Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cookies and Cream Cake with Chocolate Ganache fillling, Chocolate Frosting, and Flaming Strawberries

My boyfriend turned the big 2-5 on the 23rd, so I made one hell of a cake for him and our lab buddies to celebrate. This was interesting because I tried to combine several different recipes to make the ultimate cake. He didn't want all chocolate but I didn't want to do some boring vanilla cake. After hunting around for a bit, I came across a recipe for cookies and cream cupcakes. I wasn't convinced on the recipe until I saw the cross section of the cupcakes. They looked amazing. So I decided to do cookies and cream cake with chocolate ganache and chocolate frosting.

1 cup + 2 tbs all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
1.5 large egg whites, at room temperature (I ended up using 2)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup 2%milk
10 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped (I quarter them)
(Note: this recipe is small. It can make about 12 cupcakes or one sheet of cake)

Chocolate Ganache:
3.5 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Flaming Strawberries:
8 hollowed out strawberries
80 proof alcohol (I used Patron Citronge Orange Liqueur)

For the Cake;
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir together with a fork to blend and set aside.
3. In the bowl with an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
4. Blend in the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla extract.
5. With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingred
ients just until incorporated. Add the milk and beat just until combined, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients.
6. Gently fold in the chopped Oreos with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.

For the Chocolate Ganache;
1. Gently heat cream on the stove top.
2. Add chocolate and let sit for a few moments and stir gently until chocolate is melted and combined with the cream.
3. Mix in butter, vanilla, and allow to cool until thick (semi-solid).

For the flaming strawberries;
1. Hollow out a strawberry and fill it full of alcohol of at least 80 proof but not above 120 proof. (I filled it full of water first just to make sure there were no leaks.) For these I used Patron Orange Liquor.
2. Light on fire.

Cake Assembly:
1. For this cake, I made three layers. For the first layer, cut the top off so it is level. Then cover with chocolate ganache.

2. Place second layer on top. Then cover the second layer with chocolate ganache.

3. Place third layer on top.

4. Cover with chocolate frosting. Place strawberries on top (I added a little extra frosting around the strawberries so they wouldn't fall off the cake).

5. Stuff Face!

Original Cake Recipe: NuM NuM
Ganache Recipe
Original Flaming Strawberries: Sprinkle Bakes

Monday, January 17, 2011

Berries with White Chocolate Rose Water Ganache

I came across this recipe awhile back and I have been dying to try it. I have never worked with rose water before, but everything I have tried with rose water tastes amazing. This recipe is VERY simple and quite tasty. My only tip is to watch the cream chocolate mix carefully so that it does not burn in the pan. The original recipe also called for some mint and cinnamon garnish but I just ignored that portion of the recipe. I think it was amazing without it.

3/4 c. whipping cream
1/2 c. white chocolate (small pieces work the best)
1/4 tsp. rose water
2 pints of rinsed berries (I used red raspberries, golden raspberries, blackberries, blue berries, and strawberries cut into halves)

1. Warm the cream in a double boiler (or the poor student method of a pot in a pot if you don't have a double boiler).
2. Gradually add the chocolate and mix until smooth. Add rose water.
3. Remove from heat and let cool. Drizzle over berries.
4. Stuff face.

Original Recipe: Fresh Market