Posts tagged birthday cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake
Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake

Hola! Do you know what today is? It’s my birthday! I’ve completed 27 wonderful and sometimes awkward trips around the sun! 27 doesn’t feel too much different than 26. Except last year I distinctly remember that all I wanted to do for my birthday was eat Mac and Cheese all day... and this year all I want to eat all day are vegetables and other green things. I can’t really tell if that is a sign of maturity and a stronger awareness of self care or if it’s because we just got back from vacation 2 days ago and we each ate a total of 15 tacos in 3 days. Who knows?!

We just got back from a long weekend in Mexico City! It was so lovely. As I already mentioned, we ate a lot of tacos, and so many other delicious things! Literally everything we ate was like the best thing I ever ate. I’m going to share a blog post about our whole trip- everything we saw and ate- and share it soon! Hopefully within the next week, otherwise it’s never going to happen. You all should plan your trips to Mexico City now though. Seriously. Such a great place! The colors of the city alone were so inspiring. I’m thinking of making a Mexico City or Luis Barragán inspired cake! I’m imaging blocks of Mexican pink, bold blues, and some creamy neutrals.

I’ve gotten very into abstract cake decorating lately if you haven’t noticed. I love it so much because it doesn’t involve painstakingly piping perfect flower (I will attempt that later!) and it’s a stress free way of playing around with forms and color. I wanted this year’s birthday cake to sort of be a self portrait. Last year’s birthday cake was more Reuben focused because was turning the big 30 and had just passed all his architecture licensure exams, so I made the cake look like a concrete column... sort of. But this year the cake is a reflection of me! It has swooshes of warm orange and yellow hues with a little accent of blue. If you want to hyper analyze the design of the cake like we did in college art history, you could say that it’s an expression of my big, colorful, and chaotic moves in life, but the blue accents represent Reuben’s presence in my life and his ability to balance me out. Our something like that lol.

It pretty much matches the aesthetics of my life which makes me so incredibly happy. The inside of the cake is a classic chocolate. I realized that all my cakes on Eat Cho Food are vanilla based and I felt like I needed to diversify! It’s really yummy and moist! I got to enjoy the cake scrapes when I first made the cake a week ago, but we finally got to cut into it last night at dinner. Still yummy and moist! I’ll probably have another slice tonight and then another for breakfast tomorrow.

Does anyone want a slice of chocolate cake????


Abstract Painting Chocolate Cake

makes one 3 layer 6" cake

Cake Materials:

1 1/2 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup AP flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk*
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup boiling water

Buttercream Materials:

4 sticks softened unsalted butter (2 pounds)
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp milk
gel food coloring

 

* if you don't have buttermilk and only have milk, you can stir 1 cup of regular milk with 1tbsp of white vinegar and allow to sit for 5 minutes until thick.

Steps:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease cake pans and line bottom of the pans with rounds of parchment paper.

2. Whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and vegetable oil in a medium bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix to combine. Stir in boiling water and mix until smooth.

3. Pour the batter into the cake pans. Lift each pan about 3 inches from your work surface and drop a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 28-30 minutes until done. Test for doneness using the toothpick test Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from the pans and allow to completely cool on a wire rack. Place cakes upside down on the rack to help level the cakes.

4. While cakes are cooling make your buttercream. Whisk softened butter with the paddle attachment on your standmixer for 2 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to medium low and gradually add in powdered sugar. Add in salt, vanilla, and milk and mix on medium until fluffy. Reserve about 1/4 of your buttercream for mixing in colors. If you need more buttercream for decorating add another stick of butter and 1 cup powdered sugar.

5. Once cakes are completely cool, level off your cake layers. Keep cake scrapes for a snack later! Place a small blob of buttercream on a cake round and place a layer of cake on the cake round. Add buttercream, top with another cake layer, and repeat one more time. Frost the whole cake with a thin layer of buttercream to make your crumb coat. Place cake in the freezer for 15 minutes. When crumb coat is solid, add another layer of buttercream until smooth. 

6. To decorate in an abstract painting style, mix your remaining buttercream into various colors. I recommend having at least 3-4 colors. Have 2-3 colors within a similar color range and then one additional color in a contrasting bolder color. Apply dabs of colored buttercream to your cake and smear with an offset spatula in various directions and sizes. Decorate to your liking!

Honey Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting + Birthday Picnic Scenes
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Heeeeeeyyyy! It's August already?! Where did the summer go?!

I'm finally recovering from eating cheese and cake for a whole week. Aren't birthdays great? I don't know if I could have asked for a better birthday week. Having the Cho Family close by would have been nice! Despite some minor homesickness, years 26 and 30 are starting out pretty great. There was the aforementioned cake and cheese, seeing and hearing from friends around the globe, and guess what?! Reuben finally passed ALL his architecture exams!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think that deserves another cake right? 😁 I'm so freaking proud of him. He knocked out all 7 tests (without failing a single one) in 1 year. That man is dedicated. I also like to think I played a hand in this by supporting him with study snacks. I think in a few weeks he's going to technically be a real licensed architect in Pennsylvania and get a fancy stamp. Woooo! His craft beer intake has spiked a little... you should see how beautiful our recycling bin is.

