Firstly I made the flowers over a mid-week evening after work. The cake which is a 4 layer chocolate butter cake in 6" cake pans was baked on a Friday evening, after work again. The buttercream and layering of the cake was done on a Saturday morning and the final assembly with fondant and decoration was done on Sunday. By the time I finished my "little" project, I was completely knackered and this is only a 6" cake. I can't imagine bakers who actually attempt a 2 tier full size cake! I did tell myself that this is my very first attempt at tackling this on my own and therefore it was somewhat consoling. Unfortunately it was already night time when the photos were taken and coupled with the fact that my white light bulb had fused - it sure didn't help at all!
I carried the cake to work on Monday and my colleagues said that it was a piece of art. Way too pretty to cut up. Anyway the cake was meant to be eaten and enjoyed, and that was exactly what happened!
Chocolate Butter Cake
recipe from Joy of Baking
(serves 8 to 10 persons)
120g unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup (28g) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
1 cup (240 ml) boiling water
2 1/4 cups (315g) all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups (400 g) granulated white sugar (I used 1 3/4 cups sugar instead)
3 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) milk
1) Preheat oven to 350F (177C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, and line with parchment paper, two - 9 x 2 inch deep (23 x 5 cm) round baking pans. Set aside
2) In a stainless steel or heatproof bowl place the chopped unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder. Pour the boiling water over the chocolate and cocoa powder and stir until they have melted. Set aside to cool while you make the batter.
3) In a separate bowl, whisk to combine, the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
4) In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is fluffy (this will take about 3-5 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and melted chocolate mixture and beat to combine.
5) Add the milk and flour mixtures in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat only until the ingredients are incorporated.
6) Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for about 35 - 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Butter or lightly spray a wire rack with Pam before inverting the cakes onto the rack to prevent the cakes from sticking. Cool the cakes completely before frosting.
White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:
567g imported white chocolate, chopped
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered (icing) sugar, sifted
Stir white chocolate in top of double boiler over barely simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove white chocolate from over water. Let stand until cool but not set, about 20 minutes. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in white chocolate and vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in powdered sugar. Cover and refrigerate until thick enough to spread, about 45 minutes (frosting will be very soft).
Place one layer of cake, top side down, on your serving plate and cover with a layer of frosting. Then place the second layer of cake, top side down, onto the first cake layer and then frost the top, repeat with the other 2 remaining layers. Finally add frosting to the top and the sides of the cake and smoothen out. Decorate either with more buttercream, shaved chocolate or fresh fruit.