rainbow cake

So last week I gave you a little talk about real talk.  Basically, I don’t want to be a confectioners-sugar-dusted-phoney.  That’s why I’ve decided to get crazy with some real-life confessions on here.

Confessions. That’s a scary word.

So here it goes, here’s my first confession.

I like reading Craigslist Personal Ads.

Disclaimer: I would never ever ever in a million years even think about posting an ad on Craigslist (or answer one), but I like to read them.

Yes, some are creepy, some are weird (ex. “I enjoy theatrical-quality tomfoolery”…what), and some are downright fake.  But some are nice.  My favorites are in the “missed connections” forum.

This is where people leave messages hoping to find people they’ve crossed paths with.  There is something less sinister about this forum than the others, no creepy requests, no augmented biographies pleading for a date.  Instead, there’s a sort-of-sad sad sincerity in these posts.

These people couldn’t get a face/aura out of their mind all day, and are now beating themselves up for not saying anything. There is hope and regret intertwined in all of the posts (“I would have talked to you but I was too shy”).  The regret of not seizing the moment, the hope that maybe this little “message in a bottle” (via Craigslist) will miraculously reach that special person.

The sweet, sad thing about this is that 99 times out of 100, these ads are never reciprocated.  That person who was reading Harry Potter 5 on the train is probably back at home, flipping through the pages and eating Lean Cuisine and will never see the post on Craigslist.  But the admirer posts it anyways.

Here’s one I liked:
“I wish I went and sat next to you and said
hello, but obviously I didn’t and here I am posting this note you will
probably never read. Wherever you were going, I hope you got there safe,
and that despite the rain you are having a great day”

I like think about all of the faces I see in a day, and all of the stories, fears, and adventures that lie behind all of those faces. I’m not advocating talking to strangers.  But I guess this should inspire us to seize the
moment and not miss an opportunity to speak to someone.  Yolo?

Anyways, now that I’ve shared something weird about myself with you all, I am going to share this weird cake recipe! It’s super easy, super funky, and will knock all of your friend’s socks off when you serve it.  It looks like an unassuming vanilla cake… and then BAM! Rainbow madness on the inside. Check it out.

With love,
Erica

Rainbow Cake

A beautiful rainbow cake that will surprise everyone with a burst of color upon the first slice. 

Keyword buttercream, cake, dessert, rainbow
Servings 16

Ingredients

  • White cake batter divided (you can use box mix or homemade)
  • Food coloring
  • Your favorite buttercream frosting
  • Rainbow sprinkles!

Instructions

  1. Prepare the cake batter, and then divide into however many colors you would like.
  2. Use food dye to color the batter, use a lot so that the colors turn out really nice and saturated and brilliant.
  3. Drop the batter into a prepared cake pan(s) and bake as normal.
  4. Frost, decorate with sprinkles, and enjoy!

© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

nutella cake

Have you heard about “The Smearing”?
No, it’s not some new horror movie.  I really don’t like horror movies.  



I mean, in the most basic of horror movies (i.e. PSAs about avoiding your basement),  the characters are so asking for it.



If I were home alone and heard screeching/whispering/scratching/bubbling coming from my basement, the absolute last thing I would do is grab a flashlight and “investigate.”  I mean why would I do that when I could just stay above ground level with Pinterest and a big mug of Bohemian Raspberry tea? What’s even worse is when they ask: “anyone there?” I mean, do you really want to know the answer to that question?  Moral of the story, avoid unnecessary confrontation.  Don’t check noises in your basement. 



Now back on topic — if it’s not a new horror movie, what is “The Smearing”

“The Smearing” was a campaign run a long time ago by the Ferrero company in Italy, where kids could bring a slice of bread to their local food store and get a free “smear” of Nutella. I’m patiently waiting for them to bring this service back.  My day will come.

Is there anything in this world better than Nutella? Free Nutella. That’s all. A jar of this smooth, spreadable, chocolate-y brown gold is sold every 2.5 seconds (a baby is born every 8 seconds… do the math).


So to honor Nutella, one of the tastiest things that comes in a jar, I created this cake.  There were no rules, just that it had to be absolutely redonkulous (because Nutella deserves that kind of respect…).

I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe for the layers (simple, velvety, with a nice cocoa bean-y flavor).  Then things started to get scandalous.  I slathered a thick, generous layer of Nutella between the cake layers, and then covered the whole thing with this dangerous Nutella buttercream (I always make a double batch in case… you know… I get hungry).  While my first layer of frosting was chilling in the fridge, I went to the grocery store and ran up and down the aisles, just whacking every somewhat hazelnutty/chocolate-y thing I saw into my cart (ended up using the Hazelnut Ritter Sport and Ferrero Rocher).  Then I piped some snazzy little Nutella buttercream ripples on the sides, and some big, vanilla rosettes on the top (to class up this monster of a cake).  Finally, I smushed a little baby jar of Nutella in the middle.  And my creation was born. 

With love,
Erica

Ingredients
One, 2-layer batch of chocolate cake (here’s my favorite)
One jar Nutella
One batch of Nutella Buttercream
One batch of Vanilla Buttercream (this recipe without the Oreos)
Ritter Sport/Ferrero Rocher for decorating
melted chocolate for drizzling

Assembly

Place once cake layer onto a cake stand, plate, or cake board.  With an offset spatula, evenly spread a generous amount of Nutella onto the layer.  Place your second layer face down on top of the Nutella filling and place the cake in the fridge for a few moments until it firms up a bit.  Meanwhile, whip up your two buttercreams (if you’re like me and only have one stand mixer, make the vanilla one first so it doesn’t get streaked with Nutella!).

