Yesterday was our first year anniversary. One! 'One' was also our wedding song. We had a great weekend. We went to Il Terrazzo for dinner on Friday night - shared a salad and calamari for appetizers, had a 'real bellini', C had short ribs and risotto (amazing) and I had chicken with scallops and prawns - also deelish.
Saturday, my friend Maegan, and I went to the French Mint for a cooking demonstration on Holiday Appetizers. It was so wonderful. Maegan had given me the cooking class as a gift for my wedding shower. We took awhile to pick which one we wanted to take, and I was so happy that we picked this one. A few recipes I will definitely be trying for the holiday season. It was such a great gift - Maegan is always super thoughtful and gives the best gifts. Then in the evening we went to my friend Tracy's surprise party at the Bard and Banker. Surprise she was! It was a great night.
Then yesterday, C and I had a low key day. He worked, I hid from the rain. And then we met Tracy - who took a couple of pictures of us on our first year anniversary. Ordered in Pizza for dinner and then made a cake. We started two new traditions that we are going to 'do' each year on our anniversary: 1. Have a picture of us taken; 2. Bake a cake. It has been a wonderful year being a new wife - I love our life together and I am extremely fortunate.
For our first cake we made a Red Velvet Cake. I have said many times before that I am not a baker. C is also not a baker. But, we did pretty well. We used a recipe from the 'Cake Boss'.
My sister- in-law and nieces gave me this for a shower gift last year. It's a great book. There are a lot of recipes and a lot of really great tips. I would highly recommend it if you have a baker on your Christmas shopping list. Adding their bakery to our list of 'must do's' when we finally make it to New York city has been done.
Red Velvet Cake - from The Cake Boss
1 cup of shortening
1 1/2 cup of sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
4 1/2 tsp of red colouring gel
3 cups of cake flour (I used all purpose)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp white vinegar
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
Pre-heat oven to 350.
If you have a mixer, I would recommend using that - if not, using a hand mixer would work just as well.
In a large bowl, cream shortening, sugar and cocoa powder. Add in colouring gel. Add in flour, salt, vanilla, baking soda and vinegar. Beat at low speed until ingredients are all incorporated and then beat on high for one minute. Add the eggs in, one at a time, beating for one minute after adding each egg. Add in the buttermilk in two batches and scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure that all ingredients are all mixed in together.
Using 2 nine inch cake pans, lightly butter and sprinkle with flour. Divide the cake batter evenly in both pans. Bake between 35 to 40 minutes - ours was perfect at 37 minutes.
Remove from the oven and place on cooling racks, and let cool for at least 30 minutes, ideally an hour, before removing the cakes from the pans.
Apparently the traditional icing for this cake is Cream Cheese Frosting - recipe to follow.
Cream Cheese Frosting
16 ounces of cream cheese - let sit at room temperature for at least 4 hours
8 tbsp of unsalted butter * (softened at room temperature)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups of icing sugar - sifted
*Unsalted butter - I learned at my cooking lesson that unsalted butter is the freshest. They salt butter to make it last longer - this was started before refrigerators were invented - curing the butter to make it last longer.
Cream together the cream cheese, butter with the mixer or hand blender for 30 seconds. Add in the vanilla and beat for another 39 seconds. Add in the sugar, 1/4 of it at a time, beating until smooth.
We sliced each cake into two and added the frosting between the layers. We did not soften our cream cheese enough - so it was a bit lumpy - but still delicious.
This was a really easy cake to make - and one piece was my treat - we sent a bunch to work with Chris for his groomsmen. There's still some left if you want to stop by.