Whew, I am home! It feels like it has been a long time since I have been home baking and blogging. The past few weeks I have been to New York, Las Vegas, Las Angeles, Dallas, and back to Las Angeles! As of 1:00 am Dallas time today I am back in my own home and ready to blog. Don't get be wrong, my travels have been for work and I had a blast, I am one lucky girl to have a job where I get to go to such amazing places and do what I love.
Since I have been traveling up a storm my Beagle was fortunate enough to go to my good friends Tracy and Jeff's house. Taylor dog loves to visit them since it means she not only gets a ton of love but she also gets to play with their sweet lab Maya. As a thank you to them for taking such good care of my baby when Tracy came to me and asked if I could make a birthday cake for her brother I was so excited to help out.
After speaking with Tracy about what sort of cakes her brother liked I landed on a 4 layer classic yellow and chocolate cake with a layer of chocolate sauce and dark chocolate cream cheese icing. Pretty much a classic birthday cake elevated to the next level. You can make this cake with your own cake recipe from scratch or you can use Duncan Hines dark chocolate fudge cake mix and their classic yellow cake mix, just as amazing only a bit easier. I made this one using 8" cake pans which makes for a nice high manageable cake. You can make it as large or as small as you like.
Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing: (Recipe from the lovely Miss Bakerella)
- 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ( I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa)
- 1 box (1 lb) confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1-3 Tbsp milk
- Cream the butter and cream cheese with a mixer.
- Add the cocoa and vanilla.
- Add the confectioner’s sugar in small batches and blend on low until combined.
- Scrape down sides with each addition.
- Add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until you get the consistency you desire
Chocolate sauce: (original recipe from the Smiths Family 12 layer cake)
- 3 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder , preferably Dutch process
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter , cut up
- 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- To make the sauce, bring the sugar, cocoa, butter and evaporated milk to a full boil in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the icing has thickened slightly (it will resemble chocolate syrup but will thicken as it cools), about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the vanilla.
- Let the icing cool until thick enough to spread, but still pourable.
To assemble cake:
- Place your first completely cooled layer of yellow cake down on your cake round or stand. I like to assemble my cakes on a lazy susan so that when I ice them it is easy to rotate the cake. Using a flat end spatula cover your layer with the dark chocolate cream cheese icing forming a layer about 1/2 inch thick.
- Cover with your next layer of chocolate cake and carefully pour a layer of the chocolate sauce over top. Be careful to keep it centralized in the center of the cake round because once you put the next two layers on top the sauce will be forced out to the sides.
- Place your next layer of yellow cake and cover with another 1/2 inch thick layer of the dark chocolate cream cheese icing.
- Top the last of the 4 layers off with your last cake round of chocolate cake.
- Start icing your crumb coat on the cake using a flat end spatula making sure to cover all the parts of the cake with a thin layer of icing. Place it in the fridge for 20-25 min. Finish coating the cake with about 1/2 inch thick layer of icing all the way around.
- Using a pastry bag fitted with a large tip like a #806 pipe small rounds all the way around the base of the cake, followed by 3 layers starting at the outside moving in on top of the cake. I then piped one large round in the center to place a flag which I wrote "Happy Birthday Stefan" on.