August 31, 2011

Birthday Girl....Miss Irma's Special Day...SHHH! She Doesn't Wanna' Talk About It!

Yesterday was Miss Irma's birthday and when I spoke with her in the morning she said, "I don't like birthdays anymore! I don't wanna talk about birthdays!" I hear ya' sweet girl. Me either! But let's just say she is a most special girl today and everyday...yeah, that sounds better!

Ohio Grandma and Luke...enjoying happy hour!

 A perfect excuse to present Miss Irma with her own "special day" cake! I must say, I am also a tiny bit envious that she is spending the week in Atlanta with little Luka! Now that's a perfect birthday gift I believe! Ya'll have fun!!

Sharing cupcakes!

Here is another secret......Estelle's scrumptious, tried and true Birthday Cake! Everyone needs a killer yellow cake recipe. This is mine, and dare I say, it will quickly be on your list of favorites. Grandmother Estelle made this cake for every birthday, holiday and special occassion! Now not only was Grandmother Estelle a magnificent cook, she was a magnificent baker! So I have always followed her lead when it comes to baking. You know, it is such an art really and it sometimes has taken me several attempts to perfect the most delicious cake, pie or dessert recipe. I have had my share of failures. However, this one never fails to come out picture perfect, beautiful, moist and everyone ooh's and aah's!! Music to my ears!

Scrumptious Yellow Buttermilk Cake
4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line with circles of parchment paper, then butter parchment. (Alternately, you can use a cooking spray, either with just butter or butter and flour to speed this process up.) Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined. Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.

Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles.  Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
15 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons instant espresso
2 1/4 cups sour cream, ROOM TEMPERATURE
1/4 to 1/2 cup light corn syrup
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Estelle's Sweet Tip:
 Be sure that your sour cream is at room temperature
before you make the frosting.

Combine the chocolate and espresso powder, if using, in the top of a double-boiler or in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is melted. (Alternately, you can melt the chocolate in a microwave for 30 seconds, stirring well, and then heating in 15 second increments, stirring between each, until the chocolate is melted.) Remove from heat and let chocolate cool until tepid.

Whisk together the sour cream, 1/4 cup of the corn syrup and vanilla extract until combined. Add the tepid chocolate slowly and stir quickly until the mixture is uniform. Taste for sweetness, and if needed, add additional corn syrup in one tablespoon increments until desired level of sweetness is achieved.

Let cool in the refrigerator until the frosting is a spreadable consistency. This should not take more than 30 minutes. Should the frosting become too thick or stiff, just leave it out until it softens again.

Miss Irma and her sweet Jay!
Wishing you a very Special Day!

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