Friday, July 25, 2014


This seems to be a week of cakes, with two more still to go!

This one was done as a white and chocolate checkerboard with a german chocolate filling, a ganache crumb coat, frosted with a chocolate buttercream frosting.
I experimented with a fondant trim on the bottom, lined with edible pearls, which I also used for my drop string intersections.
My greatest discovery was that my pasta maker is perfect for rolling out fondant, and my pizza slicer is great for cutting it into the thin strips I needed.
A pasta maker - who knew? 
(said in a Flynn Rider from Disney's "Tangled" in, "Frying pans, who knew?")

This rainbow cake was made for a "Colors" party.  We loved how the cake looked very elegantly done up on the outside, yet was bursting with a party on the inside.  The colored sparkler candles were a hit too.
I used 2 yellow cake mixes (yellow made the colors a little brighter) and scooped 1 & 1/3 cups of batter into small bowls and colored them, then baked them individually - watching them carefully (smaller amounts=less time).

I assembled them with a buttercream frosting, using strawberry jam for filling in between a couple of the layers,to assist the flavor. Little Debbie's strawberry shortcake rolls aren't very tasty to eat, but were fun to border this cake with.

Finally - I've made this cake for the past two years in a row!  A decadent chocolate cake, filled with , coconut and toffee cake.
Thanks to my friend Rose Williams helped me figure this recipe out - she's a very talented chef and food stylist.
This is made as a decadent chocolate cake, with a coconut/toffee filling, crumb coated with a chocolate ganache, and a white chocolate buttercream frosting - decorated with Heath Toffee Bits.  

Toffee and Coconut Filled Chocolate Cake

Chocolate, Toffee and Coconut Filled Cake – with Rose Williams

Thanks to my friend Rose - a great chef and food stylist who helped me come up with this recipe to satisfy a sweet tooth for a birthday!  

I was thrilled to find that Rose's preferred chocolate cake recipe is the same one I use - straight from Hershey.  

Chocolate - Toffee filling:
1 1/3 whipping cream
7 T unsalted butter, diced
2 T. sour cream
2 T vanilla extract
1 1/3 c. English Toffee bits
1 2/3 c. melted milk chocolate chips

Stir cream and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until butter melts and mixture comes to a boil. 
Remove from heat.
Add melted chocolate chips and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in sour cream and vanilla. Fold in toffee bits.  Let stand at room temperature until cool and slightly thick but still pourable, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.

Coconut filling:
In a medium saucepan, mix 2 cups of dried unsweetened coconut with 1 can sweetened condensed milk, and the same amount of milk.  Bring to a boil, and cook until thickened and reduced.  Allow to cool.

Ganache: Scald 1.5 - 2 cups of Whipping Cream. 
Slowly pour whipping cream over 2 cups of semi sweet chocolate chips and mix to a spreading consistency.  Allow to cool and thicken.  

Italian Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

Melt 8 oz of milk chocolate, using double boiler.  Set aside to cool. 

In a mixing bowl, add 9 egg whites, and 1.5 cups of sugar.  Place the bowl over a pan with water, and turn the stove on.  Mix the eggs with the whip attachment - mixing until the eggs are warm, but be careful not to cook the eggs.  

Place contents in a mixer and whip at high speed until soft peaks are formed.  Reduce speed, and add 6 tablespoons of room temperature butter, a small bit at a time - allowing it to become incorporated.  
Add the melted milk chocolate.  

If the butter doesn't melt well, place the bowl over the boiling double boiler for a few seconds, then remove and whip again. 

Cut two 9 inch round cakes into 3 layers.
Freeze cake for easier handling.
Pipe each layer (on the inside edge) with ½” seam of chocolate ganache to contain and seal fillings. 

Fill alternating layers with chocolate toffee filling, and coconut filling.  Use thin dowels if necessary to keep cake from sliding.  Freeze.

Apply thin layer of ganache for crumb coat.  Immediately refrigerate. Once set, apply 2nd thicker coat of ganache OR frosting. 
Garnish with coconut or toffee bars/bits.