I am very excited to submit my first offering to the Avid Bakers Challenge.  Thank you Monica at SweetBites for pointing me in this direction and thank you Hanaa at Hanaa’s Kitchen for welcoming me into the club with open arms.  I am very honored to be here among such distinquished company.  The Avid Bakers Challenge is a once a month baking challenge and this year the group is baking from Baking For All Occasions by Flo Braker.  I have been a fan of Flo’s for many many years and have had this book on my shelf for awhile now but haven’t gotten a chance to bake from it.  This is a great chance to expand the baking repertoire and taste some of Flo’s amazing recipes.  Thanks again for having me. 

This weeks cake is a classic dark chocolate cake with fluffy sea foam frosting and a milk chocolate coating.  It isn’t a difficult recipe so lets dive in and take a look at this recipe. 

Set up your mis en place and have everything at room temperature.  Melt the chocolate using your favorite method and set aside to cool to luke warm.  Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside until needed.  Mix the sour cream and vanilla together and set aside.  This cake uses the creaming method so to get started cream the softened butter until light and fluffy and then add the brown sugar and cream together until fluffy, about 4 minutes.  

The creamed butter

The creamed butter and brown sugar

With the mixer running, add the eggs a bit at a time and continue beating until the eggs are well incorporated and the mixture is light, about 4 minutes.  

Adding the eggs

I’m sure everyone noticed the mistake in this recipe in that it never states when to add the melted chocolate.  It seemed logical to me to add it here and that is what I did.  Add the chocolate and beat to incorporate.   Next add the flour and sour cream mixtures in stages beginning and ending with the flour and beating to incorporate the ingredients between each addition.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the coffee and beat it in using a rubber spatula.  

The completed batter

 Divide the batter between 2 prepared cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes or until they test for done.  Cool the cakes on a rack for 10 minutes and then unmold and cool completely. 

Ready to bake

This divinity frosting always reminds me of my mother.  She called it sea foam frosting and always made it for her chocolate cakes and we would have them with Sunday dinner or on family occasions.  Now for my bad boy story.  As a child I totally hated this frosting and anything else involving eggs. I used to take a huge piece of cake and then proceed to scrape off every bit of this frosting and toss it out and only eat the cake.   (To be honest, to this day I detest eggs and can not even gag one down to save my life, but I have learned to appreciate meringue and this frosting.)  This frosting involves making an Italian meringue which as we all know begins with a boiled sugar syrup.  Combine the corn syrup, sugar and water in a heavy sauce pan, stir to dissolve the sugar and begin boiling the syrup.  

Boiling the syrup

In the mean time, put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until they begin to froth and then add the salt and cream of tartar.  Continue beating until peaks form.  When the sugar syrup reaches about 240 degrees remove from the heat and on low speed pour the syrup in a steady stream into the egg whites and continue beating until all the syrup has been added.  

Adding the syrup

Increase the speed to medium and continue beating to cool the whites down.  Add the vanilla and continue beating until the whites cool to about 96 degrees. 

Place the bottom cake layer on a cake plate and fill with a generous amount of frosting.  

Filling the first layer

Add the top layer and frost the top and sides of the cake with a generous amount of frosting.  

Adding the top layer

Set aside and allow the frosting to firm up.  

The frosted cake

Melt the milk chocolate and butter on a small saucepan.  Remove from the heat and stir until smooth and creamy.  Using a pastry brush, coat the entire cake with the chocolate coating.  Set the cake aside to allow the coating to set up. 

Enjoy 

Next Month:  Orange Chiffon Tweed Cake with Milk ‘n’ Honey Sabayon

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