Monday, October 17, 2011

have the cake challenge:carbonation

I've not been inspired to bake with carbonation as other food items I have tried, using soda, have been sickeningly sweet.  However, our Have the Cake challenge for October was to bake an item using carbonation.   I had cola, root beer and mountain dew in my pantry and since plain old cola seems... well, face it - plain old cola is boring! I remember parents panicking the time my husband brought Mountain Dew to the classroom and didn't want that reaction again.  That left me with the root beer. Many of the recipes I found used cake mix and or root beer extract, neither of which I wanted to use.  Thankfully I came across this recipe at The Prepared Pantry and went about getting the cake made.  I'm a batter licker... I know, I know, food illness ect... but I just can't help myself!  It had a mild, but yummy, taste of root beer.  I suppose that the mild flavor was due to my substituting vanilla extract for the root beer flavoring.  I made a butter cream frosting and topped with some pop rocks.  My Sunday school kids are going to love this!
Note:  The cupcakes rose beautifully and then flattened out. I'm not sure what caused it.  I ended up having to cut the cupcakes out of the pan by cutting off the flattened tops.  Utter failure.  But they did frost up beautifully and they tasted really good

Root Beer Chocolate Cake Recipe
3/4 cup shortening
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tablespoon root beer flavor (or vanilla but will not have as deep of root beer flavor to the cake)
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 12-ounce can root beer, not sugar-free

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
 Cream the shortening and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Beat for five or six minutes so that the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the extract.
In another bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, salt, and soda together.
In three or four additions, alternately add the dry ingredients and the liquids to the creamed mixture starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix only until smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake a 9x13 inch pan for 35 to 40 minutes, cupcakes for 15 minutes, or until the cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool completely before frosting with the frosting of your choice.
Baker’s Note: When making a cake such as this, you are mixing oil (shortening) and water (soda pop and buttermilk)—which don’t mix. The egg yolks act as an emulsifier, a bonding agent between the oil and water molecules and the flour absorbs much of the water. That is why you start with the flour addition—so that the water doesn’t overload the fat mixture before the flour is there to start absorbing water. It’s also why you add the liquids in stages between the flour additions.

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