Monday, February 21, 2011

Make it Monday

Today, I made a chocolate brownie cake for "Make it Monday." I gave presentation a 4 out of 10 and an 8 out of 10 for taste. It definitely did not look like the picture in Carole Clements Baking book but it didn't taste too bad. It basically tasted like a brownie. Here is the recipe:

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 1-ounce squares unsweetened baking chocolate
¾ cup unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whipped Cream Filling:
1 cup whipping (heavy) cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup white chocolate chips, or white chocolate bars roughly chopped
1/3 cup whipping (heavy) cream
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons shortening

Tip: Use standard measuring cups and spoons or scales for accurate measuring.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 9-inch round layer cake pans; lightly grease the pans, line with parchment paper, and then lightly grease the top of the parchment paper.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine flour and baking powder; whisk together to mix. Set aside.
3. In top of a double boiler over hot water, Melt chocolate and butter; stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to combine. Remove from heat.
Tip: Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a simmer. Turn the heat off and place a stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowl on top of the simmering water, the upper pan should not touch the water.
4. Transfer chocolate mixture to a large bowl of an electric mixer, or use a hand mixer. Add sugar; beat on medium speed until mixed. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until thoroughly combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the flour mixture; beat until well blended, about 1 more minute.

5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place pans on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes then remove cake from the pans and place the cake on the wire cooling rack to finish cooling.

Whipped Cream Filling:
6. In a medium mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream until soft mounds form; gradually add the sugar and vanilla, continue beating until thick and stiff. Tip: the cream will whip easier if the mixing bowl and beaters are first chilled; place in the refrigerator to chill until ready to whip the cream.
7. Place whipped cream in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the cake.

8. In top of a double boiler over hot water, combine white chocolate and cream; stir until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool to room temperature. As the mixture cools it will thicken and become spreadable. Tip: to cool and thicken faster, place the bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice water. Stir as it cools until it reaches a good spreading consistency. It should be like a thick frosting. If not thick enough it will run off the top of the cake.
9. Place the semisweet chocolate and shortening in another small bowl, place on top of a double boiler over hot water, stir until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Place the melted chocolate in a small paper piping bag, seal the end, and snip off the tip to make a 1/8 inch diameter hole. Set aside.
Tip: Use a pastry bag with a decorating tip for piping. In place of a pastry bag, you can also use a plastic bag with a ziplock top; after the plastic bag is filled, cut a very small piece off one corner to pipe the chocolate out. To fill the pastry or plastic bag, place the bag, tip side down, in a glass, fold the top down over the edge of the glass. Spoon the chocolate into the bag, filling it no more than 2/3 full, unfold the top and secure with the ziplock top or with a twist tie. Keep the tip covered with a damp cloth when not using to prevent it from clogging.

11. Place one cake layer on a serving plate, and spread the whipped cream filling over the top. Place the second cake layer on top of the whipped cream filling.
12. Spread the cooled white chocolate topping over the top cake layer.
13. Pipe the semisweet chocolate on top of the white chocolate in circles, starting in the center of the cake and moving to the outside edge of the cake. Working quickly before the chocolate hardens, use a wooden toothpick or skewer and drag the tip of the toothpick from the center of the cake to the outside edge like a spoke. Alternate the direction of each spoke, first from the edge to the center of the cake, then from the center to the edge. Continue around the top of the cake, alternating the direction of each spoke to make a feather design.
14. Loosely cover to protect the feather design and refrigerate before serving (I didn't do this). Refrigerate leftovers.

Tip: Serve cake using a pretty cake plate and cake server for a delightful presentation.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Good luck and happy baking. Till next time...

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