Here are two more recipes to add give bakers a glimpse into the world of Griffith and Cheryl Day's Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah, Ga., which has inspired two cookbooks: "The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook" and the just-released "Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love."
After talking with Griffith last week, I tested these recipes, and they worked like a charm. Two notes: I followed my mother's example and kept the cake in the pan (the Days recommend removing it from the pan, and icing the cake's sides and top), and because I had blueberries in the freezer, I used them (as per the Days' suggestion) instead of raspberries for the muffins. The results? Delicious.
I'm definitely adding both recipes to my baking arsenal.
GINNY’S CHOCOLATE CHIP CAKE WITH CLASSIC CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM
Serves 9 to 12.
Note: From “Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love,” by Cheryl and Griffith Day (Artisan, $24.95).
1 c. whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 c. cake flour, plus extra for pan
1 1/4 c. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pan
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking pan.
In a measuring cup or a small bowl, stir together milk and vanilla extract and reserve.
In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt and reserve.
In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar for 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary.
Add flour mixture in thirds, alternating with milk mixture and beginning and ending with flour. Fold in chocolate chips. Scrape batter into prepared pan and gently smooth top with spatula. Tap pan firmly on the counter to remove any air bubbles from the batter.
Bake until a cake tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool cake for 15 minutes, then invert to a wire rack and cool completely.
Invert cake to a platter and frost top and sides with Classic Chocolate Buttercream (see Recipe). Cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
CLASSIC CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM
Makes about 3 cups.
Note: From “Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love.”
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped, or 2/3 c. semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 c. (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp. whole milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
In a double boiler over gently simmering water (or in a bowl in a microwave oven), melt chocolate, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside until chocolate is tepid.
In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter until smooth and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add milk, mixing until completely blended. Add cooled chocolate and mix until completely incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary. Add vanilla extract and mix until completely incorporated. Reduce speed to low and gradually add powdered sugar, then continue beating until buttercream is creamy and silky. Frosting can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
RASPBERRY CORN MUFFINS
Makes 1 dozen muffins.
Note: “Swap in the same amount of blueberries (not thawed if frozen) for an easy-peasy variation,” write “Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love” authors Cheryl Day and Griffith Day.
2 3/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
2 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 c. canned creamed corn (1 14.75 oz. can)
3/4 c. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen raspberries
2 tbsp. sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda and set aside.
In another large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, creamed corn, honey, vanilla extract and butter. In a small bowl, gently toss raspberries with sugar.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in liquid mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in raspberries, using as few strokes as possible; be careful not to overmix the batter.
Using a large scoop, scoop batter into prepared muffin cups, filling approximately 2/3 full. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake until muffins are golden brown, about another 20 to 25 minutes. The tops should be firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin should come out clean. Remove from oven, transfer muffin pans to a wire rack and cool about 10 minutes. Once they are cool enough to handle, remove muffins from pan, transfer to a wire rack and cool competely. Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.