I just realized that today’s the posting day for the second installment of The Cake Slice! This month (or yesterday, in my case) we baked up a Sweet Potato Cake from the delicious book Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes by Alicia Huntsman and Peter Wynne.
If you are thinking that this cake sounds a little weird, the sweet potato puree makes the cake really moist (and orange-hued), but I think the flavor actually isn’t so noticeable. The cake batter has all of the nice, warm fall spices…cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves…and they are what really shine here.
The spice cake is great with the frosting…a chocolate cream cheese frosting, that is! According to the recipe, the chocolate cream cheese mix is just used to frost the outside. The cake “should” be filled with an orange cream cheese filling. I’ve said this a trillion times, but I don’t like fruit and chocolate, so I went chocolate all the way! I am missing a few kitchen essentials right now, like a scale and a sieve. I had to wing the frosting, adding powdered sugar and chocolate to taste (which for me means less sweet and more chocolate). Since I wasn’t able to sift the sugar, I had a few lumpies in there, but that’s not gonna end my world.
This is a cake I’m really glad I made– it’s moist, spicy tall and tasty! Visit Gigi and Katie for the recipe (or get your hands on a copy of Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes), and cruise through the list of The Cake Slice Bakers to check out all of our sweet potato cakes!
I’ve joined a new baking group, and I couldn’t be more excited! Gigi and Katie thought it would be fun to actually use the cookbooks they have on the shelves, and so The Cake Slice was born. The premise is easy: we bake from one book per year, making a different recipe each month. This year’s book is a great one, covering a subject dear to my heart–Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes by Alicia Huntsman and Peter Wynne.
The first of what promises to be twelve amazing layer cakes is a Cappuccino Chiffon Cake. Chiffon cake is light as cloud, and relies on air (in the form of a meringue) to give it a sky-high rise, with a little baking powder mixed in for “insurance” purposes. Because it’s made with oil instead of butter, it’s not incredibly flavorful in and of itself, but its texture makes it a perfect vehicle for soaking up a flavored syrup.
This cake looks and tastes sophisticated, but it’s really quite basic–three layers of espresso-flavored chiffon soaked in a coffee simple syrup, finished off with heaps of whipped cream. Wanting to pack as much cappuccino flavor as I could into the cake, I skipped over to the coffee shop on the corner and bought a few shots of strong espresso to use in the cake batter and the syrup. The only change I made to the recipe was that I switched out the rum in the soaking syrup for Kahlua.
I love the lightness of whipped cream frosting, but I have to admit that I’m always a little nervous when actually icing a cake with it. It’s so fragile that messing around with it just a bit too much can overwork it in a hurry. As someone who will muck about with buttercream icing for half an hour trying to get it just so, I had to try hard to just get the whipped cream on there, throw the spatula in the sink and walk away.
I wondered how the whipped cream would hold up, but this cake lasted nicely for a couple days in the fridge. It became even tastier as syrup soaked its way through the cake layers. There’s a little cinnamon in the cake batter…I really love it in combination with the espresso. I don’t allow myself to have an afternoon coffee any more (too many sleepless nights), but I’ll make an exception anyday for a slice of cappuccino chiffon cake!