Ever since Italy, my mom has been making a lot of trips to the Italian import store. She has come home with a variety of different delicious items, and a few weeks ago she came home with a jar of roasted, peeled, ready-to-eat chestnuts that, apart from the bizarre tang of apple juice that permeated the nuts (a preservative, maybe?), were ace. I asked my facebook friends how to use these delicious items, and Lindsay suggested I put them into this frosting. I didn’t. But I did make the frosting and attendant cake, and I will tell you all about them! (I did not make the candied oranges and Florentine cookies that adorn the cake, because I am not completely fucking nuts.)
This cake is complicated – not difficult, just finicky with lots of steps – and I wound up using almost every clean bowl we had in the making of it. As per fucking usual, I forgot to thaw my butter in advance, which added more time than I had anticipated. (Related: I should probably stop storing my baking butter in the freezer.) That said, assuming you’re not functionally a butter noob like me, the actual stupid challenge in making this without a headache is in figuring out your bowls ahead of time. If you’re using a stand mixer, I recommend starting with your stand mixer from here – “In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat flour and baking powder together for 30 seconds” – and making the stand mixer your primary bowl throughout the recipe (that is, mix your flour and baking soda in the bowl of the stand mixer and then dump them into a secondary bowl). After step 5, you can either scoop the batter into a secondary bowl, wash the stand mixer bowl and whip the cream in there; or whip the cream by hand in a different bowl and fold it into the batter in the stand mixer bowl. I recognize that this looks like Cake-Making 101 for Total Spazzes, but these are the problems that leave me dirtying every utensil in the kitchen and shaking my fists uselessly, so I’ve decided to assume you have the same problems. Thanks for coming with me on this.
Notes & Verdict
Moist golden cake with brown sugar-orange-mascarpone frosting by Made to Taste
Notes: Excepting my apparent inability to understand the concept of planning ahead when cooking, this cake was pretty straightforward to make. I will say, with all due affection towards Linds, that the recipe is somewhat unclear at a few points. This was the baffling bit for me: Whip cream until just a little bit beyond soft peak stage. Fold a dollop of whipped cream into the batter to lighten, and then fold in the remaining cream. The second part of that instruction would seem to imply that you don’t whip all the cream, but the ingredient list doesn’t specify setting any portion aside. Either that or you’re folding, and then folding more. Maybe just to add extra stirring as a means to incorporate more air into the batter? I think I just folded everything in at once and hoped for the best. It was fine.
Verdict: The cake is nice, if a bit too sugary for my liking. It is moist as hell. But the real star here is the frosting. Holy crap, you guys. This frosting is like, man, I don’t even know, the texture is light and fluffy without any grittiness (unlike a buttercream), and it’s delicious just on its own as an item to eat, and it’s not too sweet, and I kind of want to spread it on everything including my body. In the future I will absolutely make layer cakes with this frosting so I can consume more icing per bite. The cake gets a B+, the cake-with-icing gets an A, and the icing itself gets an A+.