I just saw Elizabeth's comment asking "where have I been?" A shout out to Elizabeth... I'm BACK!!!! Well, I had a writers block. Not an excuse, but I was filled with so much work that my weekends became my lazy weekends.
Have you heard of Mr Men and Little Miss? I've always love these characters. They are just so cute and funny. My brother's birthday was back in March, and I thought to celebrate his day, I will bake him a cake. He loves to eat what I whip up or bake and has always been very supportive by giving me positive comments.
Since I've always spoilt my brother, it took me a while to piece the cake together. I'm from a family who LOVES chocolate cake expect for my dad who's the acceptional one. He's a cheese cake lover. Since it's not my dad's party, obviously, I will make a rich and moist dark chocolate cake. The hard part was decorating the cake. It took me awhile but I recalled there's a character which fits my little brother really well,
Mr Persnickety. You'll see why later that this cake fits him.
This time round, instead of my Hershey's chocolate cake recipe, I decided to try out Martha Stewart's recipe which was published in her Living magazine, January 2009 her no# 182 edition.
Note: Now the recipe below is the original amount that is called for. For my cake, I've doubled up all the amount to make an 8-inches, 4 layer cake. This also includes the frosting. Otherwise Martha's recipe is ideal for just a single layer cake, or if you're an expert carver who can carve thinly in between layer, I will say 'kudos to you mate!'
For the cake
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (for my own cake, I used 3/4 dark cocoa powder + 3/4 dutch cocoa powder)
1 1/2 cups cake flour/ all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sour cream (since I had buttermilk, I substituted with butter milk)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract (for my own, I used approx. 2-3 tsp of vanilla extract)
To prepare dark moist chocolate cake:
1. Preheat over to 350 deg or approx 180 Celsius. Butter or use Wilton's cake release to coat an 8-by-12-inch cake pan. Line bottom with parchment.
2. Lightly whisk using a hand whisk to combine cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Then transfer to your stand mixer's mixing bowl. With a paddle attachment, mix in eggs, warm water, milk, sour cream or buttermilk, butter and vanilla extract. Keep mixing with medium speed until batter is smooth with no lumps.
3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for approx. 35-40 minutes or a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cake cool for a bit before transferring onto a wire rack to complete cooling.
Note: Cake will keep up to a week, if unfrosted.
For the frosting:
2 large white eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
2 1/2 tbsp creme de menthe/ mint extract (go easy on the mint extract and taste along as you go until you reach your desired flavour)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-2 drops of green food colouring (optional)
Note: To decorate, you can always opt for chocolate sprinkles, white sprinkles, Andes Creme de Menthe candies, After8 thin chocolates etc.
To prepare creme de menthe frosting:
1. Mix whites and sugar in a mixer bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Heat, whisking constantly until sugar dissolves for approx. 2-3 mins and mixture is warm.
2. Remove from heat. With a whisk attachment, whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, for about 5 minutes. Add butter, several cubes at a time, whisking after each addition. Add creme de menthe, vanilla and food colouring, then beat for another 2 minutes, scrapping down sides of bowl when needed.