Happy Birthday to Me Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting


Cake-from Food and Wine, June 2007

Ingredients-Cake
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature

Directions-Cake
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper; butter and dust with flour.
In a bowl, mix the 3 cups of flour, baking powder and salt. In a cup, mix the milk with the vanilla.  Set aside.
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter at medium speed until light and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy,
4 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl. Beat in the dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the milk
mixture and scraping down the bowl.
Scrape the batter into the pans. Bake in the lower third of the oven for about 35 minutes, until springy.
Let cool for 15 minutes, then
run a knife around the edges and invert onto a rack. Peel off the paper, turn the cakes upright and cool completely.

Elegant Frosting
From back of Baker's Chocolate Box circa 1975
Ingredients-Frosting
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
5 one ounce squares of unsweetened chocolate
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter cut into 8 pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions-Frosting
Combine sugar and cream in heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.  When mixture begins to boil stir it constantly for 6
minutes.
Take pan off heat and add chocolate, stirring until melted and blended.
Stir in butter until melted and add vanilla.
Pour mixture into either a large bowl (if you will be using a hand mixer) or the bowl of your standing mixer.
Chill for 30 minutes.  
Beat until thick, frosting will go from darker to lighter. 
Chill for another 30 minutes or so, beat to aerate again and frost the cake.

Directions-Frosting Cake
Place several pieces of wax paper strips in sunburst pattern on serving platter or frosting turn-table.
Place one cake layer on top of wax paper strips.
Place one cup of frosting on top of cake layer and spread with a spatula (offset is best).
Place second cake layer on top of first layer and frost top and sides with remaining frosting. 
Carefully remove wax paper strips and serve.  Feel free to chill for a bit but cake is best served at room temperature.
Yield: one 9 inch layer cake (16 slices)
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