Sunday, March 15, 2015

Celtic Celebration Cake

With St. Patrick's Day coming up, I decided on something to celebrate the occasion. Ireland does have a rather rich history. I came across some very interesting facts, some you may know, some you may not. The famous ship the Titanic was built in Belfast. St. Patrick, the patron saint, was actually kidnapped when he was a boy.  Also, at one time the Shamrock was considered a rebellious symbol and Queen Victoria prohibited Irish regiments from wearing them on their uniforms.

Now, back to this cake. This two layer treat does have a jigger or two of liqueur combined with chocolate. The lighter layer includes white chocolate and creme de cacao.  The other layer is a combination of Irish cream and dark chocolate. The topping and filling is a fudgey chocolate recipe I used on another cake in the past, but ganache would also do quite well.  Regarding the texture, the cake is more on the fluffy side than dense and it is moist.

The inclusion of liqueurs in the ingredients does add a more decadent and sinful twist to something we already consider delicious--chocolate.  Also, I recognize St. Patrick's day as more as an adult holiday and this is a perfect fit.

Since this is like making 2 different cakes, you will need several medium size bowls. Also, a double boiler will need to be available for melting the different chocolates contained in this recipe.

This year you can have those cocktails or beer like you did last year.  However, pulling out this cake will mark the evening a little bit tastier and memorable for St. Patrick's day 2015.

Celtic Celebration Cake
by flourtrader

Ingredients/ Cake
2 oz  white chocolate
2 oz  unsweetened dark chocolate squares (Bakers brand)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup Irish cream and a little more for brushing on layer
1/2 cup clear (not dark) creme de cacao and a little more for brushing on layer
3 eggs
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter (softened)
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

(adapted from Southern Living)
3 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp vanilla extract
1lb of butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare 2 nine inch cake pans by greasing the interior and then lining with parchment paper.  Then grease the surface of the parchment paper.  Lastly, dust the interior with flour and tap out excess.

Take out 2 medium size bowls. In one bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp of salt. Repeat this process to fill the second bowl and set both aside.

Using a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and vegetable oil by running the mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes.  Be sure to stop a few times and scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Beat in one egg for about 30 seconds.  Repeat the process using one egg at a time. Measure out the batter and divide equally into 2 different bowls.  Place one bowl of batter in the fridge.

Set up a double boiler and melt 2 oz of white chocolate. Add the 2 oz of melted chocolate to the bowl of batter and 1/2 tsp of vanilla.  Stir until all is evenly distributed.  Then add one bowl of the sifted dry ingredients and creme de cacao.  Mix the batter until smooth and blend in 1/4 cup of milk.

Pour batter in one of the prepared cake pans and place in oven.  Bake until tester indicates done, which should be about 22-27 minutes. After 15 minutes of baking, remove bowl of batter from fridge and set aside. Once the cake is done, take out of oven and place on rack. Let cool in pan until sides of cake separate from edge of pan.  That should be about 10-15 minutes of cooling time. Then invert onto rack and remove parchment.  While still warm, brush creme de cacao onto the layer. The quantity is your preference.

For the other layer, set up your double boiler and follow the instructions in the above two paragraphs. This time you will be using the dark, unsweetened chocolate and Irish cream.

The instructions for the topping can be found in paragraph 7 and 8 in this link: Double Nut-drenched Chocolate Cake.  The only change is that the nuts were eliminated for this cake recipe.  Frost cake layers once the have completely cooled.

Tips and notes:
1. The word "dark" in the ingredient list for the chocolate was just to note the difference between white and regular chocolate.  While there is dark and bittersweet types of Bakers brand of chocolate, the unsweetened does not come in different degrees of chocolate.  This recipe uses the original, unsweetened type.

2. This recipe can also be baked as a marble cake by swirling the batters together in a 9x13 pan.

3. Feel free to experiment with the recipe. For instance, a 2 layer cream de cacao cake with a raspberry filling and white chocolate ganache coating is another way to go.  Since white chocolate is so sweet, just cut back 1/2 cup of sugar in your cake ingredients.

4. If using the fudge topping, I emphasize again (stated in the original link) that it sets up quickly.  You definitely do not want to tear your lovely cake with frosting that is too thick.
                         **LAST YEAR: Irish Cream Cookies**