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In search of the perfect vanilla and chocolate cakes to bake

Now that I am officially IN the business of baking as the pastry chef for our Valley Forge Catering Company, it is more important than ever (when people are paying for your items) to have fool proof/go to recipes. I have a collection of many ... and some I am still finding my way. Whew. A lot of trials and tribulations this past week trying to find THE PERFECT cake recipes for a client request - half chocolate, half vanilla cake for a birthday party. No mixes. Ever.

I landed on the webpages of two superstar food peeps. Assured it would be perfect. If anything, I know baking is a science and I follow directions and my oven was recently calibrated ...

What a disaster!!!

The first vanilla and chocolate cakes. Oy. Vanilla was dense and dry and the chocolate was light, airy and bland. YUCK.

Square one.

After much ado, I found two perfect recipes. Just the right balance of dense, moist crumb, flavor. And the chocolate cake recipe called for chocolate stout beer. Iced with vanilla bean buttercream and dark chocolate butter cream and topped with milk chocolate shavings and Lindt truffle balls - a hit. Andy brough home a piece for me and a day later, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.


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