I just felt like making a butter cake with chocolate frosting, so I did! I used two new recipes that sounded like they'd fit the bill. And, well.... it turned out to be not so much the cake I wanted. It was very simple-tasting, as if it was store-bought. Would be perfect for children, who generally don't care that much about depth of flavor. A couple of critiques: first is that when making the cake, and creaming the butter and sugar, it said to mix for 4-5 minutes. I thought that sounded like too long. Typically you don't want to overwork these things, or else you change the consistency. And when the cake came out of the oven, it had the consistency of poundcake, kinda crumbly, not butter cake (with lots of holes in it). So my suspicion about mixing for too long may have been accurate, and caused this result.
Then there's the frosting. I probably should have chosen milk chocolate that I knew I liked before starting, but I was in a hurry so grabbed what was there. Well, I think the frosting turned out exactly as it was supposed to, but being that I don't prefer this flavor of milk chocolate, the frosting wasn't my bag either.
I write about it because I still consider this recipe a success in that I learned from it. I learned that my instinct about the cake was spot on! That ingredients matter. That, as green as I am, my experience and knowledge are growing. I am getting better at this!
Plus my coworkers don't care. They gobbled it up!
**NOTE: I was rereading this post, and now I know my suspicion was wrong. I actually should cream butter and sugar for a long time. It's when the dry ingredients go in, that you don't want to overwork it. 4-5 minutes seems pretty long, but I will try it next time.
**Another side note: I have been struggling lately trying to figure out why my cakes at home aren't rising like I expect them to. In the case of this one, I'm sure the insufficient creaming time was mostly to blame. But I really need to look into this further, because I am often expecting a different result. It may be time to call an oven calibrator in...