So last night, I had a really odd dream. It was mostly in a white void, except there was one guy there. Everything was monochrome black-and-white, which was strange because I usually dream in color. Anyhow, this guy was in a suit, and probably around 8 feet tall. At least, I think he was – I do know that I couldn’t clearly see anything about him from around the nose up. I don’t remember what he said, but he was yelling in this weird, distorted tone. Really strange was the one splash of color in the dream – he held his hand up like he was gripping something, and some odd blue energy looked like it was forming there.
I woke up around that time, and I thought about the dream… for some reason, I can’t help but imagine a cake when I go over everything. Probably a clue that I spend too much time baking, right? Well, to get it out of my head, I came up with the following recipe:
Custard for cake – Make 30 minutes in advance
⅓ cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 cup cream
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon butter
Mix together the sugar and the flour in a small saucepan. Stir in milk. Bring just to a boil on medium heat. Reduce heat to low, stir for about a minute, until it starts to thicken.
In a small bowl, beat together the three egg yolks. Pour in a small amount of the milk mixture into the bowl, mix well to temper the eggs. Pour egg mixture into the saucepan, mix well. Stir in butter. When the butter has blended with all of the mixture, remove from heat and set aside.
Custard mixture, as above
2 ¼ cups flour (all-purpose or cake)
1 ⅓ cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (one stick) butter, room temperature
½ cup milk
1 cup Blue Curacao liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces miniature chocolate chips (optional)
20 drops blue food coloring (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat round cake pans with butter and lightly dust with flour, set aside.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix until they’re roughly blended. Add butter, custard, milk, liqueur, and vanilla (and food coloring, if used). Mix for about two minutes with a stand mixer or hand blender; 4 or 5 if mixing by hand. Scrape the bowl, add the eggs. Mix for about another minute. Scrape the bowl again, and mix for about another minute. Blend in the chocolate chips by hand if using them.
Pour the mixture into the cake pans. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack; wait until room temperature before frosting.
½ cup (one stick) butter, softened
½ cup shortening
4 cups powdered sugar
4 ounces chocolate, melted (the higher the cocoa percentage, the better)
2 tablespoons espresso powder (optional)
Put butter and shortening in mixing bowl. Blend together for about two minutes, until creamy. Scrape the bowl. Gradually add in powdered sugar, until blended. Add in the espresso powder and the melted chocolate. Mix for about two minutes. Scrape the bowl, mix for about one minute. Use on a cooled cake.
I think this would result in a pretty exciting cake – the blue curacao would go great with the chocolate, and the flavors would be pretty rich. I’ll be giving it a run this weekend.