With all the dinner parties and get-togethers over the holidays, I was practically in taste-testing heaven. And after extensive tasting and tweaking of recipes, below are some of the clear winners:
Devil's Food Cake: I had a pretty kick-a$$ devil's food cake recipe already but I wanted to find one that had a denser texture so I tried one that my sister-in-law recommended. The original recipe was already fantastic but after a tiny tweak in ingredient proportions, it was fantastic-er. Moist, sinfully decadent, with loads of chocolate flavor, this devil's food cake will literally make you sell your soul to the man downstairs. Here, it is iced with a raspberry ganache and raspberry chocolate mousse filling......soooooooooo good.
Vanilla Buttermilk Cake: Wedding cakes are traditionally made with a white cake but I've never been a big fan. In my opinion, they're often too sweet, and when they're not too sweet, they're just blah (lacking in taste). I tend to steer towards bold flavors; however, I do understand the desire to serve a flavor-neutral cake at weddings, a cake that will appeal to all taste buds. I do believe that I have found that cake. This vanilla buttermilk cake is moist (a must in my book for all cakes), not too sweet, and has a lovely buttery melt-in-your mouth feel. It's almost like heaven, seriously. And it marries up (pun intended) so well with ALL flavors of fillings and frostings.
Red Velvet Cake: So we've had a bit of heaven and we've also been to the dark side (sorry, my husband's a huge Star Wars fan so I couldn't resist :-). What's in between, you ask? Why, red velvet, of course. Red velvet has long been the misunderstood stepchild of the cake world as most people incorrectly believe that red velvet is simply a really lightly flavored chocolate cake with a buttload of red dye - so, so wrong. When made correctly (because I've found that a lot places don't make it quite right), red velvet has a warm cocoa-malty-like flavor that just feels right, almost like coming home from a long day to a nice bowl of porridge. The flavor is not too strong and not too light; it's just right. (Why do I feel like putting on a little red cape all of a sudden?) And of all the cakes I taste-tested this holiday season, this red velvet cake with cream cheese buttercream (lighter than cream cheese frosting) garnered the most fabulous reviews, partially because most have never tried an honest-to-god red velvet cake and was so pleasantly surprised and partially because it's just one crazilicious cake!
I'd now like to take this opportunity to thank my family and friends for all their undying cake-tasting support. Without you........well, without you, I'd have to eat a whole lotta cake......and that is sooooo not good for high school reunions.