There are some really talented people in this world. Let's take Sally Han for example. She is a Toronto-based jewelery designer and owner of Psalms 91:1 Accessories. I'm very proud to call her a friend of mine, because she's a small lady with big dreams! She's got awesome talent for beautiful accessories, with a sweet and grounded philosophy behind it. Her stuff is super modern, but vintage, and never ever tacky. We all know she's going to make it big -- she already is! Runway-ing it at the Toronto Fashion Week, having TV appearances, lots of celebrity love, and praise from magazines. Pretty cool huh?
So last weekend Psalms 91:1 had a special private event, and she actually ordered some cupcakes from me! It was a super cool kind of event, where she rented out a photo studio in the fashion district, displayed her beautiful accessories, had a photo shoot going on, and people sipped on wine. And my cupcakes were going to fit right in! Heehee.
The theme was "How Precious" with purple hearts. She ordered two flavors: Van ♥ Choc (Vanilla cake with Chocolate ganache frosting) and Choc ♥ Van (chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting). And I made pretty little purple hearts with royal sugar icing.
I decided to take a chance and try two new recipes for the order. Sorta risky but I thought it was a good time to go for it. First one was a new vanilla cake recipe. I've been using Billy's Vanilla Vanilla for the longest time, and it was a trusty one I guess. It was an error-proof, easy, and pretty yummy recipe. But never really amazing. And I wanted something amazing. Something really moist and flavorful and fluffy. So as I was researching some recipes, and I encountered the Amy Sedaris one. I've seen her cookbook I Like You before, and I came across her recipe a few times on the net. There was a divided opinion on her recipe, so I thought I'd be in on this and try it myself. I thought to myself, what if... what if this one was the the end all and be all of vanilla cakes? What if the search was over?? Ahaha.... not so much.
Unfortunately, this recipe was a big big let down. But honestly, it could have been my fault, so please don't write off her recipe. You should give it a try to, and maybe you'll do a better job at it! In my case, the cake was dense, dry, and needed a big gulp of milk every time I bit into it in order to wash it down my dry throat. The flavor was great, however. There was real vanilla-y buttery goodness, without being overbearingly sweet. I really liked that. I just wish it had that soft fluffiness that we all cake lovers yearn for. I regretted using this recipe for the event, and pictured people being disappointed in the cake. I usedthis recipe for the the frosting, and it did not disappoint at all.
Okay. Let's talk about the good stuff now. The difference of the two recipes were truly black & white because the new chocolate cake was just awesomeness. Soooo moist, so soft, and soooooo chocolatey. It's Hershey's Black Magic Cake, and it really was both black and magical. I found this recipe on someone's blog a while back, and she was rambling on how this was the one recipe that made her turn into a chocolate lover and how great it was. I bookmarked it and couldn't wait till I got a chance to use it! Everything about the cake was the perfect chocolate cake. Plus it was a great partnership with the creamy and tangy vanilla cream cheese frosting.
I wish vanilla cakes could have the same texture as chocolate cakes. Maybe it's the buttermilk? Herm. Does anyone know a fabulous vanilla cake recipe? But like I said before, don't always take my word for the recipes I try. I don't mean to bad-mouth other people's recipes, you know? It's just my opinion so please try it for yourself and it might work out perfectly for you! Ah, I guess it just means that the search for the perfect vanilla cake is still on for me.. :D
Black Magic Cake
recipe from Hershey's Kitchens
makes 2 dozen cupcakes
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened Cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
1 cup strong black coffee OR 2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee plus 1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line pans with cupcake paper.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost as desired. Yields 10 to 12 servings.
* To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup
Oh, and Sally's BEAUTIFUL necklace that my boyfriend bought for me at the event! And the pair of earrings she gave me as a gift. :) I love them both!!