Thursday, September 11, 2008

Key Lime Cake with White Chocolate Frosting

Stephanie and I have been best friends since the sixth grade. It was the first week of middle school and while we had the lunch class (Mr. Brown's Math Class) together, we had our own set of friends that had already been established in elementary school. So, one day (burrito day), somehow the two of us ended up at the end of the cafeteria line and by the time we got out... the tables where our friends were sitting were completely full. We kind of hesitantly looked around... both of us contemplating the embarrassment of having to sit alone for lunch and somehow (the details are fuzzy) we ended up sitting together at the end of a long table that had some 7th and 8th graders at it. And that was all it took.

We took to each other immediately. We were very similiar... we both liked books and movies, both a little shy and nerdy, both boy crazy and awkward. Luckily, we outgrew the awkwardness... all the other similiarities are still mostly the same though.

We grew up and remained the best of friends. We went to different colleges and even though we were 500 miles apart, and we might not talk for 3-4 weeks at time, nothing was ever different. We always picked back up where we left off. After college, we lived together for a year... it was funny, because it was something that we always said we'd do when we were in middle school. It wasn't quite as glamourous as we had imagined it would be, but it was still really fun.

We've had our ups and downs... in life and in our friendship, but we've always remained there for each other and I know we always will.

So when Steph moved to Oregon back in July... a little piece of me went with her. I've never been more than a long car ride away from her and though I'm not worried at all that the geographical distance will translate into relationship distance (because it won't), it's just sad that I can't call her up anymore for some assisted retail therapy when some stupid boy has done something... well... stupid. We can't meet up at Mellow Mushroom for some pizza, or go to breakfast or brunch on Sundays... Sure... I can do these things without her, but it's not the same. It's not the food or the shopping that I miss... it's the company.

Steph's birthday was August 22nd and this was the first time she's been away for her birthday. Luckily, she had made plans to come into town a couple weekends after... (this past weekend) for a long weekend to visit with her family and friends. She and I made a plan to go to our 10 year high school reunion on Saturday night and she would spend the night with me that night and we'd hang out together on Sunday. It was the perfect plan... I knew immediately that I'd want to make her a mini-cake for her birthday, since I didn't think that cookies shipped across the country in August would be very tasty once opened... I would just wait until she was here last Saturday and make a cake!

Picking a recipe for her was pretty easy... I know that she loves Key Lime. And initially I thought about a key lime pie. Except... she makes a really good key lime pie... So, I found this recipe from Paula Deen for a Key Lime Cake. I quartered the recipe and made a mini-cake. It came out pretty well, although, we both agreed that a cream cheese frosting would have been better. Also, the sugar sprinkles annoyed the crap out of me. They were so crunchy and hard. I will definitely leave sprinkles off cakes from now on...

As far as the texture of the cake went... I thought this cake had a great texture! It wasn't too dry or dense (like a lot of white cakes I make turn out to be). And it definitely had a full key lime flavor to it. Cream cheese frosting would have made this cake awesome.

Happy Birthday Steph! I love you and miss you!

Key Lime Cake with White Chocolate Frosting
Paula Deen (I found it on recipezaar)

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons key lime zest
3 eggs
1/4 cup key lime juice, fresh
3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

White Chocolate Frosting
6 (1 ounce) white chocolate baking squares
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 340. Grease and flour 3 (9 inch) cake pans.

In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, and lime zest at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in juice until combined.
In medium bowl, combine cake flour and baking soda; sift. Gradually add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Pour evenly into prepared pants, and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Spread white chocolate frosting in between layers, and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with Key lime wedges, if desired.

White Chocolate Frosting:.

In medium bowl, combine chocolate an dcream. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until chocolate is melted and smooth (about 1-1/2 minutes total); let cool completely.

In large bowl, combine white chocolate mixture, butter, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners sugar until fluffy.