I am not good at reading instructions, I read enough to get the general idea and then get started. This was my first mistake. When reading the recipe I got as far as ‘one 8-inch square’ and stopped. I planned on making cupcakes and I must admit I was a little concerned that it wouldn’t make many but figured I could always make some more, later, if we liked them.
I checked the ingredients, I always have flour in the cupboard so knew I was safe there, I wasn’t sure how much cocoa I had so that went on the shopping list and I knew I didn’t have enough buttermilk or unsalted butter so added those.
Once home, after husband and child had been given lunch and put to bed, I got making. We’d had neighbours over the night before for home-made pizzas, thus I didn’t actually have enough flour, so I raced over to the same neighbours house and ‘borrowed’ some. Then I read the first instruction… ‘cake flour, surely that’s the same as plain’ I thought and began measuring. I decided I should check and so consulted my friend google and no, it’s not the same. Read my earlier post to see the difference and find a substitution.
Flour crisis over, I got back to making. The equivalent of 3 cups of flour later, 3 cups of sugar (I didn’t have enough of that either so used a combination of plain and caster) I was beginning to think that there was rather a lot of cake before me, so I re-read the instructions (I know! Who’d have thought reading instructions could be so helpful?) and noticed that it made one 8-inch square, three layer cake… no, not one 8-inch square cake, but 3 of them! Yep, I’ll have enough cupcakes.
The only other glitch was that my local shop (at the end of the street and the only one open on Sundays – no comment on backwards Perth trading hours) didn’t have buttermilk, so I bought a small carton of cream and figured I’d top it up with milk. The recipe reads 1½ cups buttermilk, mine had about ¼ cup buttermilk, 1 cup of cream and the rest in milk.
Oh and my poor old hand-me-down hand-held beater didn’t cope too well with so much gooey batter, I ended up putting all the liquids in together when the motor of my beater began to squeal and smell a bit funny.
Mexican Chocolate Butter Cake
Adapted from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes
Makes one 20cm square, three layer cake or approx 3½ dozen cupcakes
2 ½ cups plain flour
½ cup cornflour or custard powder – I used cornflour.
3 cups sugar
1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process), sifted
3 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
375g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 cups freshly brewed espresso coffee, cooled to room temperature
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Butter pans, line the bottoms with baking paper and butter the paper.
In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. With the electric mixer on low speed, blend for about 30 seconds.
Add the butter and buttermilk and blend on low until moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. (Don't skip this step or you will find yourself with a little sandy beach at the bottom of the bowl that never mixed in.)
Whisk the eggs and coffee together, and add to the batter in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating only until blended after each addition. Divide the batter among the prepared pans.
Bake for 38 to 40 minutes for large cake and 20 minutes for cupcakes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Carefully turn them out onto wire racks and allow to cool completely. Remove the paper liners only when they are cool.
Cream Cheese Frosting
I adjusted this recipe too, 5 tbs of butter seemed and awful lot, as did 2 cups of icing sugar. So again, this is my version. This made enough to cover almost all my cupcakes well enough, not super thick, but thick enough to not see the cake underneath.
1 pkt Philadelphia cream cheese (250 g)
3 tbs. softened, unsalted butter
2 tsp. vanilla
¾ cups icing sugar, sifted
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese, vanilla and butter. Gradually add the powdered sugar, scraping down the sides, and whipping it to spreading consistency. You will need to double or triple this to make enough to frost the Mexican Chocolate Butter Cake, depending on how much frosting you like.
Where to now? I'm going to eat some cupcakes, send some to work with my husband and take some over to the neighbours. Next time I'm going to add more cinnamon and maybe some chilli to make it more authentically 'Mexican'.