Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Nutmeg Spice Cake

When, oh when oh when oh when will I learn to READ the directions thoroughly when I'm baking.

Although you can't tell from this picture, I had made a gorgeous buttercream frosting earlier in the day. I'm talking glossy, fluffy almost too pretty to eat it buttercream. Which got stored in the fridge as I'd made the frosting before the cake. And then, the disaster. I pulled it out of the fridge and immediately started to mix it again in the stand mixer instead of bringing it back to room temperature first. The worst of it that I attempted to fix it on my own by throwing things into the buttercream to thicken it and pull it back together when all I had to do was leave it alone for another ten minutes and let it mix itself back into shape.

Still, never mind, the cake was really good. And in an effort to put a positive spin on my comprehension skills, I like to think that I saved myself a few thousand calories because had the frosting been delicious, I would have eaten it straight out of the bowl and skipped the cake altogether. Which would have been a shame as the cake is really good.

I made a few modifications to the cake by doubling the spices as I had attempted this once before sans frosting and wasn't terribly impressed with the flavor of the cake. I also submitted gluten free flour for the regular flour and cut back on the baking time by 5 minutes.

Overall grade: B. I liked the cake quite a bit. The frosting, even before I desecrated it, was a bit heavier and and butter than I normally like my frosting. I would definitely try the cake again, maybe with a apple based frosting that I think would go great with spiciness of the cake.

Modified from "Flour" by Joanne Chang 

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 cups gluten free flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2  tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup nonfat buttermilk, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat butter and oil on medium speed for 1 minute or until well combined. Slowly add sugar and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until combined.

In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. On low speed, add 1/3 of flour mixture to egg butter mixture and mix until just barely combined. Pour in half of buttermilk and mix until almost thoroughly incorporated. Add half of remaining flour and mix until just combined, adding remaining buttermilk and mixing until incorporated. Add remaining flour mixture and mix until completely incorporated. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans.

Bake for 30 - 40 minutes (25 if using smaller cake pans) or until cakes spring back when pressed in middle. Let cool completely before turning out on rack.

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