Showing posts with label chocolate cake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate cake. Show all posts

Friday, June 15, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Cake

Today is Club Baked day! Twice a month the club bakers are given a recipe to make from the book Baked Exploration by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Everyone makes the same recipe and then we share it, with the hostess posting the actual recipe. This time around the recipe was Chocolate Coffee Cake . So why is my recipe called Chocolate Caramel Cake? I am not a coffee lover. At all. The previous Club Baked recipe was Coffee Ice Cream. I didn't join in because, ya know, the coffee thing.  I didn't want to miss another round of baking, so I made some changes in the recipe, and I was good to go. So was the cake. It was  delicious!
Chocolate Caramel Cake w/ Milk Chocolate Ganache

3/4 cup dark unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2/3 cup Sour Cream
2 2/3 cup Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3/4 cup Butter (soft, cut in to 1" cubes)
1/2 cup Vegetable Shortening
1 1/2 cup Sugar
1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
1 tablespoon Vanilla

Caramel Buttercream
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1/3 cup Flour
1 1/2 cup Milk
1/3 cup Heavy Cream
1 1/2 cup Butter(soft, cut into small pieces)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3 tablespoon Caramel Flavoring Syrup

Chocolate Glaze
8 ounces good quality Milk Chocolate
3/4 cup Butter (soft, cut into small pieces)
1 tablespoon light Corn Syrup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Prepare your pans.
In a medium bowl, mix your cocoa powder and sour cream
with 1 1/4 cup hot water. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and
salt together and set aside.

With your mixer and a paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening
on medium until fluffy and light, about 5 minutes.
Add the sugars and beat on medium until light and fluffy,
about 5 more minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time.
Turn mixer to low, and add vanilla.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and mix again for 5 minutes.

Beginning with the dry ingredients, add the dry mix and the cocoa mix
to the mixer bowl, alternating each and ending with the dry.

Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes.
Let cool.

Caramel Buttercream:

In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together.
Add milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally,
until mix comes to a boil.

Transfer mixture to bowl of standing mixer. Beat on high until cool, about
7-9 minutes. Reduce to low and add the butter. Mix until incorporated.
Increase speed to medium high and beat until
frosting is fluffy and light, 1-2 minutes.

Add vanilla and caramel flavoring, and continue mixing until combined.
If frosting is soft, place in fridge until it firms up. Then remove and beat again.
If your frosting is too thick, set the bowl over a pot of boiling water,
and beat with a wooden spoon until it is of proper consistency.

 Frost your cake.

Chocolate Glaze:
Place chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in the top of a double boiler.
 Stir until mix is completely melted and smooth.
Remove from heat, and stir some more to release heat.
Drizzle glaze over cake.
If you want you can place your cake on a wire rack
with a piece of parchment under it. When you drizzle, the unused
glaze will end up on the parchment. If you don't wish to do it
this way, just drizzle the cake when it is on the plate.
 It piles up a little, but it still looks pretty!!
Garnish cake with chocolate rocks. 

 Refrigerate the cake for about 20 minutes to set the glaze,
but serve at room temperature.

This cake would be perfect for Father's Day!!

This cake is wonderful. It does have a lot of ingredients, but you
get to make homemade buttercream, and if you love
chocolate, it's perfect! You can also make it in stages.
I made the cake one day, put it in the freezer, the buttercream the next,
and then make the ganache the final day!

Thanks for joining me!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tall Stack Cake

Not too long ago a friend had a birthday party, and the family asked if I would make the cake. Ha! Of course, I will! I never turn down the opportunity to bake anything. I was pleased as punch that they asked me. The only guidelines they gave me is that my friend loves chocolate and peanut butter. Well, yeah, who doesn't?! So I got busy baking, and I came up with a cake that was a big success.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tall Stack Cake
Cake Decorations
Mini Reese's Cups
Peanut Brittle
Party Peanuts

Chocolate Buttercream
(adapted from Cooks Illustrated)
10 tablespoons unsalted Butter, softened
1 cups Confectioners' Sugar
pinch Salt
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
4 oz. semisweet Chocolate, melted and cooled

Beat the butter at medium speed for about 20 seconds.
Add confectioners' sugar and salt. Beat at medium speed,
incorporating the sugar, for about 45 seconds. Scrape down your bowl,
and beat again for 15 seconds.
Scrape down your bowl, and add your vanilla extract.
Reduce the speed to low, and slowly pour in your chocolate.
Beat for 4 minutes until all the chocolate is incorporated
and buttercream is light and fluffy

Peanut Butter Buttercream
(adapted from Cooks Illustrated)
8 tablespoons unsalted Butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Confectioners' Sugar
pinch Salt
1 tablespoon Heavy Cream

Beat the butter and peanut butter together at medium speed for
20 seconds. Add the confectioners' sugar and salt. Beat at medium
speed, incorporating the sugar for about 45 seconds . Scrape down your bowl,
and beat again for 15 seconds.
Scrape down your bowl, and add your heavy cream.
Beat at medium speed until incorporated, then beat at
medium speed until light and fluffy.