With your offset spatula, carefully smooth a bit of frosting in a thin, even layer over the entire cake (to seal in the crumbs, a.k.a a crumb coat).  Chill again until the frosting is firm (about 15-30 minutes).

Place the cake on a turntable or cake stand.  Using a clean offset spatula, spread the Nutella buttercream in a smooth, even layer over the crumb coat.  To make the “ripple effect” on the sides, fill a large pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip with Nutella buttercream.  Pipe a vertical row of 4 dots about 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter.  Once you have your line of dots, use a spoon to smush down one side of each dot to form a line of petals.  Keep repeating this process until you make your way all around the cake.  For a picture of this technique, click here.

Next, fill a clean piping bag fitted with a medium star tip with the vanilla buttercream.  Pipe big swirls of frosting on top of the cake. Place a Ritter Sport or Ferrero Rocher in the middle of each swirl.  Lastly, drizzle with melted chocolate and enjoy your crazy, Nutella creation!

© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

too much chocolate cake

Cakes are a pain. Literally.

Layer cakes are beautiful, rewarding, and… dangerous.  I’ll spare you the gruesome details, but a slip up while cutting cake layers sent me to the ER last night.   Now I can say that I’m one of the few people who got a laceration while making a birthday cake.  Nonetheless, I was very lucky and it got stitched up really well… but I think I’m going to stick to making Bundt cakes for a while.

Reasons Bundt cakes rock:

  1. They’re super moist.
  2. It’s redonklulous how easy they are (just bake and pour the glaze on).
  3. They don’t need fancy frosting techniques, the pan does all of the decorating, making the end result look sophisticated and elegant effortlessly!
  4. Bundt cakes keep really well, and actually get better with age.
  5. Bundt cakes aren’t dangerous. 

Now that I’ve hopefully convinced you to go and buy yourself a Bundt pan, let’s talk about this Bundt cake that I made for my friend Ian’s birthday. 
It’s over the top, it pushes the limits, and it’s out-of-this-world.  

Let me break it down for you.
It’s chocolate cake with chocolate pudding filled generously with chocolate chips and completely drenched in chocolate ganache.  No wonder it’s called “too much chocolate cake.”
But seriously, can you ever have too much chocolate?
After tasting this cake, I don’t think so.  In the words of Mae West, “too much of a good thing can be wonderful.”

With love,
Erica

P.S. Sorry this post took so long to write, it’s deceptively difficult to type with one hand.

 Ingredients

1 package devil’s food cake mix
1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm coffee
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
In a large bowl, mix together the cake and
pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and coffee. Stir in the
chocolate chips and pour batter into a well greased 12 cup bundt pan.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a
wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake thoroughly in pan
at least an hour and a half before inverting onto a plate.

Adapted from All Recipes

Velvety Ganache Glaze
Ingredients
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips 
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
4 tablespoons corn syrup
2 tablespoons water

Melt all ingredients in pot over low heat on the stove–stirring constantly–or
in bowl in microwave. Pour over cooled cake.

Adapted from Shirley Corriher’s Bakewise
 
© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

a birthday

I told you about my midnight baking sessions.
This is another creation that happened at around 4 AM.
This time, we tried to be productive, and made a birthday cake for our friend Emelia. 

We decorated the cake with this lovely cake banner that Veda made, and delivered it to Emelia’s doorstep the next morning, complete with a Spiderman balloon and a box of our favorite brownies.

{i have no idea what’s in it, but it tastes like heaven and rainbows}

This is the cake that we attempted to make, but we made a lot of adjustments. A LOT. First, I don’t own any measuring spoons, so I always eyeball the baking soda. I added WAY too much, and Annie’s recipe for chocolate cake exploded in the oven. When I went to re-make it, I realized we ran out of eggs. So I made this egg-less chocolate cake instead. 

{there’s a party in my pantry}

 Veda wanted to make the salted caramel Swiss Buttercream (per Annie’s instructions), but I have a fear of eating raw eggs, and made my version of Buttercream with a lot of caramel sauce in it. 

{aftermath}

Veda made the chocolate frosting. It tasted amazing… but I have no idea what she put in it. If I did, I would share it with you, because I thoroughly enjoyed eating half of the bowl the next morning with a spoon. #healthybreakfasts

With love, 

Erica

Eggless Chocolate Cake
 (makes 2 8 inch layers)
Ingredients
 

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, optional

2 cups (250 ml) water

1/2 cups + 4 Tbs. vegetable oil

2 Tbs vinegar 

2 tsp vanilla 

a few hand-fulls of chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Oil 2 8 inch cake pans and line
with parchment paper.
Mix all of the ingredients except the chocolate chips in a bowl and stir until there are no more lumps. 
Pour evenly into prepared pans. 
Sprinkle with chocolate chips. 
Bake for 30 minutes. 


Adapted from Life’s a Feast

Salted Caramel Buttercream

Ingredients

 1 stick butter
 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup caramel sauce (I used Parfait Ice Cream Vanilla Caramel Dessert Sauce )
1/2 – 1 tsp salt


With your electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add in the confectioner’s sugar. Add in the caramel sauce and salt and continue beating. If you feel as though it is too thick, add milk until the desired consistency is achieved. 


Chocolate Espresso Buttercream

 I have no idea how Veda made this frosting. All I know is she used almost the entire bottle of this stuff that I got in San Francisco. Here is a link to a decent looking chocolate frosting recipe.  I would add a little bit of instant espresso powder for flavor.