When it’s the middle of the week and it’s been a while since I’ve made a dessert, I’ll sometimes take a cake recipe and halve it, baking it in my 8″ x 8″ Fire King dish. That’s what I did this time, but following is the recipe for the complete two layer cake.
Ingredients (this is for the 2-layer cake. Use 1/2 this recipe for one layer.)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2-1/2 cup flour
1 bottle (1 oz or so) red food coloring
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (you could prob. use white, but I always use apple cider vinegar)
1 cup buttermilk
2 packages (bars) Philly Cream Cheese
4 cups powdered sugar
2 sticks butter, softened
pecan bits (a little or a lot, however you like)
Directions for the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350*.
In the Kitchenaid, cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.
In a measuring cup, mix together the buttermilk, vinegar, and food coloring.
Alternately, add to the Kitchenaid the flour mixture, then the buttermilk mixture, back and forth until everything is in the bowl.
Prepare the pan(s) with a parchment paper liner, butter and flour the sides. Spoon the cake mixture into the pan(s).
Bake at 350* for about 20 minutes. Start checking at 15 minutes.
Ah, it brings me such simple happiness when a cake is level when it comes out of the oven. Thank you, cake.
Let cake cool. In the meantime, make the icing by combining all ingredients. If you’re making the 2-layer full version of the cake, turn the cake out and put icing on each layer, then cover all over. Add pecan bits.
If you’re making the half-size version of the cake, put the icing on the cake still in the baking dish:
…add pecan pieces:
Tom Fitzmorris’ email earlier this week mentioned that this year, 31 restaurants are doing a Reveillon menu in New Orleans. Back in college, I had a friend whose family always had Reveillon after Christmas midnight Mass, but in New Orleans the restaurants have gotten into the custom of doing a Reveillon menu during the entire month of December.
We’ve been to eight of the restaurants serving it, but the menu that sounds so good right now is at the Monteleone’s Hunt Room:
Smoked Muscovy Duck Breast
Celeriac, apple and walnut salad port and ginger gastrique
Creamed shrimp and artichokes with salmon and scallop mousse, sorrel sauce
Puree of White Asparagus Soup
With St. André Cheese
or Salad Saint Sylvester
Wild greens, grilled black forest bread marinated forest mushrooms, apple, fig and apricot vinaigrette
Christmas Grill $60
Veal with morelles, duck with red currants, lamb loin with English mint sauce
or Braised Grouper $50
Carta fata style with creamed spinach and chanterelles white truffle sauce
or Roasted Goose and Red Cabbage $45
Traditional Christmas goose with braised red cabbage and apples caraway sauce
or Petit Filet of Beef $65
With foie gras and caramelized cipollini onions, perigueux sauce
White Chocolate Bread Pudding
Hazelnut crème brûlée with amaretto sauce anglaise
or Yule Log
with Raspberry Sauce