How great of a birthday present is having your best friend in town?! Katie flew in from Seattle for our birthday picnic and I wish she stayed forever. It was so great to have her in town to catch up on life, discuss how great groomsmaids/best-humans we are going to be for Jeff next May, figure out what our dog breed look-a-like is (Reuben is a sheep dog), and just run around being silly. She also made an awesome kitchen assistant and guest photographer. Working on these recipes can get pretty lonely, other than the occasional visit from Reuben to steal bites of food or when I royally screw up something and need his advice. She helped me make this INCREDIBLE CAKE (more about it soon) and assemble my first legit cheese board. We lounged on picnic blankets in the fog snacking on fruit, eating multiple small slices of cake, and chatting with all the characters we know in SF. The next day we drove down south to Pescadero Beach to be really Californian. It was so hot and sunny! I'm not used to that. We wandered around the tide pools and looked for agates, of course. I feel like I forget that I live in California until I go to the beach. We also went to go see a giant redwood tree as old as Jesus. Miss you Katie!

I'm going to talk about this cheese board for a hot sec. I've always wanted to put together a gorgeous and bountiful cheese board. It turns out that it is actually pretty easy if you have access to some beautiful fruit. My cheese board is pretty fruit heavy, which is how I like it. Color is super important to me, so we were trying to pick out fruit that complimented each other. Color Theory! I also like to have a mix of cheeses, something hard (asiago), something soft and creamy (goat brie), something mild (gouda), and something funky (blue cheese... even though I hate blue cheese). You gotta hit all the notes. I thought that the board turned out pretty beautiful, if I do say so myself 😎.  Someone else thought it was pretty beautiful too, because I was asked to make a cheese board for another birthday party! My very first commissioned cheese board! I'm thinking of making #chocheeseboard a thing. If you're in the Bay Area and need fancy cheese and crackers for an event, hit me up!

Alright, cake. A few weeks ago when I posted the Black Sesame Plum Crumb Cake, I said that this may have been the best thing I have ever baked. That cake is pretty damn good, but this cake is amazing. I blame it on the cream cheese frosting. Idk if I could trust anyone who doesn't love cream cheese frosting. We may or may not have continued licking the bowl post assembly... This recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Best Birthday Cake recipe. I love her recipe and pretty much always gravitates towards it when I need a great yellow cake. I reduced the sugar by half and made an addition of honey for flavor. You could easily make this into a layer cake or even cupcakes, but I think I have fallen in love with sheet cakes. They are so easy! Less mess, no crumb coats, they feed a ton of people, and still look equally as pretty! Actually, I've always loved sheet cakes. My parents would always get us a big sheet cake from Giant Eagle for our birthdays growing up and they were the BEST. Northern Ohioans and Western Pennsylvanians will agree with me. 

So many people loved this cake at the picnic. If you have a birthday coming up or a celebration in need of cake, I highly recommend you make this. Everyone is going to love you and you're going to be so happy! I'm actually making this cake again today for a dinner party per a special request!

Happy Sunday!


Honey Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

makes 1 - 9"x13" sheet cake

Cake:

4 C cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 sticks (16 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened

1 C white sugar

1/2 C honey

2 tsp vanilla

4 eggs

2 C buttermilk 

1/4 C crushed pistachios 

 

Cream Cheese Frosting:

6 tbsp butter, softened

12 oz cream cheese, softened

2.5 C powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt 

Steps:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 9" x 13" sheet pan with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add in vanilla and honey, mix for a few more seconds. Add your eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated each time. Reduce the speed to low and add in the buttermilk. The batter will look curdled and gross, but don't freak out! Everything is going to be okay. Gradually add your flour mixture in batches. Mix until evenly incorporated. Scrape down the sides as needed.

4. Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan and spread evenly with an offset spatula. To get rid of any air bubbles, drop the pan about 2" above the counter a few times.

5. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and the center comes out clean when poked with a tooth pick.

6. Once done, allow to cook in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove cake from the pan and allow to completely cool on a wire rack.

7. While the cake bakes or while it cools, make your cream cheese frosting. Beat together butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 30-45 seconds. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat for another 1-2 minutes. Add vanilla and a pinch of salt and mix for another minute. The frosting will be a little loose, so place in fridge for 30 minutes to allow frosting to set up.

8. Frost cake with a thick layer of frosting and top with crushed pistachios. Or sprinkles! Or whatever your heart desires!

Greek Yogurt Cake with Black Sesame Buttercream

I've only had one goal for my 26th birthday. Make deliriously good mac n' cheese. I succeeded. So. Much. Cheese. Which means I am slowly sinking into a food coma. I'm going to push through it though, because I need to share this cake recipe with the world. I tend to get real reflective and sappy around my birthday. Okay, I'm reflective and sappy all the time but I'm extra on my birthday.

