Chocolate Birthday Cake, that is, with milk chocolate ganache and italian meringue, aka Marshmallow fluff!!!!
I used a recipe I found on the King Arthur Flour site, slightly adapted.
Milk chocolate layer cake
for the cake:
140gr white sugar
200gr melted milk chocolate
1/4 tsp salt
300gr self rising flour
1 1/4 baking soda
2 tsp vanilla
20gr dried milk
25gr plain cocoa powder
for the ganache:
350gr milk chocolate
for the italian meringue:
170gr white sugar
100gr corn syrup
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar (I use it whenever I make any kind of meringue)
2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180°C and butter and flour your chosen pans.
Place the oil, butter, sugar, and eggs in the bowl of your mixer and mix on medium for 2 min. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. Add the melted milk chocolate, salt, flour, baking soda, vanilla, dried milk, cocoa powder and 1/2 the buttermilk. Beat for 1 min. Scrape the bowl.Add the remaining buttermilk and beat for 30 seconds.
Pour the batter into the pans and bake for 25 min (I used a rectangular pan). The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, with just a few moist crumbs.Rest the cake in the pan for 5 min, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
Chop the chocolate and put it in a bowl. Heat the cream gently and pour it over the chocolate. Let it stand for 5 min and then start mixing it with a spatula. Once there are no lumps and the ganache has cooled a bit, put it in the fridge, while you make the cake.
Stir together the sugar, corn syrup, water and salt in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 116°C on a candy thermometer.
Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites to soft peaks. The egg whites should be ready, waiting for the syrup to be drizzled in.stop the mixer until the syrup is ready.).
When the syrup the right temperature, lower the speed of the mixer (meringue) and slowly drizzle about 2 tablespoons of syrup into the egg whites to warm them. DO NOT add too much syrup at once or the egg whites will scramble and what you need is a satin creme, not an omellete. Slowly drizzle in the rest of the syrup. Increase the speed to medium high and whip until the marshmallow crème is stiff and glossy. Add in the vanilla and whip 2 minutes more.
Now comes the fun part.
Assembly of the cake!
I had already decided on how many layers I wanted, so I leveled, measured and cut the cake to give me 3 layers.
Put the first layer on the platter and moisten it with a bit of simple sugar syrup or some liquer if you want.
Spread a thick layer of ganache.
Place the second cake layer, moisten it and spread the marshmallow creme.
Then the last cake layer. Moisten it and spread any ganache that remains. Also, if you have any marshmallow creme left, drizzle it on top. I finished it off with some milk chocolate shavings!
I didn't want to frost the cake. I thought the layers were prettier like that, to show the alternation of brown and white!
Apart from the Birthday Cake, I made a lovely Napoleon, as it was the October challenge for the Daring Bakers.
I also baked a couple of quiches and made a green salad with balsamic vinegar and figs.
Well, needless to say, the cake was a hit. I still get compliments!!!
We had a really great time!
Happy Birthday G!