This is for Jason. (see how much you mean to this acupunk broad?)
1. If you are going to make a cake that everybody goes ga-ga for, you HAVE to throw out the idealistic fairy tale that you can make a healthy cake that people will love. Nobody loves whole wheat pastry flour like they love bleached cake flour. Honey is nice, but finely granulated white sugar makes for a better texture. Just deal with it. Its not like you eat cake everyday. Do you?
1a. If you are having trouble with rule #1, then here is your mantra: "I am eating cake. Cake is not healthy. I am going to embrace all the health risks involved and LOVE IT."
1b. If you are still having trouble, go back to your dense, dry, coarse, date sugar, raisin studded, sad-excuse-for-a-treat hippie cakes and leave me alone.
Back to the tips and tricks:
2. Go buy some cake flour. It makes for a way better cake. If you want that fine, light texture, you want cake flour. All purpose flour is for bread and pastries. Harumph.
3. Go buy fine-grained sugar, like bakers sugar or bar sugar or whatever that stuff is called. It dissolves better and creates a more open crumb.
4. You really need kick ass vanilla extract. Don't buy fake crap unless you want to insult your loved ones. Nielson-Massey is my current favorite (see yesterday's post).
5. Margarine is for killing yourself. Use REAL butter, and learn to love butterfat for all its glory. Your body doesn't even know what to do with margarine, so it stores the stuff in your arteries! Get it away!! Stop insulting your loved ones!
6. Good baking pans make a huge difference. Accept the fact that you are going to be using aluminum pans and move on. Refer back to rule #1 if you keep thinking about all the health risks you are taking.
7. You are going to need some sort of electric mixing device. Unless you really want to buff up those forearms.
8. You need a timer. Don't think you don't. You do.
9. Weighing your ingredients will give you much better results than measuring, and it is much faster. You can throw a cake together and get it in the oven in 30 minutes instead of an hour. I started hitting perfect cake status once I began to weigh everything, inlcuding the yolks and whites. I'm not saying, but I'm saying.
10. If you are going to need chocolate, use the best chocolate that you can find. The Best. Using a hershey's bar will only suck balls. Don't do it. Don't insult your loved ones like that.
11. And of course, pour a whole lot of love into that cake and everything will be fine.