A different kind of cake

So this cake, actually the design, isn't for the faint at heart. No, really. It isn't. If you are easily offended then keep trucking. I made this cake for a co-worker who was returning to work from medical leave and I was asked to make it. Its not the recipes that are for the curious. It's the pictures. So without further ado here is the recipe then the pics to the final product in a link. Just in case. By the way I started making this cake at 4 in the afternoon and when I was completely done it was 4 am. This is a long one.

Neo Classic Buttercream frosting:

6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of corn syrup
2 cups (4 sticks) of butter, softened to the touch
2 tablespoons of vanilla extract or eau-de-vie of your choice (optional)

Instructions to follow precisely for the buttercream:

1. Grease a 1 cup heatproof glass measuring cup and keep it by the stove.

2. In the mixing bowl, beat the yolks with the whisk attachment, until light in color and fluffy.

In the meantime, combine the sugar and corn syrup in a small thick-bottomed saucepan and heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a rolling boil and its entire surface is covered in tiny bubbles. (The syrup must come to a rolling boil or the resulting buttercream will be too thin.) Remove the pot from the heat and immediately transfer the syrup to the glass measure to stop the cooking. Don't bother to scrape the bottom of the pan to get the remaining sugar syrup from it.

3. Pour a small amount of syrup over the yolks, and beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Add a larger amount of syrup again and beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Continue with the remaining syrup. Beating until completely cooled! I made the mistake of not doing this and it didn't take. It was watery!

4. Fit the mixer with a paddle attachment, so too much air isn't beaten into the mixture. Gradually beat in the butter, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time and add the vanilla extract. The egg/syrup mixture must be completely cool before adding the butter. The buttercream will begin to thicken once all of the butter has been added.

Note from the original recipe: If the butter is too cold (the mixer bowl will feel cold, as a result), sometimes the mixture will curdle. To fix, stop adding butter, soak a dish towel in hot water, wring it out and wrap it around the bowl while increasing beater speed to high. The gentle warming of the mixture plus the additional mixing will bring it back into a smooth mixture (emulsion). Or, beat the frosting on low speed, and it will bring it back together. When the icing does come together, resume with adding butter. If the bowl still feels hot, and/or the butter melts when you start to add it, stop adding butter and continue to beat on medium until the bowl cools down.

For the Chocolate batter:

Make 2 layers using a 9 X 13 pan

3 1/2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder, natural (do not use Dutch-process)
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (optional but worth it)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

2 cups whole or 2% milk; use cold - does not have to be at room temperature
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) of butter; use cold
2 3/4 cups sugar
6 large eggs; use cold

12 ounces (squares) bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled to tepid

How to melt chocolate:

I melted the chocolate in the oven while it was preheating. Place the chocolate on a flat sheet of aluminum foil and place on middle shelf. That way, when the chocolate melts it wont fall over or spill in your oven or on the floor when taking it out. They take about 5 minutes at most.

Another way to melt the chocolate is to microwave it in a medium size, microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds at a time until chocolate is almost melted. It takes about 3 to 4 minutes.

Instructions on the batter:

1. Position the oven racks in the lower and upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and spray the preferably light colored, heavy pans with nonstick cooking oil. (If you use dark, nonstick baking pans or ovenproof, Pyrex glass pans, keep the oven heat at 325 degrees F, but the recipe will not bake as well in these types of pans; it will result in crusty, dark edges. Which they did.)

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, instant espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift the cocoa powder into the mixture and combine all ingredients. Set aside.

3.Add the extracts to the milk and set aside.

3. Beat the butter with a mixer that is fitted with a paddle attachment, on low speed until softened. Add the sugar in a steady stream at the side of the bowl. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes until the mixture is light yellow and fluffy. Make sure to scrape with a rubber spatula to get everything in there.

4. With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time and beat for 20 seconds after each addition. After the eggs have been added, increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the mixture for 2 minutes. Don't worry about the curdling, it will set. Set the kitchen timer to help you keep track of the time. The mixture will become fluffy and aerated if done properly.

5. Add melted and cooled chocolate: Temper the chocolate by adding a teaspoonful of the butter, sugar, and egg mixture at a time to the cooled chocolate and mix thoroughly after each addition. You can increase the amount added to the chocolate after the initial first few teaspoons to tablespoons, Add about 1/2 cup or more of butter, sugar, and egg mixture to the melted chocolate before returning it to the main mixing bowl. Mix all the ingredients on low speed until combined and creamy.

Note from Baking911: Tempering the chocolate properly is a very important step. If the chocolate is too warm, and added to the batter, it will seize, creating small bits of hardened chocolate in the batter. These bits will never melt and incorporate into the batter when the cake bakes; they will remain as hardened pieces of chocolate in the final cake.

6. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in 3 equal portions, alternating with the milk in 2 equal portions, beginning and ending with the flour.

Baking911: Add the flour and liquid ingredients in increments quickly; do not wait in between additions too long as you don't want to over mix the batter. After completing the last addition of flour, let the mixer run for 30 seconds on LOW. The batter should look mixed. STOP the mixer. Do NOT over mix.

7. Remove the bowl. With a large rubber spatula, give the batter ONE or TWO quick folds to incorporate any stray flour or milk left at the sides and bottom of the bowl. Then, STOP!

If your mixer is having an issue with the thick chocolate batter use a large rubber spatula and FOLD the ingredients together - DO NOT STIR them.

8. Divide the batter in the prepared baking pans (fill 1/2 full) and lightly smooth the tops. 50 to 60 minutes at 325 degrees F, or until the top feels firm and gives slightly when touched on the top with a cupped hand (will not spring back when touched with a fingertip) and shrinks a little from the sides of the pan – it should also smell done. The cake may develop cracks on its top. It will be trimmed later and you will no longer see the cracks.

Use a toothpick to tell whether it is done or still needs more time. Don't over bake!

9. Take cakes immediately from the oven to a wire cake rack and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes and then unmold onto wire cake racks (set your timer to keep track of the time) - the cake is fragile and will crack easily if you unmold it before the time is up. The cake's top will flatten more as it cools.


I used a MMF that I had made a few weeks ago since i was going to bake my hubby a cake for our 4rth wedding anniversary. But I needed this for work :P

Ill post the fondant tomorrow since it is 12:44 AM here.


Flour Mix

Extracts with milk

Getting the butter ready :)

And now the links for those crazy pictures :P

Oh my! Pic one

Oh my! Pic two