I could say I’m hoping to get some constructive feedback when I take the leftovers to work tomorrow, but I’m not counting on it. The most discerning they generally get is about which Tim Horton’s donut they get when the boss brings them in on Fridays. They’ll pretty much eat anything sweet. There’s a couple of people that I know I can rely on for honesty (about more than baking), because they know that telling me what they think I want to hear will get them absolutely nowhere. Unfortunately, I now only see these people socially, and the stars didn’t align this week to let them try this one out. Although, if they showed up at the office tomorrow morning, that would be amazing. 😉
On a side note, this past weekend, I was inspired by a friend to dig through some old folders full of sheet music from my high school band days. In one of them (???), I found this photocopy of my great-grandmother Elleda Wightman’s hand-written recipe for “Burnt Leather Cake.” ❤ I’ve made it at least once before, but it’s been a long time. I suspect the frosting is a distant relative of the caramel buttercream that was supposed to accompany this cake. I’m thinking it’s time to “modernize” the recipe and try it again.