Sunday, May 20, 2018

Chocolate Dream Cake

When I was little, the things I wanted were sold as separate, never complete as is. I could get the Barbie, but still wanted the car and the Barbie house. It seems as if someone has caught on to this trend, because everything you buy has the option to buy additional things that make it more complete.

Crazy as it may be, the lady at the cosmetics counter swears that there are 3 purchases to make perfume complete. Buy the base (perfumed lotion), then the perfume itself and lastly, the sealer of perfumed dusting powder. We all thought that the perfume purchase was enough, but now we know better, right? Well, I still have yet to be convinced to buy all three.

Unlike separate entities, this cake has it all. The layers are much like brownies, very moist and with a deep chocolate flavor. Coating these decadent layers is a fluffy cream filling and a Marscapone buttercream frosting with the crunch of cookies. Lastly, it has ganache on top and running down the sides. That component is nothing but dark chocolate candy. Hmmm... brownie, cookie, candy- that about sums up this three layer dessert tower. Rest assured, you will not want any chocolate sauce or ice cream with your slice-just a fork!

This cake requires three 8 inch round cake pans and a dropper since the coconut oil is measured in drops. When planning, make sure you allow enough time to create the cake. Consider the baking time of approximately 50-55 minutes. Also, remember that there are 3 components covering the outside of the cake.

Chocolate Dream Cake
adapted from

Ingredients/ Cake
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cup hot coffee
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
3 cups sugar
4 oz chopped semisweet chocolate
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups Dutch processed cocoa powder

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
1/2 cup Marscapone cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
10 drops coconut oil
one 8.5 oz box of coconut dream cookies (crushed)

1 lb of powdered sugar
1 cup or 2 sticks of butter (room temp)
1 tsp vanilla
15 drops of coconut oil
1/2 of an 8.5 oz box of coconut dream cookies (crushed for coating sides)

1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate (chopped)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Prepare 3 eight inch cake pans by greasing the interior. Then line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the surface. The first component will be the cake.

Stir together the buttermilk, milk and vanilla extract and set aside. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Then sift in the cocoa and whisk the mixture together. Lastly, stir in the sugar and form a well in the center of the mix.

Fill a small bowl with the eggs and whisk until foamy on the surface and set aside. In another bowl, add the chopped chocolate and spread evenly. Then pour the hot coffee into the bowl and let sit undisturbed for 2 minutes. Whisk coffee and chocolate together until smooth.

Fill the center of the well (formed in the dry ingredients) with the eggs, oil and melted chocolate. Then stir until smooth. Pour in the milk mixture and blend into the batter. Divide the mixture into thirds and fill each pan.

Place pans in oven and bake for 25 minutes. Then rotate and bake for an additional 25 minutes. At this time, use a tester to see if done. If not, let cakes cook for an additional 2 minutes and check again.

Let cakes cool in pans on rack for 10 minutes. Then run a butter knife around the edges and invert onto rack. Peel off parchment and let cool completely on rack.

The next component will be the filling. In the first bowl, sift the powdered sugar. Use a second bowl to beat the Marscapone cheese until smooth. Then fill a bowl of a stand mixer with the whipping cream. Whisk the cream until stiff peaks form. Add the Marscapone cheese, oil and vanilla extract. Blend ingredients together with mixer on medium speed, scraping down the sides at intervals. Once combined, beat in the powdered sugar. Lastly, fold in the cookie crumbs. Empty into a bowl with a lid, place lid on top and refrigerate until ready to use.

Using a small bowl, start creating your frosting by stirring the oil and vanilla together. Then fill the bowl of a stand mixer with butter and beat until light and shiny, scraping down sides as needed. Add the vanilla/oil blend and beat again until evenly distributed. Beat in the powdered sugar in 1/4 increments until the mixture is fluffy and smooth.

Place one cake layer on a plate, stand or cake board. Using a spatula, smooth a thin layer of buttercream frosting on the surface. Take the filling out of the refrigerator and divide in half. Place half of the filling onto the surface of the cake layer and smooth out evenly, covering the flat surface of the cake from edge to edge. Repeat the frosting/filling process after you stack the second layer on top. Then stack the last layer.

At this point, you will cover the cake in a thin coating of the frosting, which will be the crumb coat.

The create the ganache by filling a bowl with the chocolate and smoothing out to an even layer. Heat the cream to a simmer (either using a saucepan or microwave). Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let rest for 2 minutes. Then stir until smooth and set aside.

Frost the cake with the remaining buttercream. Using clean hands, lightly press hand fulls of cookie crumbs on the sides of the cake, making sure all of it sticks and all sides are evenly coated.

Once the above task is complete, check on the chocolate ganache for consistency. It should not be like water, but is should be pour-able. This mixture will get thicker as it stands. After the consistency is achieved, our the ganache over the cake. Start by pouring along the outer edges then towards the center. If too much drips off, just keep spooning it back on top of the cake.

Tips and Notes:
1. The cake is very moist and fluffy. This means it is very fragile, so be careful when stacking your layers together. If it cracks, push the pieces together, the moisture will hold them together along with the frositing and filling.

2. I used an offset spatula to crumb coat cake. Dipping the spatula in water while you frost helps smooth the frosting without tearing the cake.

3. The frosting will set up with time, so do not delay in pressing the crumbs on the sides. If they do not stick, use a wet spatula on the surface of the frosting to make it sticky for the cookie crumbs.

4. Refrigerate cake to store if not serving right away.

5. The filling did stay fluffy for awhile. You may consider adding whipped cream stabilizer to the filling if you know the cake will be sitting at room temperature for hours.

                                       **LAST YEAR: Sour Cream Donuts**