Saturday, October 31, 2015

C-4, The Chocolate Explosion

Fall is a big season for my family.  My mom's, dad's, brother's, husband's, and my birthday all fall (no pun intended) from the months of September through November.  So, that's a lot of celebrations. And adding in Thanksgiving and Halloween, that's a lot of calories. The only thing saving my waistline from the never ending stampede of cakes is that everyone, except my husband and me, lives in Michigan, while my husband and I live in Ohio.  That tends to limit the sugar bomb somewhat, since I usually don't make (and eat) birthday cakes long distance.  However, this year, I felt like I had to break that little rule, at least as far as the making goes, because my poor brother is slated to work on his birthday.  Not just on his birthday, but on his Saturday birthday.  Not just on his Saturday birthday, but his Saturday birthday that just happens to be Halloween.  This is very sad to me (especially since everyone knows how seriously I take birthdays.)  So I decided to ship him a cake.  (And this actually wasn't to big an ordeal, since it's already getting super cold in Michigan, so I didn't have to worry about spoilage.  How about that -- something positive about the impending dismal Michigan weather.  "Great, it's getting cold out!". . .  said no Michigander ever.)

I came up with the perfect cake.  Those of you who know me, know that, to me, my brother is perpetually 7 years old.  Those of you who don't know me. . .he actually turns 28 this year.  Anyways, I remember this particular birthday when he was younger (I'm thinking. . . hmmm, maybe 7 years old, but probably not. . .) where the only thing he wanted was this monstrously humongous chocolate cake from Costco.  The thing probably weighed 10 lbs and it was all chocolate.  Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. . . chocolate cake, chocolate filling, chocolate trimming. . . you get the idea.  I remember almost nothing else about the cake.  I don't even remember if it was good (or if my brother actually ended up liking it) but really, for anyone who is a fan of chocolate, it's pretty much failproof.  I mean, what's not to like?  So I replicated the chocolate, chocolate, chocolate cake, with some inspiration from the Chocolate Wasted Cake from the Art of Dessert.  (How perfect is that name, btw??)

Here it is:

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate Cake
(or C-4, doubly appropriate because it seriously resembles a chocolate explosion. . .)

I used my go-to chocolate fudge doctored cake mix cake, except I thought that the Art of Dessert's idea of brushing the cakes with a liqueur, to complement and deepen the chocolate taste was such a good idea, that I had to add it to my recipe.

However, since my brother has to work on his birthday, instead of Kahlua, I decided to make a coffee simple syrup with which to brush the layers. (I know, I'm totally paranoid -- there's probably more alcohol in cough syrup than in a slice of cake where 1 tablespoon of liquor would be used to coat the whole cake. . . but you can never be too safe. . .)

So, for all of you who are alcohol averse -- for life, or for a day, here is a good replacement for the Kahlua (at least for when brushing cake layers.)

Coffee Simple Syrup

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tsp instant coffee

Boil sugar and water together for two minutes.  Add the instant coffee and stir until mostly dissolved.  Strain the left over particles out of the syrup.  Cool.

After the cake was torted and brushed with syrup, I  filled it with a whipped white chocolate filling, which can be found here.

Then, I frosted the sides of the cake with a chocolate fudge whipped frosting, (which can also be found here.)  For this particular technique (stay-tuned) the frosting job can be a little roughshod, because everything will get covered in the end.  Which also means that there is no need for a crumb-coat (which makes me very happy.)

Place a cardboard round on top of the cake (this end should not be frosted, not yet anyways.)

There are several techniques that can be used when coating a cake with any type of decoration.  I find that the easiest method is to simply roll the sides of the cake in the decoration of choice, whether it be sequins, or sugar pearls, or. . . drum-roll please. . . generic M and M's.

O-kay, that didn't sound that exciting, but trust me, they are delicious.  They're slightly smaller than M and M's so there is a higher candy to chocolate ratio which is just so yummy!

Anyways, I digress.  To use my method, you simply pour the topping into a large cookie sheet (any dish that is wider than the diameter of your cake will do, though,) spread evenly, and then roll the cake over the candy.

After the sides are sufficiently coated with candy, frost the top, and add your topping of choice.  I did chopped up kit-kat bars and then drizzled with white chocolate.

And here you have it! (So I know this looks kind of weird, and full disclosure -- I photo-shopped out the background.  Mainly because I constructed the whole thing on multiple layers of cling wrap so that I would be able to move it without the candy falling off.  You know what doesn't photograph well?  Cling Wrap.  So I took it out, hence the somewhat weird image. Apologies.) 

And I'll just close this post by wishing my brother a very, very happy (28th, not 7th) birthday.  Hopefully eating a slice of cake for breakfast can give you the sugar rush to get through work a little faster and happier!

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