I have no idea where my Summer went. Actually, I do. I spent a lot of it with USAir flying to and from Indianapolis for work. When I haven't been at work I've been catching up on work at home. It has been a long summer trying to stay on top of all sorts of things and keep my Inbox under control.
Nevertheless, I've found some time to explore a new hobby - cake baking. Well, cakes and cupcakes. It is so relaxing and has nothing to do with my job that it is restorative. It has the added bonus of providing nearly instant gratification!
My signature cake has become a Red Velvet Smith Island Cake. I'm using this Red Velvet Cake recipe and this Smith Island Cake concept. I make it using 6-inch cake pans, rather than the 8-inch pans the recipe calls for. Why? Because a 6-inch cake is big enough for this rich treat! And the recipe yields two 6-inch cakes which is nice because one can go to my office and the other can stay at home.
If you want to make it yourself I recommend the following:
- Set aside a good 3 hours. The cake batter takes 10 minutes to make, the rest of the time is baking. Pick a movie you haven't seen in a while and relax with it.
- Invest in at least four 6-inch pans. This means you can have two in the oven and the other two cooling. This really speeds up the baking. I prefer the kind with a bottom that pops out. This makes it super-easy to release the layers from the pan.
- Bake each layer just a centimeter thick - it takes 3-4 serving spoon's worth of batter in each pan to get the right thickness. It is easier to bake and ice the individual layers rather than baking normal thickness layers and slicing them into thinner layers. If you try and ice the cut layers you'll have to deal with a serious mess of crumbs.
Here are some pictures to give you an idea of what it looks like up close - one of red velvet and cream cheese frosting, the other a more traditional yellow cake with chocolate icing: