Saturday, November 3, 2018

Henry's Chocolate Chip Birthday Cake

When it comes to birthday cakes Henry has a mind of his own.  Well, exccept for his first birthday when he got the default Portland birthday cake, a chocolate cake with raspberry filling and chocolate ganache frosting from Ken's. For his second birthday, Henry requested one of Chris's apple pies, and for his third, Blueberry Cobbler.  His fourth birthday request (hard to believe that was 9 months ago!) was more complicated, he wanted a chocolate chip cake. Not one of the traditional family birthday cakes, hence no recipe. After looking at several recipes on line Alex chose one from Love and Duck Fat. If Henry continues with his current cake request pattern this cake will not be requested again.....but should it be at some much later date, the basics of the recipe, with some modifications, follow:

Make the cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Butter two 9-inch cake pans. Line pans with parchment paper and butter parchment paper.

Sift together into a medium bowl:

16.9 oz (4c + 2T) flour
2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, place:

8 oz butter, cut in small chunks
14.1 oz (2 c) sugar

Cream at medium speed until light and fluffy then reduce to low speed and add incrementally:

2 t vanilla extract
4 eggs

When these ingredients are well beaten into the mix, slowly add

2 c buttermilk*

Then continuing on slow speed, gradually add the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl while adding.  Mix just until the flour is completely blended.  Remove bowl from the mixer stand and fold in by hand:

1 1/2 - 2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

Divide the batter between the two cake pans and gently tap pans to remove any air bubbles. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a small skewer inserted in the cake comes out free of batter. Cake should be golden brown.

Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes then remove to a rack.Cool completely before frosting.

* In lieu of buttermilk, mix 2 T vinegar with enough milk to measure 2 c and let sit five minutes before using.

Make the frosting

In a medium mixing bowl, combine:

6 oz unsweetened chocolate
5 oz butter, cut in small chunks
1 1/2 t vanilla extract

In a heavy saucepan bring to a simmer

1 1/3 c heavy cream
7 oz (1 c) sugar

Reduce heat to low and stir, about 6 minutes until the sugar melts completely and the mixture slightly thickens.

Pour the hot sugar cream mixture on top of the chocolate-butter mixture. Cool to room temperature while stirring occasionally

Put the bowl with the cream -  chocolate mixture inside a larger bowl which has a layer of ice cubes on the bottom. Using a stand or upright mixer, beat the mixture until it is thick and glossy, scraping down to sides of the bowl frequently so that the mixture is fully mixed.

Frost the top of the lower layer then place the second layer on top. Frost the top and the sides of the cake.  Decorate the top as desired with chocolate chips.  Alex placed a circle of chocolate chips around the perimiter with birthday decorations in the center and served the cake on the same wooden plate that had held her and Dan's wedding cake.

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