Naked Chocolate Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries

Naked Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries & Cherries – Candy Coated

I made this cake for my first God-son’s birthday as usual I make him a cake. This time I’m trying to make a more fanciful grown up cake.

Yield/Serving: Makes one 9 inch two-layer cake
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Medium

From Eat Delicious by Dennis the Prescott

Ingredients
Cake

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• ¾ cup unsweetened natural (not Dutch-process) cocoa powder
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1½ tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
• 2 large free-range eggs
• 2 cups whole milk
• ½ cup olive oil
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 tbsp Irish cream liqueur (such as Baileys)
• ½ cup boiling water
Buttercream
• ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
• 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
• ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
• 3 tbsp heavy cream
Chocolate Ganache
• 4 ounces dark chocolate (70%), chopped into very small chunks
• 1/3 cup heavy cream
• Pinch of salt
Fruit topping
• 2 ½ cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
• 1 cup fresh blackberries
• 1 cup fresh blueberries

Assembly
Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease two 9” cake pans with butter.
3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, milk, olive oil, vanilla and Irish Cream.
5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the batter is smooth. Scape down the sides if needed.
6. Slowly add the boiling water and then increase the mixer speed to high and beat for one minute.
7. Pour batter into two pans evenly and cover with aluminum foil. (The will make the cake moist and light)
8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
9. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pans and then invert out the cakes and let cool on a wire rack for 35 to 40 minutes or more.
Buttercream
10. Using the stand mixer with the fitted paddle attachment beat butter until creamy for about 1 minute.
11. Continue and add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed and add in vanilla and cream.
Ganache
12. Place chocolate pieces in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
13. Using a small saucepan bring cream to a simmer over medium heat.
14. Pour cream over chocolate and after about 5 minutes add a pinch of salt and stir melted chocolate until smooth.
Fruit
15. Prepare the fruit and combine in a bowl.
Cake
16. Place cake on a cake stand or serving tray and spread buttercream in an even layer.
17. Top the buttercream with some fruit.
18. Place the second cake on top of the buttercream and spread the chocolate ganache all over the top. Ensure to let a bit of ganache run over the edge.
19. Arrange the remaining fruit on top of the cake.
20. Serve.

Tips
• If you don’t have a mixer with a bigger bowl than traditional size this mixture will spill out. Mix a medium speed at all times.
• The covering the cake in aluminum foil didn’t work for me at all. It just left the centre half extremely raw. It only began to properly bake once I removed the foil.
• I omitted the Bailey’s as this was a birthday cake for a child and used orange juice instead.
• I erred on the side of caution and let the cake cool over night or for at least an hour.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is hands down the best cake I have ever made and I didn’t even have to cover up my work with frosting because it turned out so well. This is an attention grabbing cake and is worth all the time and effort for a special birthday cake. This had a wow factor and was loved by all. The cake was light and moist and the ganache was shiny and with the addition of the fresh fruits it cut the sweetness of the buttercream. I was very proud of myself and this has given me the confidence to tackle a proper layered cake. I had very high hopes and this turned out smashingly.

Naked Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries & Cherries – Candy Coated

Naked Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries & Cherries – Candy Coated

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Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s my birthday and to celebrate I made my own cake. Now to most making your own birthday sounds like a horrible idea; but I love a challenge and wanted to see if I could make myself proud on my special day. Also if it doesn’t turn out I still have the dessert from the restaurant birthday celebrations.

Yield/Serving: 3 – 6” pans, serves 8-10
Prep Time: 60 min.
Cook Time: 30–45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming

Funfetti cake layer from Dessert for Two

Ingredients
Vanilla Cake

• ¾ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• Egg whites from 5 large eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/8 tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp baking soda
• ¼ tsp baking salt
• ¾ cups 2% milk
Funfetti Cake
• 4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1 large egg whites
• 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp 2% milk
• 1 ½ tbsp sprinkles
• 1 ½ tbsp. mini nonpareils
Buttercream Frosting
• 2 cups butter, at room temperature
• 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 4 tbsp milk, more if needed
Decorations
• Coloured molding chocolate, pink, teal & white.
• Any other decorations you like sanding sugar, jimis, sprinkles, sugar gems, nonpareils – any size.
• Ivory, pink & purple food colouring.

