So, it’s Thursday and I am NOT at work. I am NOT even in Berkeley. Instead, I am at my childhood home in San Jose, bitterly sitting here wondering why I have such an awful landlady. I am moving out at the end of the month, but on repeated occasions, she has FAILED to tell me that she was showing my room to potential renters. This is (1) rude and disrespectful (2) very embarrassing as my room is terribly messy (3) against the law without 24 hours notice (4) a complete and total invasion of privacy. So I have a legitimate reason to hate her. ALSO, I have become irresponsibly unmotivated at work. I am a disgruntled worker who is completely discontent with what she is doing. Hence why, I am here in my kitchen and NOT at work today. And nothing cures my frustration like some kitchen time and hanging out with loved ones.
Smitten Kitchen’s Perfect Yellow Cake
Source: Best Birthday Cake, smitten kitchen
So this is now my go-to recipe for yellow cake. The cake is moist but not too dense. It is fluffy and light, but still has plenty of substance to make an impact. I took Deb’s recipe and turned them into cupcakes, and what cute little things. My only concern is that they aren’t as yellow as I would like – but it is probably due to the small eggs I used. Here’s the recipe, I wouldn’t change a thing.
4 c + 2 tbs cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temp
2 c buttermilk, well-shaken, room temp
Directions for Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 3 cupcake pans with liners. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
Beat together butter and sugar with electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add vanilla.
Incorporate 1 egg at a time, beating well and scraping down bowl after each addition. On low speed, add buttermilk until just combined (will look curdled). Add flour mixture in 3 batches and mixing until just incorporated. Do NOT over mix. I usually finish with a spatula by hand to prevent over-mixing (which causes excess gluten formation, which yields a tougher cake).
Divide batter between cupcake pans. I use a 3 oz. ice cream scoop to ensure even distribution of batter. Rap filled pans on counter to eliminate air bubbles. If you do not use all the cupcake molds in a pan, simply fill those empty molds with water, taking care not to spill water into the cupcake batter.
Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely on rack. Do not frost until completely cooled.
Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting
I don’t honestly think this is the Sprinkles dark chocolate icing recipe, b/c I’ve had it, and this recipe sure doesn’t taste like it. Even so, this is a pretty delish recipe that I can thank my friend Colleen for sending to me. A lot of people don’t appreciate the sourness from the sour cream, but I find it such a good complement to the chocolate. It really cuts through all that rich intensity of the dark chocolate, which is arguably a good (or bad) thing. I love it. What’s better than a delish chocolate frosting to pair with your chocolate cake?
10 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 lb (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1 lb powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c sour cream [I used a generous 1/3 cups]
Melt chocolate over a double boiler and allow to cool until just slightly warm.
With an electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar. Add salt, vanilla and sour cream, and beat until very smooth. Add chocolate and mix until just incorporated. Yields enough to frost 30 cupcakes, or 26ish generously.
Life is soo much better when I’m not in Berkeley. No crazy landlady. No tedious and absolutely pointless work. Instead, I get to play with my puppies and my boyfriend and my family. I mean c’mon. I only have a few short months left before I leave all my loved ones for New York City. I’m going to milk my time with them as much as I can.