Recently I was asked to make a cake for a surprise birthday party. My client has eaten and enjoyed past cakes of mine and gave me complete creative control. A great freedom, right?
I was stumped. I have never made a cake for a client that was entirely my choice. Normally, clients ask for a certain flavor and theme, and I get creative within those constraints. When I bake cakes for myself, I let my imagination run wild because those cakes are only made to please myself and its my little secret if they bomb.
Eventually, I decided to use my tried and true chocolate cake recipe, filling with a luscious mousse-like chocolate filling and frosted with white chocolate butter cream. Since my client will be traveling with her cake, I kept the decorations simple and the cake easy to cut. Fondant was out and so was any multi-tier creation. Instead, I opted to pipe elegant roses and decorate with silver and gold dragees. Cover the whole thing with sparkly pearl lustre dust and you have a chic, expensive-looking and show-stopping cake that is surprisingly easy to make!
Here’s how I did it:
For the chocolate cake:
1 cup softened butter
3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cup hot, strong coffee
1 cup cocoa powder
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs and 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 ½ cups sweetened condensed milk
1 ½ cups light cream
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
1 cup heavy cream
White chocolate buttercream:
8 sticks of butter, softened
24 ounces of white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
6 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
White chocolate buttercream: In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy and lightened in color. Beat in the melted chocolate. Add the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
Chocolate filling: I In a stockpot, add the sweetened condensed milk, light cream, and cocoa powder. Bring to a low simmer and continue to cook while stirring until the mixture becomes thick and pudding-like, about 30 minutes. Add the chocolate chips and allow them to melt for 5 minutes in he hot mixture before whisking to completely incorporate. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, add the powdered sugar and vanilla to the heavy cream. Using a hand mixer beat the whipped cream to stiff peaks. Beat a third of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, and then fold in the rest of the whipped cream.
Syrup: Bring the water and sugar together in a medium pot to a simmer; stir until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour 2 eight inch cake pans and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the hot coffee and cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light a fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla. Add the sour cream.
Add the flour mixture and coffee mixture to the egg mixture in alternating additions. Divide the batter evenly between the two six inch pans. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted to the center of the cake, 30 to 35 minutes. Unmold onto wire racks. Allow the cakes to cool completely. Slice each cake horizontally into 2, leaving you with 4 layers. Drizzle generously with the simple syrup.
Place the first layer of the cake on a cake board. Spread with a third of the cream cheese chocolate filling. Add another lay of cake, half the remaining filling, follow with another layer of cake, add the rest of the chocolate filling and then the final layer of cake. Refrigerate for a half hour to firm up.
Spread a thin layer of the white chocolate buttercream over the cake. This is called the crumb coat. Put the cake bake in the fridge to firm up for a half hour.
Take the cake out. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip with the white chocolate buttercream and pipe roses all along the sides and top of the cake. Fill in any empty areas. Dot the center of the roses with silver and gold dragees. Spray the cake with edible pearl lustre dust. Enjoy!