Pretty birthday cake anyone? My sister and I made this for her friend Marina's birthday, and I'm so excited with how pretty it turned out. To be fair, and to give credit where credit is due, I mostly helped with making buttercream, and with the rolling, tinting, cutting, and smoothing of fondant. She had the cakes in the oven when I got there, and did the final assembly after I left. Regardless, I'm thrilled to have been able to help, and apparently her friend Marina loved her cake! It's a chocolate buttermilk cake (my go-to recipe, which I'll provide after the jump) with chocolate buttercream filling and plain old fondant.
In other news, I'm finally knitting again! I hit a dry spell this summer and really haven't done much of anything besides the occasional discloth. However, since I was asked to make a mug cozy for this same birthday I rose to the challenge. I'm really happy with how it turned out too. The purple yarn is lovely, and I'm pleased that I found a button that suited it. The pattern is available as a Ravelry download, it's called Mug and French Press Jacket, by MK Carroll. The things I've come to love about this pattern (I've made it twice now) is how quickly it knits up, how easy it is to follow, and how amazing it is to block wool to the exact shape you want on the mug. Seriously, wool is amazing. I don't know how I didn't know this earlier in my life! I'm pretty sure the recipient liked this part of her present too, so my mission was accomplished.
Chocolate Buttermilk Cake
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup water
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups white sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1. Grease three 9 inch cake pans. Line bottoms with wax or parchment paper. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. In a small pan over low heat, combine 1cup chocolate chips and 1/4 cup water. Stir until chocolate chips have melted, and mixture is smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature.
3. Sift together flour, soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, cream the butter or margarine with the sugar. Add vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in chocolate mixture. Stir flour mixture into creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Blend until smooth. Divide batter into three 9 inch pans, and smooth tops.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans for 10 to 15 minutes, then invert on wire racks; turn right side up to cool completely.