Sunday, August 8, 2010

Rosie Makes A Chocolate Birthday Cake For Youngest Hawthorne.

$$ shot.
Tell me you don't want some of this. I had asked Youngest Hawthorne, with some trepidation mind you, what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday. If you are familiar with his requests for a simple lunch, then you can understand my apprehension at broaching the subject of a cake. Actually, I was a little worried he might have seen this cake. The entire thing is edible - the basket of crabs, the corn on the cob, the mallets, the can of Old Bay seasoning. Everything. Thankfully, Youngest Hawthorne hadn't seen it and asked for a chocolate cake. Chocolate cake is doable. This is going to be a triple or quadruple chocolate cake. The cake batter has cocoa and semisweet Ghirardelli chips. The filling has 3 different types of dark chocolate. The glaze is bittersweet chocolate.
Here are the ingredients for the filling: 8 ounces of assorted dark chocolates 1/2 cup heavy cream 1 TB corn syrup 1 tsp vanilla extract Bring corn syrup and cream to a simmer and pour hot mixture over top of chocolate. Add extract. Whisk until smooth. Let stand at room temperature while cake is baking and cooling.
I nuked the cream and corn syrup then poured it over top my chocolate squares and added the vanilla extract.
And shoot. Wouldja look at that? My chocolate seized up. Instead of being all creamy and smooth, it's granular. Still delicious, mind you, and since it's going to be the filling I don't have a problem with it. Chocolate can be finicky at times. It will seize up if it gets any liquid in it. Chocolate is composed of fine dry particles (cocoa and sugar) and fat (butter). When you melt chocolate, a few drops of water or even steam will moisten the dry particles, causing them to stick together forming a granular mass, aka "seizing." Could have been the extract I added. Probably should have heated that up with the cream and corn syrup. Now the ingredients for my batter.
1 cup sifted all purpose flour 1/3 cup cocoa powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp baking soda 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature 1 cup sugar 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed 1 TB vanilla extract 3 large eggs 1/2 cup buttermilk 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips Position rack in lower third of oven and heat to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch diameter cake pan with 2 inch high sides. Line bottom with parchment paper. Butter and flour parchment and pan. Whisk first 5 ingredients to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in both sugars, then vanilla. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in dry ingredients alternatively with buttermilk in 2 additions each. Fold in chocolate chips. Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake about 1 hour or until a tester comes out clean. Let pan cool on rack for 5 minutes, then turn cake onto rack and remove parchment paper. Cool completely.
Here are all my dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
Whisk ...
... to mix evenly.
Beat softened butter until light and fluffy.
Gradually add in sugar ...
... and brown sugar.
Add in extract.
Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add in half of dry ingredients ...
... then half of buttermilk.
Add in rest of dry ingredients ...
... and rest of buttermilk.
Fold in chocolate chips. This makes an extremely light batter. Sweet Dixie in the background.
Here's my buttered and parchment-lined pan. For chocolate cakes, I don't butter and flour the pans. I butter and cocoa powder them.
Pour the deliciously decadent batter into the prepared pan.
Smooth surface and pop in the oven. Always place cake pans on a baking sheet in case there's any spillage.
Daughter Hawthorne just blew through and shot this picture of Dogwood. He likes to lie behind the sofa and next to the door so he can see outside.
Let cake cool completely.
With a serrated knife, cut cake horizontally in half.
Place one layer, cut side up, on serving dish.
Beat filling until light and fluffy (ain't gonna happen here) and pour onto cake ...
and spread evenly.
Top with second layer, cut side down. Chill for about 20 minutes. On to the glaze.
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate 1 stick unsalted butter 1 TB corn syrup 2 tsp vanilla extract
Stir chocolate and corn syrup and extract in small saucepan until melted and smooth.
Ummm, Rosie, what part of smooth do you not understand?
Chill until glaze sets. About 1 hour.
The glaze has definitely set. I had to poke skewers in the cake so Mr. Hawthorne could stick in the candles.
It's a partay!
Slice cake and nuke the slices for about 20 seconds. Add ice cream.
Prepare yourself for a chocolate experience ...
... like none other. Ohhhhhhh. Yes.
There are no words to describe this.
Ayeeeeeeeeeeee! Mama mia! I'll have what she's having, please.
I don't think I want what the Rache is having, or taking, for that matter. Thanks, but no thanks.


Marilyn said...

Looks good, Rosie.

And I hate whem I have trouble with even the simplest of dishes. Guess it happens to all of us.

Kathy said...

I love the shots of the spinning beaters. And, you know, I could live with that cake for my next birthday, hmmm? :-)