Wednesday, November 24, 2010

the ultimate cake

Ally, here.

Alright, folks. Before we begin, I must tell you that this is probably the most complicated dessert I have ever made. And it is not something you should try to create on the fly. This cake was time consuming. And it is probably the most unhealthy thing I have ever tasted. But it was so good.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let me tell you about this cake. It is all things wonderful. It is chocolate. And coffee. And buttercream frosting. And heath bar. And ganache. And maybe a little bit of heaven.

I was perusing TasteSpotting (a little morning ritual of mine), when I spotted this cake. And even at 7 am, it sounded heavenly. And when I followed the link over to Recipe Rhapsody, I knew I had to make this cake. And I had to make it today. Now, I must say that the recipe author has perfected her cake crafting and decorating, which I certainly have not. So please ignore my amateur cake decorating, and my somewhat lackluster presentation. The cake still tasted great.

Here's what you'll need:

-1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
-2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I didn't go whole wheat on this one, in hopes of making it as wonderfully unhealthy as possible)
-2 1/2 cups sugar
-2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
-1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
-1 1/4 teaspoons salt
-2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
-1 1/4 cups warm water
-1 1/4 cups buttermilk
-1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
-1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

mocha buttercream:
-1/4 cup Kahlua
-1 tablespoon instant coffee crystals
-10 oz semisweet chocolate
-6 egg yolks
-3/4 cup sugar
-1/2 cup corn syrup
-4 sticks (1 lb) unsalted butter

-4 oz semisweet chocolate
-1/2 cup heavy cream

yummy toppings:
-toffee bits
-Heath bars (if you aren't a toffee fan, replace these with some other crunchy dessert)

Here's what to do:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease two round cake pans.

2. Combine the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the eggs, yolk, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Mix until smooth.

3. Divide the batter between the two cake pans. Bake 32-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool for about 15 minutes. Then remove them from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

buttercream frosting:
1. Microwave the Kahlua until boiling. Remove and add instant coffee, stirring until the coffee is dissolved. Set this aside and let it cool.

2. Microwave the chocolate for 30 seconds and stir. Continue heating in 15-second intervals, stirring inbetween, until chocolate is melted. Set this aside and let it cool.

3. Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl.

4. Combine sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, constantly stirring the mixture until it comes to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and pour into the egg mixture while the mixer is running. Beat until the mixture is room temperature.

5. Beat the butter in a bowl until fluffy. Then add to the egg mixture, a little at a time, beating until well combined. Once the chocolate and Kahlua mixtures are cool, beat those into the buttercream until smooth.

1. Microwave the chocolate and cream in a microwave safe dish for one minute. Stir, and continue heating in 15-30 second intervals until the mixture is smooth. Set aside until it comes to room temperature.

putting it all together:
1. Place one cake layer on a plate and spread buttercream over the top. Place the second cake layer on top and frost the top and sides with the rest of the buttercream.

2. Press toffee bits into the sides of the cake. (This was one of the hardest parts for me. I ended up just throwing the toffee at the cake and hoping it would stick. If you have better luck, let me know.)

3. Break Heath bars into pieces and place on the top of the cake.

4. Pour the cooled ganache onto the top center of the cake and spread so that it pours over the sides.

5. Indulge and enjoy! I found that refrigerating the cake for a bit before serving helped hold everything together and made it taste even more delicious.

And there you have it, folks. The most complicated, but most wonderful cake I've ever had the pleasure of creating. Once again, many thanks to Recipe Rhapsody for providing the recipe and the sugar coma.

If you're feeling ambitious, go ahead and try it yourself! You're going to love it!

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