Assembly
Vanilla Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Trace out the pan using parchment paper and place in the bottom of two pans.
3. Spray pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
4. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
5. Add in egg whites and vanilla and continue to beat until incorporated.
6. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
7. Pour into butter mixture alternating between milk and flour mixture three times.
8. Pour into two pans, smooth tops and slam pans on the counter top to release air bubble and ensure an even bake.
9. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
10. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack and remove parchment paper.
11. Let cool completely.
Funfetti Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Trace out the pan using parchment paper and place in the bottom of one pan.
3. Spray pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
4. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
5. Add in egg white and vanilla and continue to beat until incorporated.
6. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
7. Pour into butter mixture until just combined and then add milk and mix.
8. Stir in sprinkles by hand.
9. Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
10. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack and remove parchment paper.
11. Let cool completely.
Buttercream Frosting
1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter until fluffy.
2. Add confectioner’s sugar and milk and combine until well incorporated.
Abstract Decorations
1. Place parchment paper on a cookie tray and set aside.
2. In the meantime melt coloured molding chocolate in microwave safe bowls melting each colour separately in 30 second intervals in the microwave until melted.
3. Smear each colour of chocolate using the back of a spoon and then place in the fridge to set up.
Layered Cake Assembly
1. Use a serrated knife, trim tops and even out if necessary to level out the cakes.
2. Smear a little frosting on the silver disc so cake doesn’t move.
3. Place first vanilla layer on the bottom layer and spread some buttercream frosting over top.
4. Then place funfetti layer over and spread buttercream frosting over top.
5. Top with finals layer of vanilla cake and spread buttercream frosting over top and sides.
6. Place in fridge to let the crumb coat firm up some.
7. When crumb coat is firm using three prep bowl add a little buttercream frosting and ivory, pink and purple food colouring or gel to each prep bowl and mix.
8. Using an offset spatula apply dabs of each colour along with the plain buttercream frosting.
9. Using a long offset spatula start icing the sides and top until smooth.
10. Smear a little butter cream to the back of each molding chocolate decoration before application to the cake. Add as many as you like.
11. Add other decorations.
12. Place bake in fridge to firm up.
13. Remove from fridge 30 minutes to an hour before serving.
14. Serve and enjoy.

Tips
• Buy a container of egg whites, unless you are going to have a use for all these egg yolks.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have learned I need to just buy egg whites in a container. I can only do so much with my leftover egg yolks. I can’t be making curds and double yolk eggs all the time. With this recipe the second time baking it I had and issue regarding the doneness of the centre. The cake tester comes out clean and yet when I trim the cake, it is not entirely cooked through; which is aggravating. That being said I am much happier with this recipe then one I tried from someone else. I have never seen cakes sink in the middle in all my time baking and that recipe did it and it made me waste a half dozen eggs; arghhh. I will have to be very careful with who I try baking recipes from now on. Maybe it’s an altitude thing; but I highly doubt that sadly. The Funfetti cake turned out great and I am a fan of the dessert for two’s blog as I have access to recipes for two people. So this gave me the layer I needed to jazz up a plain old vanilla cake. I am still having issues frosting cakes as I can’t get the frosting to move around the cake as freely as I’d like; even though the frosting is soft. It is definitely a hand and pressure applied issue; but this is leaps and bound better than any of my fully decorated cakes except for my naked cakes and birch bark and yule log. I think I have graduated from naked cakes to full on cake decorating now and this is a wonderful way to keep my 2018 cake decorating goals moving in the right direction. I didn’t intend on adding multiple colours to the frosting or my geode inspired decorations; but I just went with it and it looks great to me.

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Confetti Cookies with Birthday Cake Crumbs

Confetti Cookies with Birthday Cake Crumbs - Candy Coated Culinista

Confetti Cookies with Birthday Cake Crumbs – Candy Coated Culinista

For my birthday this past weekend I made myself some birthday cookies. I wanted a simpler non-cake recipe to just make life easier on myself and this recipe fit the bill as I wanted a special cookie. I have had the Toronto Cooks cookbook since its release in the fall of 2014. I have my list of must makes and yet I haven’t actually tried a recipe yet because these are signature recipes from Toronto’s best restaurants; which means some of these ingredients may not be the easiest to find when I want or are a tad pricy. When I first saw this recipe from Momofuku Milk Bar (a place on my must visit list) I had no idea who Christina Tosi was; a year plus later and I she is a judge on Masterchef and when I revisit this cookbook I recognize her face and get some context. It’s funny how somethings come together like this because if I had made this recipe before I wouldn’t have appreciated the recipe as I didn’t know all that Christina Tosi is in the culinary world.