Buttermilk Devil's Food Cake
(adapted from The Cake Doctor)
1 box Duncan Hines Devil's Food Cake Mix
3 tablespoons unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 1/3 cup Buttermilk
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
3 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

The first thing you should do is multiply the above amounts
by 2. The ingredients listed will make 2 - 9" round cakes.
You will need 4 - 9" round cakes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare your pans by greasing them with pan spray and
dusting them with flour or cocoa powder.
Mix all your ingredients together for 1 minute on low speed.
Scrape your bowl.
Turn it up to high, and mix for 2 minutes.
Pour into your pans.
2 pans need 28-30 minutes to cook. If you are making
all 4 at one time, keep an eye on the time. You may need
a little more time.
Let cool completely.
When cool, wrap each cake in plastic and place in the
freezer for about 30-45 minutes.

Putting It All Together!
Take each cake out and slice the cake through
the middle, sideways. In other words, each cake becomes two.
Have the cake circle or cake plate or whatever you
want to present the finished cake on ready to go.
The cake is heavy to move to a plate after completion.

Plus you take the risk of it falling.
Put the bottom layer on your cake circle.
Frost the middle of the cake with the
peanut butter buttercream. Keep layering the cake
pieces until all eight layers are stacked evenly,
with frosting in between each layer.
The cake is great to work with when it is slightly frozen.
I took 1 cake at a time from the freezer to insure they
would be semi frozen.
Once all the layers had peanut butter buttercream on them,
I stuck 4 wooden cake rods in a square design through the
top of the cake. I measured them before I inserted them.
I wanted them from the bottom of the cake until just
short of the middle of the top layer.
This kept the cake from falling.
I set the cake in the fridge so it would set up quickly.
When it was set up enough, I took it out of the fridge,
and quickly frosted it with the chocolate buttercream.
Then I stuck the mini reese's cups around the bottom and then
haphazardly wherever I thought they needed to be.
I added the brittle and the peanuts because I thought it added
much needed color and texture.
Then I placed it in the fridge for several hours.
My friend was happy with the cake.
I hope they ask me to make his cake again next year!!
Thanks for stopping by!

This recipe partied at the following shindigs:
33 Shades of Green 
Tutorial Tuesday
Crazy Sweet Tuesday
Full Plate Thursday

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Birthday Cake and The Freshman Cook Gets a Makeover!!

A few weeks ago, a friend of a friend had an impromptu Birthday party. Since no one had given much thought to the Birthday Cake, my husband volunteered me! Now, don't get me wrong, I love to bake. Anything, pretty much anytime. But I only had 2 hours to have it completely ready to go. So, I grabbed a box of Devil's Food cake mix, and made my favorite cake from The Cake Doctor, Anne Byrn. I have posted cakes in the past that I have made from her book. I just love it, because the cakes are so moist. (I think I have said that before! :o)!!) But the question of how to decorate the cake was really driving me crazy.! I thought about peanut butter, reese cups, chocolate chips, all of the usual cast of characters. Time was flying by, and going to the grocery was out of the question. Here is what I finally came up with.

Chocolate Cherry Double Layer Birthday Cake
1 box Duncan Hines Devil's Food Cake Mix
3 tablespoons unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 13 cups Buttermilk
1/2 cup Corn Oil
3 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Mix all the ingredients together in your mixing bowl
Mix on low for 1 minute, then scrape the sides of your bowl,
and mix on medium for 2 minutes.
Pour into 8" pans, and bake for 30-40 minutes.
Remove from oven, cool on rack.
After 5 minutes of cooling, take a knife or offset spatula
around the edge of the cake, between the cake and the pan.
Let the cake continue to cool for 15 more minutes.
Release cake from the pan. and let it continue to cool
on the cooling rack.
I made Chocolate Ganache for the frosting. 
Melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips in a double boiler on the stove.
Add 1/4 cup of heavy duty whipping cream. This is my normal
recipe, but I ended up adding another 
1/4 cup of whipping cream because I wanted this ganache to 
drip down the cake.
Mix the ganache until completely smooth.
Cover the top of the bottom layer with ganache.
Cover the ganache with a thin layer of
cherry pie filling.
Top with top layer.
Cover top layer with ganache. 
Add some additional ganache on top until it drips
down the sides and looks pretty.
Add a circle of cherry pie filling in the middle of the top layer.
Happy Birthday My Friend !!

The Freshman Cook Makeover!!

If you have read The Freshman Cook in the last week, you know that this blog, just received a fabulous makeover. It all started when I won a contest hosted by Ashton of Something Swanky. My prize was a full blown blog makeover designed by the incredibly talented Leah over at Just Call Me Blessed!!! Am I lucky, or what!! I emailed Leah answers to her questions about what I was looking for, and she hit the nail on the head.!!! She designed the gorgeous header that you see now, and I just love it!! I hope you do too! If you are looking to make some changes in the design of your blog, you must contact Leah. She has an etsy shop so you can check out what she does, and she is such a patient person to work with. She gave me detailed instructions on how to install the features she designed. Of course, she will  install them for you, but I was curious and wanted to learn how to do it myself. If you are looking to make any changes in your blog, or your facebook page, maybe a button for your blog, or you just want something different, contact Leah. You will be so glad you did!! Thanks, Leah! You are the best!!