The process of making this cake actually encompassed a lot of my emotions about getting another year older. Let me ramble for a moment. To start, I'm going to state that I don't have a lot of experience decorating cakes. I've been practicing baking cakes for the last 7 months and I've definitely gotten better! But piping flowers and getting beautiful crumb coats are still very foreign to me... but I'm trying. I made this cake last Friday afternoon in preparation for Reuben's 30th birthday. I was stressed out about something silly in the office earlier that day and I couldn't shake my stress as I went home and began measuring out my flour and sugar. I was also trying to print some greeting cards for a Hey, K. Cho! shipment and my printer was jamming and just plain not working. The batter was thicker than I was used to and giving me hard time. Mid-mixing I had realized that I forgot to send a file at work. I was getting hot and flustered in the kitchen. I had to take a moment to just stop, lay in bed, and breathe for a few minutes. I relaxed and tried to clear my mind. I felt lighter. Reuben came home. I love Reuben so much and I immediately felt better. I was ready to get back in the kitchen and tackle this project. And you know what? Everything ended up being perfectly fine.

I had visions of how I would decorate my cake but that didn't quite pan out. I piped cute dots inside and I still like it. The thick batter baked into a fluffy moist cake. I didn't have enough buttercream to get a thick layer all around and the coat wasn't super even, but the cake tasted incredible and too much frosting bothers me anyway. My printer started working again once I left it alone for an hour! The files I needed to be sent could wait to be sent on Monday morning. Hooray!

Ever since the time I was like 16 I've had a problem of doing too many things. It's hard for me to just pick one thing or passion to focus on. There is just so much I enjoy doing and want to learn how to do. This has only intensified over the years. More so over the last year with starting this blog and working on calligraphy and illustrations. And I started a new job which has been scary and challenging in it's own way. It takes a lot to not turn into a ball of nerves. How do I not go crazy? I'm a firm believer in mental health and practicing being mindful of yourself and your needs. But what I really think helps hold me together through all the craziness is simply trusting in the universe. Does that sound too hippie dippie? It's hard explain, but I've always had a deep trust that the universe will work things out. Even when it gets real real bad, everything will start to make sense and feel good again.

Yep, I got all of that from baking a cake! At age 26, I feel I am right where I am supposed to be. I'm trying to remind myself of this trust as much as I can and not stress so much. Just do you. My hope is that this trust only grows deeper as I get older and then one day I'll be one of those super cool, confident, and creative adults!

My food coma is hitting me hard now. So I'm going to leave you with this cake recipe and 5 pieces of advice from a 26 year old. Oof, I need to eat some fruit.

Tips from a 26 Year Old

1. Call your mom.

2. Call your (girl)friends.

3. Don't waste money on a lackluster lunch.

4. Remember to drink lots of water.

5. Be kind.


Greek Yogurt Cake with Black Sesame Buttercream

makes one - 3 layer 6" cake

Greek Yogurt Cake:

1 3/4 C cake flour

1 1/2  tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

5 tbsp unsalted butter - softened

1 C white sugar

2 large eggs - whites and yolks separated

1 tsp vanilla

1 C plain greek yogurt

 

Black Sesame Buttercream:

2 sticks (16 tbsp) butter - softened

3 C powdered sugar

1/4 C tahini

5 tbsp black sesame seeds - finely ground

1/2 tsp salt

Step:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

2. Add the softened butter into the bowl of your stand mixer and beat until light and creamy. About 2 minutes. Gradually add in sugar and beat for another 3-5 minutes. Beat in vanilla and egg yolks until incorporated.

3. Continue beating the butter mixture on medium speed. Add 1/3 of flour mixture, beat a few seconds to incorporate, then add 1/2 of yogurt. Repeat until all the flour mixture and yogurt has been mixed in.

4. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form in a separate bowl with hand-held beaters. Or you could transfer the contents of your stand mixer bowl to another mixing bowl and clean your bowl and whisk attachment to whisk the egg whites.

5. Gently fold in egg whites in the cake batter. The batter is a little thick, so don't be afraid of putting a little muscle into mixing your egg whites in. 

6. Spray cake pans with non stick spray and line bottoms with parchment paper. I trace and cut them out with a scissor. Divide the cake batter evenly in the pans. Use an small offset spatula to help spread and level the cake batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden and test for doneness with a toothpick. Once done, allow to cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Carefully remove cakes from the pans and allow to completely cook on a wire rack. Use a knife to help loosen the edges of the cake.

7.  Make your buttercream by beating softened butter in your stand mixer until light and creamy. Gradually add in powdered sugar and mix until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add in tahini, ground black sesames, and salt. Beat for another 2 minutes. Transfer buttercream into a piping bag with a medium round tip if you're going to attempt to pipe some designs.

8. Start assembling the cake by layering buttercream on top of your first tier. Use an offset spatula to help level the buttercream. Add another a layer of cake and repeat until all layers are stack. Use a dough scraper to check if the edges are straight. Frost the entire cake with your remaining buttercream. Decorate with additional piping or extra black sesame seeds!

9. Slice and enjoy!