Well today I've got a little project for you that includes both the kitchen and the craft room!
My lovely friend Rebecca asked me (along with a group of ladies) to try out some cute spring printable she is featuring on her blog today. And a few days after that I had a dream about a cake that tasted like smores. So I figured out the layers in a smore and transferred them into a cake idea. I found various parts of recipes to add together to "make" my own. And then I combined both ideas and came up with this.
Graham Cracker Cake
(this is a REALLY old recipe I found from 1909)
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup ground pecans
1/2 cup cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted softened butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 egg yolks, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk, lukewarm
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line with parchment two 9 inch round pans.
Combine the crumbs, 1/2 cup pecans, flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and the light brown sugar until fluffy. Slowly beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Alternately add the milk and and the crumb mixture while beating on low.
Beat the egg whites in a bowl until foamy. Add the sugar slowly, and beat to soft peaks. Fold into the crumb batter and pour into pans.
Bake for 25 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool in pans for about 10 minutes. Let cakes cool completely. The cakes are really fragile so work really careful with them!
While the cakes are cooling, make your chocolate creme patisserie:
Chocolate Creme Patisserie
(recipe from Nigella Lawson's gooey chocolate stack)
6 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/3 cup whole milk
4 ounces best bittersweet chocolate melted
1 tsp vanilla
Beat the egg yolks and sugar together, then add the cocoa and flour, whisking well. Warm the milk and cream in a saucepan together (I did this in the microwave instead), the whisking, pour this into the eggs and sugar before pouring all back into the saucepan on the heat (again in the microwave stopping each 2 minutes to stir it) and stirring constantly, bring it to a boil. When the mixture has thickened, take off the heat and stir in melted chocolate and vanilla.
Let it cool now, but avoid putting it in the fridge as it will become too solid. You can stop a skim from forming on top but sifting a layer of confectioners sugar on top.
(from Jennifer Shea of Trophy Cupcakes via Martha Stewart)
8 large egg whites
2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp vanilla
Place egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set over a saucepan with simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, and beat starting slowly, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vanilla and mix until combined.
To assemble the cake, place bottom layer of cake on cake platter. Add half of the chocolate creme patisserie. Add second layer of cake. Add second half of the chocolate creme patisserie. Using a large icing tip and bag, add the marshmallow frosting, starting at the edges and going into the middle. To Brown edges, use a kitchen torch if you are fancy enough to own one (I am not - so I used a BBQ lighter for a few minutes until I gave up- HA!)
For the banner, Cut out the little flags from Rebecca great download. Using two bamboo BBQ sticks and kitchen twine, string the small banners across.
We enjoyed our cake for a fun sunday dinner with friends Carlye and hubby and son and the Barnett's. It was a great dinner that could be spring-ish if mother nature would just listen up and STOP SNOWING already! :)
You can also find me over here for an interview!