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Old 08-04-2005, 01:43 AM   #1
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Birthday cake dilemma

Hi all,

Here’s my little conundrum this coming Saturday (two days away) is my hubby's birthday, and I haven’t figured out what cake to make him.

At first I was planning on baking one by a certain famous UK chef who prizes herself on being a domestic goddess but after reading through the list of super pricey ingredients yesterday and realizing I would have to buy a cake pan I didn’t have for it (a hard task on the fly in my really, really small Irish town) I’ve veered away from the idea.

I have scads of cake recipes but somehow none of them seem to fit the bill this year. Perhaps this is compounded by the fact that unfortunately the big day will be a party-less one (well the two of us, but…). He’s a fussy eater but loves chocolate, coffee and really sweet things – I make tiramisu for him too often for it to be birthday fare. So I pose the question to all of you guys can you please suggest a cake (or dessert) recipe?


Thanks for any thoughts guys, I dearly appreciate them!

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Old 08-04-2005, 05:15 AM   #2
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Mocha Sour cream Cake
125g melted dark chocolate
125g chopped butter
150g castor sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups SR Flour
1tbl spoon instant coffee powder
125ml Sour cream

Method
Grease 14x21cm loaf tin, cover base with baking paper.
Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix with electric beater on low until just combined. Beat on med. until mix changes colour and is just smooth (do not overbeat)
Spread mix in prepared pan and bake in mod oven 180C for about an hour. Stand a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
Ice with coffee icing or frosting when cold.
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Old 08-04-2005, 06:20 AM   #3
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MISSISSIPPI MUD CAKE W/BOURBON ESPRESSO GLAZE


2 cups flour
2tsp. baking powder
1tsp. salt
1 cup butter
6oz.unsweet chocolate
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup bourbon**
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
½ cup brewed espresso


Preheat oven to 350; butter 12cup bundt pan*. Mix flour, baking powder, salt; combine butter,chocolate and espresso in heavy medium pan; stir over low heat til chocolate and butter melt (mixture may look curdled). Remove from heat, add sugar and bourbon; whisk til sugar dissolves and mixture is smooth. Beat eggs and vanilla til blended; beat in chocolate mixture and add flour and stir just til blended. Pour into pan and smooth top.

Bake about 45 minutes; cool in pan 15 minutes; invertcake on rack and cool completely.



Glaze:
6T butter
6T brown sugar
2tsp. espresso powder
6T cream
1 ½ cups powdered.sugar 2T bourbon**


Stir butter, sugar, and espresso powder in small saucepan over medium heat til buttermelts. Stir in cream and simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat. Gradually add powdered sugar, whisking til smooth. Mix in bourbon; cool slightly.

Drizzle glaze over cake. Let stand 30 minutes.

* - You can make this in 2 9" layers also.

**I don't see why you couldn't use some great Irish whiskey instead of the bourbon here!
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Old 08-04-2005, 08:32 AM   #4
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Black Espresso Cake with Bittersweet Glaze


Serves 12 to 16

Cake
1 ½ cups unsalted butter, in small pieces
7 oz. unsweetened chocolate, best you can afford, chopped coarsely
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 ½ Tbsp. instant espresso powder dissolved in 2 cups boiling water, cooled (or 2 cups strong black coffee)
3 cups granulated sugar
10 Tbsp. (5 oz) Kahlua or other coffee liqueur
1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, not self-rising
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt


Glaze
10 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
7 Tbsp unsalted butter, in small pieces

Additional unsalted butter, at room temperature, for greasing the pan
Dark chocolate-covered espresso beans or chocolate coffee bean-shaped candies, for garnish
Lightly sweetened whipped cream, optional

Preheat the oven to 325º. Grease a 10” springform pan, line with a circle of parchment paper and lightly grease the paper. Combine the butter, both chocolates, and coffee in the top of a double boiler or a stainless steel or glass bowl. Set the bowl or insert over a pot of barely simmering water and stir frequently with a wooden spoon until melted. If the melted mixture appears somewhat speckled with what looks like unmelted chocolate, don’t be concerned. (Different chocolates have different cocoa butter and cocoa solids content and when melted with such a large quantity of liquid may seem to separate.) Place the sugar in the bottom or a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer. Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat and pour over the sugar. Stir to blend and dissolve the sugar, and then allow to cool for 10 minutes.


With a wire whisk or the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, add the Kahlua and the vanilla extract to the cooled chocolate mixture and blend well. Blend in the lightly beaten eggs, making sure they are thoroughly incorporated. The batter at this point will be extremely thin; don’t worry, just make sure to work each added ingredient in carefully.


Sift the flours, baking soda, and salt together. Add dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture in two additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times. Beat on medium speed for one minute. The batter may have little lumps, but they won’t affect the finished cake.

