Otherwise known as, ‘The Farmer’s Daughter Cake’, in Maida Heatter’s Cakes…but I needed a name I’d remember. Super easy, and super necessary for the cold, rainy evening that I decided to make it for at the last minute (last minute decision…during the cold and rainy day – this is not a last minute cake)…and it was equally tasty the following day – enjoy!
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. almond extract
1 c. EACH sugar AND heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350, butter your favorite 8 x 8 cake pan and then in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
Using your electric mixer, beat together the eggs, vanilla and almond extract, and then beat in the sugar. Next beat in all of the cream and then while the mixer is on low, slowly add the dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Scrape the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until it’s nicely browned and the middle bounces back to a light touch. The cake will dome up, but then will flatten as it cools – allow it to cool for a few minutes, then gently loosen the edges, and allow it to cool for a few minutes more.
Cover the pan with a rack and turn the cake over onto the rack – allow it to sit in the pan, upside down on the rack to cool. When it’s cool (I had mine under an open window to speed things up), carefully transfer it to a serving platter or plate and gently remove the pan. Bottom side up is generally better looking, and mine came out of the pan no problem. Frost as you wish – I’m thinking strawberries and cream at the moment – but I highly recommend the frosting below!
(Old-Fashioned) Chocolate Frosting – fiddly, but worth it
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/2 c. cold milk
1 1/3 c. sugar
2 egg yolks
1 T. + 1 t. butter
1 t. vanilla
Place the chocolate, milk and sugar in a small pot over medium heat and stir until the chocolate has melted and the sugar has dissolved – this does not need to boil. Allow it to cool for a bit, or better yet, do this while your cake is baking.
In a small bowl, whisk together the yolks, then as you’re whisking, carefully and slowly pour in about half of the warm chocolate mixture. Continue to give the new yolk and chocolate mixture a good whisk, then return everything that you’ve whisked from the small bowl, back into the half-full pot of warm chocolate. Cook over low heat, while stirring, for 1 minute – it may not look smooth, but if you added the chocolate to the yolks slowly, it should turn out okay.
Add all of the newly formed and heated chocolate mixture to the bowl of your electric mixer, and stir in the butter and vanilla. This now has to cool – so feel free to prep the frosting up to this point while the cake is baking, and then the cake and frosting can both cool together (again, in my case, under a cold air open window).
Beat the icing for 10-15 minutes. Start on a lower speed so it doesn’t splash, but then get it to high and let it go for a good long time. The frosting will visibly change to a lighter color, and it will become shiny, smooth and thick like heavy syrup. Pour about half onto your cooled cake, direct it a bit so the top gets covered and then allow it to sit and set for a few minutes. Pour the rest of the icing on and push it into the corners, and it should naturally run over the edges and present itself beautifully. Allow the cake to sit and set for a couple of hours, the frosting will become dry to the touch, but will remain soft and fabulous.