14 February 2011

Valentine's Day.

My husband calls this the made up Hallmark holiday.

It's true that St. Valentine's Day has little to do with love, affection and little diapered cupids floating about and is about Christian martyrs.

Still, I enjoy the reminder to take special care to show love and affection everyday and to do a little something special. Sometimes the days get hectic and blur. Time passes and we can forget how truly fortunate we are to have the people we have in our lives and that we are lucky to be able to love.

Every year, I make this cake for my husband for Valentine's Day. It's a simple yellow cake with chocolate butter cream. It is his favorite. This small token makes him smile and for me, that is the best thing in the world.

Starlight Yellow Cake from Betty Crocker's New Cookbook - Everything Your Need to Know To Cook

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening (I used butter flavored Crisco)
1 1/4 cups of milk (I recommend whole milk)
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt (I used kosher salt)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease the bottoms and side of your chosen cake pan(s). I also use powdered sugar (it melts into the cake instead of sticking like flour, leaving streaks) and parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pan). I used 2 9x 1 1/2 inch cake pans, baking the cakes for 30-35 minutes (depending on your oven).

Beat all the ingredients with a electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes scraping the bowl occasionally. Pour into pan(s).

Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting from Betty Crocker's New Cookbook - Everything Your Need to Know To Cook

3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup baking cocoa, unsweetened
2 to 3 tablespoons of milk (whole milk)

Mix sugar, butter, vanilla and cocoa together. Stir in milk until smooth and spreadable. I double this recipe because I love frosting on cake, the more the better! The recipe says it's enough to frost and fill a 9 inch layer cake, but I find it's not enough to cover.

Happy Valentine's Day!