Place the prepared pan on a baking sheet to catch any leaks and pour the batter into the pan. Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 ¾ hours to 2 hours, rotating the pan several times during that time to ensure even baking. The cake bakes slowly and stays beautifully moist. A crust will form on the top of the cake and may crack. Test for doneness by inserting a wooden skewer in a fault of the crust, poking near the center of the cake. It should come out clean, or with only a very few most crumbs clinging to it. Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely in the pan set on a rack. (The cake may be made up to 2 days ahead of time and kept in the pan at room temperature, covered tightly with plastic wrap.)

To prepare the glaze, combine the chopped chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over barely simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is melted, then remove from the heat and cool slightly, stirring occasionally. Run a thin-bladed knife around the cake and loosen and remove the sides of the pan. Using a long-bladed serrated knife, carefully even out the top of the cake, slicing off any domed or uneven part of the crust. Use long, slow strokes of the knife, keeping the blade perfectly parallel with the counter.

Place a dab of the chocolate glaze on a 10” cardboard cake circle and invert the cake onto the board. Remove the pan bottom and the parchment paper. Brush any crumbs from the cake and pour the warm glaze onto the center. Using a metal spatula or palette knife, coax the glaze to the edges of the cake and over the sides; quickly spread the overflow evenly onto the sides. Garnish with the chocolate-covered espresso beans. Give the glaze an hour or so to set, then serve the cake with lightly sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

OR

Raspberry Chocolate Meringue Icebox Cake

4 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 3/4 cups heavy cream
6 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 pints fresh raspberries


Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and trace three 8-inch circles onto paper.


In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat whites with cream of tartar and a pinch salt until they just hold soft peaks. Add 1 cup sugar gradually, beating, and beat meringue until it holds stiff peaks. Transfer meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a 3/4-inch plain tip and pipe onto circles, filling them in. Smooth meringues with a long metal spatula or knife. (Alternatively, if pastry bag isn't used, circles may be made by spreading meringues freehand with spatula.)



Bake meringues 30 minutes and switch positions of baking sheets in oven. Bake meringues 30 minutes more, or until pale golden and crisp. (If the weather is humid, cooking time may be longer.) Cool meringues completely and peel off paper. Meringues may be made 1 day ahead and kept in turned-off oven.



In a saucepan bring 1/4 cup heavy cream just to a boil and remove from heat. Add chocolate and stir mixture until chocolate is melted completely. Divide ganache between 2 meringue layers and gently spread evenly, leaving 1/2-inch borders. Chill ganache until hardened, about 10 minutes.



In a small saucepan sprinkle gelatin over water and soften 1 minute. Heat mixture over low heat, stirring until gelatin is dissolved, and keep warm. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat remaining 2 1/2 cups heavy cream with remaining 1/2 cup sugar until it just holds stiff peaks and beat in sour cream and vanilla. Add gelatin mixture in a stream, beating, and beat until mixture holds stiff peaks.



Arrange 1 ganache-topped meringue on a plate and spread it with about 1 1/2 cups cream mixture, mounding it at the edge. Arrange 1 pint raspberries over cream mixture and top with second ganache-topped meringue. Repeat procedure with about 1 1/2 cups more cream mixture and another pint raspberries and top with third meringue. Transfer about 1 cup more cream mixture to pastry bag fitted with a star tip and reserve for decoration. Frost top and side of cake with remaining cream mixture and decorate with reserved mixture. Chill cake at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours. Remove wax paper carefully and scatter remaining pint raspberries on and around cake. Cut cake into 12 wedges with serrated or electric knife.

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Old 08-04-2005, 08:38 AM   #5
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WOW!!! You guys are amazing, thank-you so much, any one of these recipes would work absolutely wonderfully!!!

Hmmmm, but which one to pick? No matter what I'm adding all of them to my recipe book!
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Old 08-04-2005, 09:08 AM   #6
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You could make them all, and let him pick!
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Old 08-04-2005, 09:36 AM   #7
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My husband is a chocolate fiend...check here for the Double Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake that I made for his birthday.

Double Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake
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Old 08-04-2005, 09:40 AM   #8
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Hi Constance, thank-you for the link! Not only does this recipe look mouth wateringly good but I think I have every ingredient on hand already
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Old 08-04-2005, 09:53 AM   #9
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Fantastic recipes all!
(somehow I'm craving chocolate now....!)
mrsmac, what is castor sugar?
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Old 08-04-2005, 09:59 AM   #10
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JKath, castor sugar is a European term for the plain old white sugar we'd use in North America. In Ireland they have a coarser grain of sugar that we would normally buy, which is not castor sugar but called "granulated". I think the Irish consider "castor sugar" to be superfine, but to us (North Americans) castor sugar is what we'd call granulated, our superfine being a finer variety than I have encountered here.

I hope that made sense, in a nutshell just use regular granulated sugar and you'll be on the right track.
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