Friday, May 20, 2011

Too Much Chocolate??

Is there even such a thing as "too much chocolate"?? I seriously doubt it.

I came across this recipe for "Almost Too Much Chocolate Cake" online, and I must admit, it hooked me.  I recently made it for a friend's birthday and it really was as good as it looked, but I can hardly say it was "too" much :)

The site I found the recipe on was Make it and Love it.  However, I believe someone else is to be credited as the author/baker.  Either way, this is one recipe that will be repeated in the Pool household.
Find the Recipe HERE

Here is my quest for too much chocolate ;)

I followed the recipe and found the batter to be really rich and thick.  This was great as I was concerned that the chocolate chips might fall through a thinner batter.  This way, they will stay in the center and not sink to the bottom of the cake pan when baking. 

 One thing I recommend: weigh your cake pans as you fill them. 
 This ensures that you will have evenly sized layers.  

About this time, I was second guessing the "8-inch" pans that were suggested in the recipe. 
 Seems like an awful lot of batter to me...

Yup.  Next time I will bake in 9-inch pans.  This will prevent the "muffin top" look that you see above.  
 Now this is where I deviate from the recipe.  It says to leave cake "in the pans" for at least 30 minutes before transferring them to the cooling rack to cool completely.  Well... My experience is that this only leads to dry cake.  See, the cake continues to bake while it's in the pan.  This is fine if you're the kind of person who takes the cake out before it's really ready.  I personally only use the timer as a suggested guide, and instead let my nose tell me when it's finished baking.  This can be tricky, but the rule for me is:  When the first kid comes to me and says...

" MMMMmmm are you making cake??".. I have about 5 minutes before I need to take the cake out. ;)

I then immediately wrap the cake in overlapping layers of plastic wrap.  Yes, while it is still hot and steamy.  This seals in the heat and condenses the steam back into the cake, creating a moist cake no matter how much you've over baked it... well, within reason,  I mean c'mon, if you burn it... it's burnt.
Next put both layers in the freezer.  Yes, the freezer.  Ever try to frost a fresh cake?  One word.  CRUMBY. For three years I worked in a bakery and learned a few tricks about decorating cakes.  First lesson. It's much easier to frost a frozen cake than a fresh one.  I like to make my cakes at least a day in advance.  
Before frosting, I needed to de-muffin my cakes.  I used a serrated knife and just cut off the cake that was sticking out to make two round layers.
I have never made, used, or eaten ganaache before... oh what I have been missing!!  I will use this easy peasy frosting again for sure!  The corn syrup gives it a beautiful shine that butter-cream, whipped cream, and fondant just can't give.  Plus, it's just plain YUMMO!

So because this was a cake for a friend's birthday, I didn't decorate the top with nuts like the blog suggests.  I mounded deep purple and lavender roses in the center and used chocolate butter-cream to decorate the edge.  

The cake is sitting on a piece of cardboard saved from a frozen pizza and covered in foil.
The doily is a paper doily that I get from walmart in the cake decorating section

My buttercream recipe for roses is extremely simple... in fact I don't even measure the ingredients out!
Powdered sugar
rum flavoring
almond flavoring
I listed the ingredients in order of amount.  Obviously, you want more powdered sugar than anything... Say, half a bag?  About a 1/4-1/2 cup shortening and add the milk a tablespoon at a time, probably 3-4  You want this frosting to be a bit stiff if you're intending to use it for flowers.  The important ingredients are the flavorings.  They make all the difference.  Just a dab'll do ya!
I have to say, this was a very tasty cake and I will most definitely be making it again!!
Oh yea, and...
Happy Birthday, Sarah! ;)


  1. Beautiful cake, Sallie! I am always impressed when someone can make beautiful frosting roses ... mine usually look more like a cabbage. Thanks for sharing this post!

  2. Thanks Tricia! Roses are about the only flower I can do. Oh and daisies ... same tip! ;)


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