Monday, July 25, 2011
Last Friday I made what I like to call the "epic cake" for my brother's birthday. I asked him what kind of cake he wanted and he did not hold back. He said that he wanted a brownie layer involved and that it should probably be on the bottom because "it would make a good bottom layer." Then there should be two layers of chocolate cake with those crunchy things that Carvel has in their cakes. It should all be covered in some sort of chocolate frosting, "I'll let you decide what kind is best." And "you know those darker, thicker fudge swirls that are on top of the frosting? Yea I want those too."
Tall order for sure, but ask and you shall receive.
It took an entire day but it came together! I was pretty concerned about how some of these things were going to work out, especially since I was just hodge-podging a bunch of recipes together, but somehow it all worked out.
I think I was most concerned about the brownie layer. In the end it was pretty easy to shape and transfer from pan to plate. I used the bottom of the cake pan for size and put it on top of the brownies and traced the circle with a knife. Then I segmented the pieces outside of the circle into smaller, removable pieces. Once they were gone, I loosened the circle with a spatula and then flipped it onto a transfer plate. Then I flipped that onto the cake plate and breathed the biggest sigh of relief.
What's good about the fudgy-ness of brownies is that you can push in the edges, minimizing crumbs when icing it and helping to shape it a little bit better.
After this came the buttercream and "crunchies." I was unaware that you could actually buy the crunchies until after the fact so I made my own. I wanted to get some sort of chocolate wafers but the store didn't have any so I pulverized some chocolate teddy grahams instead. :)
As you can see in the "Anatomy of a Cake" above, next came cake layer one, more buttercream and crunchies, and cake layer two. All of this was wrapped in a thick layer of the chocolate buttercream.
I was a little nervous about the "fudge swirl" part, but after a little searching I found an amazing recipe for delicious chocolate fudge. It made way more than I needed so I saved the rest and have every intention of spooning some over vanilla ice cream at some point. Yum.
I tried to get a little decorative with the fudge but it's not my best work. I only had Ziplock bags to work with for piping it on so I did my best. I used to write on cakes all the time when I worked at Baskin Robbins in high school and I was actually pretty good at it! Makes me want to invest in some real tips and piping stuff when I have some extra money laying around.
Consensus? My brother loved it, which is really all that matters. I did my famous eat-the-cake-and-leave-impressive-walls-of-frosting-still-standing-in-place trick because it was wayyy too much for me to handle. There's not much left in the way of leftovers so the rest of the fam must be grabbing a slice here and there.
So I'd have to give this final ruling.. if you're one those people who can consume copious amounts of chocolate without flinching and order things off a menu that are called "super chocolate death extreme with chocolate on top", than this cake is absolutely for you. If the words "chocolate death" make you run like you would from actual death, than it's probably best to avoid this.
I'll post the recipes on this later since this post is already forever long. Happy Monday!