Sunday, November 6, 2011

Girls' Night In

Last night a friend and I had a girls' night in, complete with a chick flick, cake, and red wine.  I’m a chocolate girl, she likes vanilla but everybody loves cookies and cream.
I normally decorate this cake with Oreo cookies but I wanted to show you how cute my gum paste flowers were.

This cake is super easy to make and reminds me of the cakes I enjoyed as a child. If you prefer to make cupcakes, this recipe makes about 24 cupcakes. Fill your cups 2/3 full, bake, rotating pans once, for about 20 minutes. Top cupcakes with chopped Oreo cookies.
Cookies & Cream Cake
Adapted from a recipe for One-Bowl Chocolate Cake I tore out of  a Martha Stewart magazine years ago
Unsalted butter, softened, for pans
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pans
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
3/4 cup warm water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*Oreo cookies, chopped (optional, see note)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (if you’re using non-stick pans, preheat oven to 325 degrees).  Butter two 8-inch round cake pans (2 inches deep); dust with cocoa. Sift cocoa, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add sugar. Beat on low speed until just combined. Raise speed to medium and add eggs, buttermilk, water, oil, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.
Divide batter between pans. Bake until set ad toothpick inserted into the centers of the centers comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Turn out from pans. Transfer, faceup, to wire racks. Let cool completely.
Spread about 1 1/2 cups frosting onto top of 1 cool layer. Do a crumb coat over entire cake and refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes. Use the remaining frosting to frost sides first, dipping your spatula in warm water and wiping with a damp, clean towel before each stroke. Finish by frosting the top of the cake and decorating as desired.
Fluffy Vanilla Frosting
From Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes Book
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy.
Add vanilla and beat until frosting is smooth. 
*Note: You can chop about 8 Oreo cookies and put on top of the frosting in the middle of the cake and use additional whole cookies to decorate the top of the cake. However, this cake is delicious even without the cookies. 

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