Slightly altered From Toronto Cooks

Yield/Serving: 16 big cookies
Prep Time: 30 min.
Inactive Time: 1 hour to 1 week
Cook Time: 18 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Birthday Cake Crumb
• ¼ cup granulated sugar
• 1/3 tbsp golden brown sugar
• 6 tbsp cake/pastry flour
• ¼ tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp kosher salt
• 2 tbsp confetti sprinkles
• 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
• 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
Confetti Cookies
• 2 sticks butter, as room temperature
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
• 1 tbsp corn syrup
• 2 eggs
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• 2/3 cup milk powder
• 2 tsp cream of tartar
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 ¼ tsp kosher salt
• ¼ cup rainbow sprinkles
• birthday cake crumb recipe

Assembly
Birthday Cake Crumb
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Line a baking sheet with a silpat.
3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment mix the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt and sprinkles on low speed until well combined.
4. Add in the oil and vanilla extract and mix until the ingredients start to become moist and form clusters.
5. Drop clusters onto silpat and bake for 20 minutes, breaking up into cluster occasionally.
6. Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet completely before removing.
7. Place in an air-tight container.
Confetti Cookies
8. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
9. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter, sugar and corn syrup on medium-high speed for 2 – 3 minutes; scrapping down the sides as needed.
10. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat for 7 – 8 minutes; until the batter is fluffy and pale.
11. Reduce speed to low and add flour, milk powder, cream of tartar, baking powder, salt and sprinkles.
12. Mix until dough just comes together; but no longer than 1 minute.
13. Scrape down the sides and add the cake crumbs on low speed, for about 30 seconds.
14. Using a tablespoon and scoop dough onto parchment paper 4” apart and pat the tops down.
15. Wrap the baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to 1 week. (Do not bake a room temperature as they will not bake properly.)
16. Preheat oven to 375°F.
17. Baking one pan at a time bake for 18 minutes. The cookies should be a light brown and the tops puffed and crackled.
18. Remove from the oven and let remain on the parchment paper for 1 more minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool.
19. Repeat until all cookies are baked.

Tips
• An easy cream of tartar substitute is for every ½ tsp of baking soda use 1 tsp of lemon juice or white vinegar.
• Crumbs will keep for up to 1 week in an airtight container or for 1 month in the freezer.
• Cookies will keep for 5 days in an airtight container.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe has lots of steps and requires some accuracy, yet it didn’t feel like it took that long; but it kind of did. The cookies itself were crunchy on the outside and soft in the centre. The cookie crumbs didn’t really form clusters but there were still a great crunchy addition to the recipe. The shelf life wasn’t 5 days as listed as I’m on day 4 of my leftover test cookie and it’s pretty hard. For me the shelf life is more at the 2 to 3 day mark; but they won’t last that long as all of my cookies were gone by day 2. However; if you like your cookies on the harder side then none of this will really matter to you I just prefer a softer cookie. I also didn’t use milk powder as this is an expensive ingredient that comes in big quantities so I skipped this ingredient and the recipe turned out good. I also thought I had cream of tartar on hand as this is a baking staple ingredient for me and I had actually run out. With all of the above being said this was a great recipe and easy to follow and even all of these adjustments the cookies still turned out well. I’m not sure if it’s because I feel comfortable enough in my baking that I can make adjustments on the fly and still expect good results or this recipe has a larger margin of error lol. In any event this is a great recipe I will be making again and I could see myself baking these as an alternative to a birthday cake again.

Confetti Cookies with Birthday Cake Crumbs - Candy Coated Culinista

Confetti Cookies with Birthday Cake Crumbs – Candy Coated Culinista

Confetti Cookies with Birthday Cake Crumbs - Candy Coated Culinista

Confetti Cookies with Birthday Cake Crumbs – Candy Coated Culinista

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