Monday, March 26, 2012

I'm a Terrible Blogger...

But my cakes are pretty!





This cake was made for Aleksander, my good friend Mariana's hubster.  We threw him a little surprise party with some close friends and it turned out to be a great success.  His face was great, I think that is the first time I experienced an honest surprise at one of those.  


Everyone did a little something to contribute to the party, it was a bit of a pot luck.  I, of course, immediately grabbed the cake making part.  It wasn't easy though, I am finding that cakes are difficult to make when the question 'How do you want the cake?' is answered with, 'Chocolate'.  Damn, that narrows it down.  








But, after some prodding and interrogating, I came to find that he likes cookie dough and marble cake.  I can work with that!  The final product was this happy looking little cake.  


Two marble cake layers filled with cookie dough swiss meringue buttercream and coated with vanilla swiss meringue.  I poured over a layer of chocolate ganache, then coated the bottom in crushed cookies.  A little frosting border, some swirls, cookies and cookie dough balls pulled it all together.  It's a real shame I didn't get a picture of a slice, but I guess if you want to see that you will just be forced to make this cake yourself.  Poooor you. 


Glad you liked your cake Alek!









1-2-3-4 Marble Cake


1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Milk
1 teaspoon Salt
2 Cups Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
3 Cups Flour**
4 Eggs
4 teaspoons Baking Powder


***The original recipe calls for Self Rising Flour.  If you have that available to you and want to use it, you MUST omit the salt and baking powder!!****


If using plain flour, combine with salt and baking powder and set aside.


Cream butter until fluffy, then add sugar and beat until pale and creamy.


Add eggs one at a time, beating well in between each egg.  Add Vanilla.


Alternate adding flour and milk, starting and ending with flour.  Flour, milk, flour, milk, flour.


Remove 2 cups of batter and add the cocoa powder to that. 


Add the batter to two greased and floured 8 inch pans.  Alternate between the chocolate and vanilla batters in a checkerboard pattering, layering colors one over the over.  You want three cups of batter in each pan.  Run a knife through it in a swirly pattern, in one direction and then the other.


Bake at 350F/175C for 25-35 minutes.  Remove from the pan immediately and cool completely.




Cookie Dough
from Always With Butter

1/4 Cup/56g Butter
6 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Water
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Cup Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/3 Cup Chocolate Chips


Cream the butter and sugar, then add the water and vanilla.  Beat in the flour and salt, then add the chocolate chips.  Chill in the fridge until you're ready to use it.




Chocolate Ganache


9 oz Chocolate
1 Cup Heavy Cream


*This recipe makes much more than you need, so feel free to halve it*


Bring cream just to a boil, then pour over chopped chocolate and stir until smooth.  Let it cool before you pour it over the cake.




My favorite go-to recipe for Swiss Meringue, as well as detailed instructions, can be found here.




Assembly 


Take your cookie dough and reserve 1/4 or so.  Mix the rest with about a cup of swiss meringue until smooth and well blended.  Fill cake, then crumb coat and chill for 15 minutes.  Frost the cake, but try to reserve a cup or so for piping.


Chill cake for a bit, then cover with ganache.  To get the drizzle effect on the sides, pour the ganace in the center of the cake and then twist and turn the cake to get the ganache to run over the sides. 


Once that sets a bit, crush up some chocolate chip cookies and press them into the bottom of the cake, brushing off all excess.  Pipe a line of frosting around the cookies to contain them if you like.


Once the ganache has partially set, pipe on swirls and top with remaining cookie dough rolled into little balls.  Finish it off with cookies, cut in half.


Enjoy!
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