Friday, January 27, 2012

The Most Ridiculous Chocolate Cake Ever

I've mentioned before that my husband loves chocolate. So, we were discussing his usual birthday chocolate pie the other day, and with the input of the two 5-year-olds, we ended up deciding that he didn't want just a chocolate pie this year. No. He wanted a chocolate cake and French Silk pie combo. If I weren't writing this blog, there is no way he'd have EVER gotten away with this request.

So, here it is: The most ridiculous chocolate cake ever! (Don't let the candles throw you, that is 6"x8" of pure chocolate, butter, sugar goodness.)

What You Need:
One recipe Rich Chocolate Cake
One recipe French Silk Pie (including crust and whipped cream)
One recipe Chocolate Ganache

Just so you're prepared, we're talking about 1 pound (and then some) of chocolate, 6 eggs, about 1 pound of butter, 2 cups of heavy whipping cream, and a dozen or so other ingredients.

The Baking and The Making:

Begin by baking three 6" round cakes. (You can see the recipe and tutorial here.)

While the cakes cool (or the next day), make the parts from the French Silk Pie.

For the pie crust, I chose to roll the dough out and use a small heart-shaped cutter to make pieces to attach to the outside of the cake. I would recommend using a cutter that is 1" or smaller because of the curve of the cake. If they're too big, they're hard to get to stick to the cake without cracking and crumbling.

I also recommend using a fork to make small holes in the dough to help keep the crust cut-outs from puffing up too much in the oven. The ones that got puffy were very challenging to handle or press into the cake without crumbling.

The crust cut-outs bake at 425 for just 6-8 minutes on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. They cool quickly as well. I used about 1/2 of the dough from my crust recipe for enough cut-outs to cover a 6"x8" round cake. (Along with a few for breakage and a few for snacking.)

For the filling, you will need about 1 1/4 cups of the chocolate pie filling (which should leave you with some leftover for more snacking).

The final two parts to prepare are the chocolate ganache icing and the whipped cream, but I would wait to whip the cream until you are ready to present the cake.

For the ganache, (the chocolate that covers the outside of the cake), you will need about 8 oz. of cream and 8 oz. of chocolate.

I heat my cream in the microwave for a minute or two, until it just starts to boil. Then take it out, add the chocolate, and let it sit for about a minute before whisking it together. I wanted the ganache to be a little stiffer for this cake than I usually would because I knew I was going to be covering it with crust and whipped cream, so it didn't have to be perfectly smooth. And if it's a little thicker (cooler), it's easier to spread on the cake, and makes less of a mess. So, I put my ganache into the refrigerator while I assembled the cake-- stirring it every so often so that it didn't get too thick. (It took about 20 minutes or so in the fridge to get it thick enough for me.)

The Assembling and The Decorating:

Start by leveling and torting each of your cakes (cut them in half). You want the top of the cake to be flat, and each layer of cake will be about 1" thick. You will end up with six layers of cake and five layers of filling. (Yum!)

Place your bottom layer on your serving plate, cut-side up.

Spread about 1/4 cup of the pie filling around the cake, as evenly as possible.
I think the hardest thing about spreading filling, particularly a filling this thick, is to make sure you don't have a mound in the middle, and thin on the edges. You don't want that or you could wind up with a wobbly 8" tall cake, and that could end badly.

Repeat this four more times. Cake-filling-cake-filling-cake-filling-cake-filling-cake-filling...

...ending with your last layer of cake, bottom's up. (Remember that it's always easier to spread icing on the part of the cake that was in the bottom of the pan, than to spread it on the part that baked on top.)
You might also notice the parchment paper slips around the bottom of the cake. This is how I prepare the cake to spread the ganache on it. It helps keep your plate cleaner.

Now for the ganache. You want it to be thick (cool) enough that it won't drip all the way down the side of the cake while you're spreading it, but not so thick that it doesn't spread easily.
Pour about 1/4 of the ganache on top of the cake and spread it so that it starts to fall over the side.

It should stop dripping before it gets halfway down the cake, kind of like in the photo above. If the chocolate drips down all 7 or so inches, it's still too warm, and it needs to cool a little further.
To spread the ganache around the sides, smooth the large drips that come from the top. I find the sides are easiest when I add chocolate to the top, push it over the edge, let it drip down, and smooth it. Just be sure you don't end up with an inch-thick layer on the top.

This is what your 6"x8" tower of chocolate will look like.

The decorating is actually rather simple. Using gentle pressure, press the crust cut-outs into the side of the cake. I cracked and crumbled my first few until I got the hang of what would work and what wouldn't.

Whew! We're almost there, people.

Finally, you'll want to whip the cream. (Put the bowl and the beater(s) in the fridge for about 30 minutes before you do this, and it whips up easier.) For my whipping cream, I like to use about 1 cup of whipping cream plus 2-3 Tbsp. of powdered sugar. Whip it on high speed until stiff peaks form. If you want, you can also add 1 tsp. of vanilla just before you turn off the mixer.

Load that into a piping bag fit with a large star tip like Wilton's #1M, and make stars all over the top of the cake by holding the bag straight up from the surface, squeeze, and pull straight up.
You can also drizzle some of the leftover ganache (I had about 1 Tbsp. leftover, just enough for a drizzle) over the top of the cake. I spooned the chocolate into a sandwich bag and cut a small hole in the corner to make the drizzle. (I had to heat it in my hands a little to make it more melty to drizzle.)

And that, my friends, is the most ridiculous chocolate cake, ever.

Be sure you keep the cake in the refrigerator because of the filling. (Check that you have a space tall enough in the fridge. I should probably share the picture I took of it tucked inside my fridge... but I won't.)

Total time in preparation is probably in the 5-hour range. I guess this guy is worth it, though.
Check out those candles! 5" tall gold candles. I love them. Expect to see those again some time! Thank you, Party City!

So, would you ever make this cake? Even for your love?
Also, what is the most ridiculous cake/treat you've ever made? (I have to say this must be mine.)

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  1. You've just combined two of my favorite desserts. That's Fabulous!!

  2. No, No. Its not a ridiculous cake. Looking like weird but not so. It will be very tasty food. So much chocolate in the cake.

  3. Wow - I LOVE the heart cookies covering the cake! What a lovely idea :)

    Found you through The Bearfoot Baker's link party!

  4. Grease pan with shortening then line the pan with a piece of wax paper to fit the bottom. Re-grease the top of the wax paper. Pour in the batter.

    1. You don't want to bake waxed paper.
      Parchment paper in the pan is fine, but waxed paper will not work out so well!
      - Beki

  5. Can you make individuals of this using 4x2 inch pans?


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