I got the bright idea to make a birthday cake last night. There are lots of birthdays coming up, so I wanted to try out a dark chocolate cake that I found on this blog a few days ago. I set out to get all of the ingredients, and the idea was to make the chocolate cake and then cover it with a pink colored fondant and fondant flowers. I went to 2 different stores looking for Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Unsweetened cocoa. I know it exists because I’ve used it before, but I just couldn’t find it this time. Frustrating! I had to move on to plan B. I searched on the web for a dark chocolate cake recipe that didn’t call for the dark chocolate cocoa and came across a recipe on Allrecipes.com that looked simple. Finally, I was back on track. I was going to create a layer cake that had 4 layers with whipped cream filling. I planned to cover it with pink fondant and add the flowers. I even went to Michael’s to purchase the fondant and cutters.
After I left Michael’s, I decided to make one last stop at the dreaded Wal-Mart. I dislike Wal-Mart the same way that my dogs hate the bathtub….sometimes they have to get in it, but if they do, they get in and jump out like they are on fire. That’s me in Wal-Mart….sometimes I have to go in, but I don’t stay in long and I get out quick.
As I was walking through Wal-Mart, a package of Lindor Truffles jumped off the shelf and into my cart. I guess I just HAD to use them on my cake. So, the whole idea of making a pretty, girly birthday cake with pink fondant and flowers had completely gone out the window. The plan was now to create a dark chocolate cake with 2 layers of whipped cream filling and 1 layer of strawberry filling. I would cover the outside in a fudgy, chocolatey icing and finish by adding the Lindor Truffles to the top. So, 3 hours later I finally had a cake. It was/is spectacular. I know it’s going to taste amazing because I tried some of the pieces of cake that I trimmed off. The plan was to eat the cake tonight, but I think we are going to save it for my mother-in-law’s birthday party for tomorrow. I sure hope it makes it through the night!
Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with Whipped Cream and Strawberry fillings and Chocolate Fudge Icing
Recipe Adapted from: Allrecipes.com
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold instant coffee (I used Via by Starbucks)
1 cup buttermilk (look here for how to make buttermilk)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2, 9 inch round cake pans.
Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl of a mixer. Using the whisk attachment, mix to combine.
Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and add in the eggs, coffee, buttermilk and vegetable oil. Mix just until combined, about 1 minute.
Equally divide batter between cake pans and bake on center rack for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and place on cooling rack still in the pan. Let cake cool for 45 minutes. Gently run a butter knife around the edge to loosen the cake. Carefully invert cake onto cooling rack and tap lightly on the bottom of the pan if the cake doesn’t easily come out. Wrap the cake layers in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30-60 minutes. Placing them in the freezer makes them easier to work with.
Recipe from: Wilton
1 pkg (16 ounces) frozen sliced strawberries , packed in sugar and thawed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Drain strawberries; reserving liquid. Add enough water to liquid to equal 1 1/4 cups. In large saucepan, combine strawberry liquid, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice; mix well. Heat and stir until mixture boils and thickens. Cool completely. Stir strawberries into the cooled mixture. Refrigerate until ready to use. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Whipped Cream Filling
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup unsifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Place cream, sugar and vanilla in medium bowl and mix on high until stiff peaks form. Place bowl in refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the cake.
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chopped baking chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup butter
2-1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
In medium sacepan, combine chocolate, cream and butter. Stir over medium heat until smooth. Remove from heat. Place saucepan over heatsafe bowl filled with ice. Use a whisk to blend in 2-1/2 cups of confectioners’ sugar. Beat until the frosting holds its shape; then remove the ice bowl. If icing gets too thick, just mix it for a minute and it should soften.
Remove cakes from freezer and place a layer on plate and cut layer in half being sure to make it as even as possible. Remove the top and spread 1/2 of the whipped cream filling on top of the bottom layer. Gently place the top half (second cake layer) on top of filling. Spread the strawberry layer on top of this layer. Cut the second cake in half and add the bottom half of this cake on top of the layer of strawberry filling. Spread remainder of whipped cream filling on top of this layer (the 3rd layer) and then gently place the final piece of cake on top. Be sure that all of the layers are lined up. If you have any layers that are domed, it’s better to put the dome sides down or cut them to be flat. You want the top layer of the cake to be flat.
Spread a thin layer of icing (crumb coat) over the entire cake. This helps to keep your icing free of crumbs once you put on the final coat. Place the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes just to get the crumb coat to harden. Remove the cake and then do the final icing. Spread a layer of icing on the top of the cake and spread to the edges. Ice the sides of the cake; all of the layers should have been filled in when you did the crumb coat. Smooth the icing with a spatula. Decorate with your favorite candy or icing.