Do you ever have those days where you think to yourself - no, I don't want to make 5 dozen cookies, 2 dozen cupcakes, or a whole three layer cake? Yeah, neither do I. Just thought I'd check though.
However, I must confess a weakness of mine. It's a big one, and it has led to some pretty silly purchases and projects. Sshhh, don't tell anyone, but I like little things. The littler, the better. Small = cute = love. Thus things like mini loaves, mini bundt cakes, teacakes, cup-pies, mini madeleines, carrot cake cupcakes... See? It's a problem. And I have to say, it's one that probably won't go away any time soon.
And that's why I ended up with these. These oh-so-adorable cakes. Baked in 7-oz ramekins, split into three layers, and frosted with plain vanilla frosting. They are my solution to those "I need chocolate. Now." days. In fact, the idea of these is making me seriously consider buying this small batch baking book. Seriously, 2 cakes? Four cupcakes? Six cookies? The ability to mini-size everything without a spreadsheet? I'm right about 65% sold right now.
PS: After writing this, I was photographing and thinking of ways to justify mini desserts (or mini anything) when my engineering background caught up with me. I found myself thinking "Well, when making a regular recipe, you get probably three times more minis than you would get regular sized things. And obviously, quality control is a must in everything, baking especially. If you have three times more minis, your population is larger, so your sample size to get the same degree of confidence would have to be larger too." Voila! Justification for eating more of something when it's mini-sized!
PPS: Please excuse the excessive number of pictures. I'm overwhelmed by cuteness. And they just seemed perfect to commemorate my 100th post. Dear lord that's a lot of baking...
PPPS: Evidently, I missed the boat on a blog event - Laurie's Layers of Cake Event! So yeah, thanks to everyone who clued me in to it, and I'll be sending it on Laurie's way!
Mini Chocolate Cake
adapted from "Chocolate Birthday Cake" from Debby Maugans Nakos' Small-Batch Baking
1/4 cup plus 2 T all-purpose flour
2 T sour cream
1 T strong coffee
Yolk of 1 large egg [I used the whole egg]
1/2 t pure vanilla extract
3 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 t baking soda
1/8 t salt
1/3 cup sugar
- Place a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Grease the insides of the cans and lightly dust them with flour, tapping out the excess [I sprayed mine with Pam for baking] Place the cans on a baking sheet for easier handling, and set aside.
- Combine the sour cream, coffee, egg yolk [I used the whole egg because I'm not planning on making macarons any time soon] and vanilla in a small bowl, and whisk to mix. Gradually pour the melted butter into the sour cream mixture, whisking constantly
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium-size mixing bowl, and then whisk to blend well. Add the sugar and whisk to combine. Add the sour cream mixture and whisk just until the dry ingredients are moistened.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared cans, dividing it evenly between them. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the centre of one comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the cans to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Then run a thin, sharp knife around the edge of each can and invert them to release the cakes. Turn the cakes upright and let them cool completely on the rack.
- To frost the cakes, cut each cake in thirds horizontally. Spread a layer of frosting about 1/2 inch thick on the cut side of one cake third, then stack the next third on top of it. Repeat for next layer. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Repeat with the remaining cake and frosting. Decorate as desired. Sprinkles optional, but definitely encouraged.
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c. sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 T milk
- Beat butter at medium-high speed until creamy.
- Sift powdered sugar into the mixer bowl (right on top of the beaten butter). Beat to combine.
- Add the vanilla and the milk. Beat until combined.
- This made much more frosting than I needed, but I wasn't sure if a half recipe would be enough. And there's nothing wrong with extra frosting hanging around, right?