Sisters and Brothers, from time to time, your Chocolate Priestess may share recipes but as a very busy woman, she often bakes or cooks not from scratch but semi-scratch or by combining several packaged items to make a meal. Birthday cakes are a good example of this. Normally I use a box mix, add some slightly difference ingredients, then decorate it. That is what I did for The Milk Chocolate Acolyte's birthday party on Sunday.
I used one Duncan Hines Devil's Food cake mix which the birthday boy choose and then 2.5 containers of white frosting from Pillsbury. I used Egg Beaters, filtered water, and Smart Balance oil. I mixed the wet ingredients first for two minutes on medium in my KitchenAid Artisan mixer I had to buy a few years ago when an inherited standing mixture stopped working after 15 years of my use and well over a decade of my aunt's use. After the wet ingredients were thoroughly mixed, I added the cake mix and followed the directions for time and speed settings, scrapping the mixer bowl once in the process.
In an attempt to try a suggestion I've seen on several food blogs, I sprayed the pan then added what I hoped would be a thin layer of cocoa to the pan instead of flour. While it worked well in terms of helping the cake not stick to the glass, it was a very unfortunate choice when it was frosted because it required extra frosting to cover the cocoa that insisted on mixing itself into the white.
After it was baked, I let it cool for about an hour then turned it out onto a cookie sheet since the only cake carrier I have is for round cakes. Nope, the birthday boy wanted a rectangular cake. We let it cool a bit longer and then the White Chocolate Acolyte decided to do all the decorating. I had an idea a few days before and we talked about it. He did this, see picture to the right, based on my idea using the colors I mixed but all credit or blame for the final look is his. I think he did fine because the birthday boy was pleased and his guests all knew what it was.
I don't know about the rest of you, Sisters and Brothers, but even if a cake looks amazing, I don't want it unless it tastes good. Did this one? Yes! Everyone who had a piece said it was very chocolaty and had just the right level of moisture. In part I think this is because we let it set out overnight decorated and did not allow any trapped moisture to build up. With a good tasting cake, pleased guests and a pleased birthday boy, I could relax and enjoy the party myself. Helping us enjoy life is one of the duties of chocolate.
Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.