(My final cake! Please note the ribbon roses. I think this cake describes me perfectly; bright, full of chocolate, and a little goofy!)
For the past four weeks I have been talking the Wilton cake decorating class at Choc-oh-lot Plus. I have learned a lot of basic piping techniques, especially how to properly hold the bag and the importance of icing consistancies. Our instructor, Amy, is fantastic! She is really cheerful, approachable, and very helpful. I have signed up to take the second class about advanced piping and flower making! The only negative is the frosting we are required to use, it tastes like crap. If you enjoy the grocery-store style buttercream, then you’ll probably enjoy this frosting and I apologize for calling it crap. The frosting does make beautiful decorations though!
(This is my first cake!)
If you scrap off the frosting on the outside, the inside is wonderful!!! The chocolate cake is moist, soft, and has a beautiful crumb. The chocolate flavor is rich and delicious. And let me tell you about the filling, AMAZING!!! I wanted to shove my face in it and eat it all. I can’t wait to make the salted chocolate buttercream to adorn a cupcake or another baked good. My roommates and I have been eating the leftover chocolate buttercream smeared on leftover brownies!
Assembly – Trim the cake so it has a flat top and then split in half. I used one of these slicers, so easy and it makes the cake perfectly even! Take a smear of buttercream and place it on the bottom of an 8″ round, cardboard cake board. Take the top of the cake that you have trimmed and place in on the board with the cut side up. The original top of the cake now becomes the bottom. In your outside buttercream, pipe a 1/2 inch circle on the edge of the cake. Spoon the salted chocolate buttercream inside and smooth. Carefully place the second half evenly on top so the original bottom of the cake is now the top. Cover the outside in buttercream and decorate to your heart’s content!
Yield 12-16 servings
Adapted from Bakerella
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa, I use Ghiradelli (good cocoa makes a difference!)
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup whole milk
2/3 cup water
Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease the bottom of a 8” round by 3” tall cake pan. Place a round piece of parchment paper cut to size at the bottom. Grease the parchment paper and the sides. Add in about a tablespoon of cocoa powder and evenly distribute the cocoa powder on the bottom and sides, shake out the extra.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, soda, powder, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix together on low with the paddle attachment. Beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and milk in a small bowl and add to the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined and then scrap down the sides. Turn on the mixer and add the hot water slowly until well combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes and test for doneness. A skewer should come back without any liquid and a few crumbs. I ended up baking mine for about 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, and then turn out of the pan until it cools completely.
Salted Chocolate Buttercream
Pale Yellow Original
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
Melt the chocolate chips and cream together in a microwave safe bowl at 30 second intervals until all the chocolate chips are melted, stirring in between. Set the chocolate aside to cool.
Beat the butter in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, every other time, beat on high speed and then scrap down the bowl. The mixture will get very dry, no worries. Beat in the salt and vanilla. Slowly add the chocolate mixture and whip on high speed.