Saturday, April 20, 2013

Chocolate cake with malted frosting and toasted marshmallow filling

Did you guys notice the new addition to the blog?? Hint- it's here: ----------------------------------------->

Yup, after over 4 years, I finally got around to writing an official "About Me" page! Hopefully it'll give you a better glimpse into me, the blog, and how exactly it all came to be. And while you're over there in the Pages section of the blog, click on "Recipe List" for a list of all the recipes and blog entries I've shared with you over the years.

OK, enough talk about me-- you're here to read about FOOD! And today, that means cake. Delicious, decadent, multi-layered, tender, chocolate cake.

Oozing with deliciousness

It's 12 layers of chocolate cake, toasted marshmallow filling, chocolate cake, malted chocolate frosting, chocolate cake, toasted marshmallow filling, chocolate cake, malted chocolate frosting, chocolate cake, toasted marshmallow filling, chocolate cake, and malted chocolate frosting. One of my favorite parts of this cake: the toasted marshmallow frosting. Yes, I said toasted marshmallow. Literally. 
Melty under the broiler

And yes, the frosting is as good as you might imagine. I actually was a bit sad that with all the chocolate decadence you lost a bit of the nuanced flavor of the marshmallow frosting, because I could have eaten that fluffy filling with a spoon. So while the filling worked great in this cake to give you a break from the chocolate, next time I might just use the marshmallow frosting on its own- perhaps atop a graham cracker chocolate cupcake for a new take on the s'mores classic.

The marshmallow innards turn into liquidy deliciousness after broiling them

And as much as a rustic cake is a thing of beauty, I decided to pretty it up a bit more...


Would you believe that I found this technique for frosting the cake on Pinterest? And it's quite simple actually, no advanced cake skills required. First, just crumb coat your cake (ie, cover it with a thin layer of frosting to seal in all the cake crumbs and stuff). If you have time to refrigerate your cake for a while to help harden the frosting, go ahead and do that now. If you're like me and rushing through projects half the time, just continue with the steps below.

Step 1: Pipe large circles of frosting in a vertical row. My cake needed about 6 circles from top to bottom. And no worries if you don't have a piping bag, use a large Ziploc bag with a corner snipped off. Just don't be stingy with the frosting- make sure you got big blobs of frosting on there.


Step 2: Grab a spoon, and simply use the back of it to "smear" out a part of the frosting blob. That's it!! Neat technique, huh?? Once you've smeared out your entire vertical row, go back to piping another row of blobs.


It took me maybe 15 minutes to do the whole cake, but look at what a difference it makes!


And lest you think the process only works on the sides of the cake, you can do the same on the top too! Just make a ring of frosting circles along the edge of the cake, use your spoon to smear them in, then just create concentric circles going inward.

The cake barely fit in my cake carrier. I got lucky that the only part of the cake that 
got smushed was the center top. Phew, that was a close one.

I'm happy to say that the cake wasn't only beautiful, it was delicious as well. While it was quite rich, a small slice really hit the spot. And between the different frostings and tender cake, it was melt-in-your-mouth delicious.


Your in making sure her cakes taste as good as they look,
Jacqueline


Chocolate cake with malted frosting and toasted marshmallow filling, adapted from Brown Eyed Baker (originally from Sweetapolita)

Notes: I think the recipes from Sweetapolita are just wayyyy tooo sweet, in particular her frostings. So I've used her recipe for marshmallow filling, but cut down the sugar quite a bit. 

The chocolate frosting was my German buttercream recipe, but using her idea of adding Ovaltine and melted chocolate for the malted flavor (of course I also cut the sugar down to make up for the extra sugar in Ovaltine and chocolate). After adding Ovaltine to my regular frosting, it literally tasted like the inside of a Whoppers!! But the chocolate definitely muted the malted flavor. Next time I might add a bit less chocolate (or none at all!) to let the malted flavor shine a bit more.

The cake, however, was perfect as is.

Ingredients

For the Cake
2½ cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup + 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1½ cups strong black coffee, hot
¾ cup vegetable oil
4½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Toasted Marshmallow Filling
16 large marshmallows, store bought (what I used this time) or homemade
1/4 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (7½-ounce) jar Marshmallow Fluff, store bought (what I used) or homemade

For the Malted Frosting (German buttercream)
8 ounces whole milk
2 vanilla bean pods, split and scraped, seeds reserved (optional) or 2 tsp vanilla extract.
3 ounces sugar
3/4 ounces cornstarch
1 egg
1 egg yolk
8 to 16 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
dash teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
3/4 cup ovaltine
4 - 8 oz chocolate, melted and slightly cooled (optional)

Directions
  1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, grease the parchment, then flour the insides of the pans, tapping out excess; set aside. (Alternatively, use Pam with flour instead of the greasing/flouring step. It's the best, and saves tons of time.)
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or large mixing bowl if you're using a hand mixer), sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on low to medium speed (however fast you can go without splattering the batter all over the place). Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for an additional 20 seconds (the batter will be very thin).
  4. Divide the batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate the pans in the oven. Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs), about 12 more minutes. Cool the cakes (in the pans) on wire racks for 20 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.
  5. Make the Toasted Marshmallow Filling: Place the marshmallows on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Broil marshmallows until nice and brown on top, keeping an eye on them the entire time so they don't burn. Remove pan from oven and gently turn the marshmallows over, and broil until the other side is golden brown.
  6. Meanwhile... beat the butter and powdered sugar on low speed until blended together, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla extract and increase the speed to medium-high; beat for 3 minutes. Stop the mixer, add the Marshmallow Fluff and toasted marshmallows, and mix on the lowest speed for about 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  7. Make the Malted Chocolate Frosting: Go to this post for directions on making regular German buttercream (but use the ingredients listed above, and don't add in the Ovaltine or chocolate yet). Once your buttercream is done, add the Ovaltine and melted chocolate, and beat until incorporated.
  8. Assemble the Cake: Slice each cake layer in half horizontally so you have six cake layers. Place your first layer face-up on a cake plate and cover with one-third of the Toasted Marshmallow Frosting. Place another cake layer face-up and cover with about ¾ to 1 cup of Malted Chocolate Frosting. Repeat, alternating marshmallow and chocolate filling layers, until you come to your cake final layer, which you will place face-down. Frost the entire outside of cake with the remaining Malted Chocolate Frosting.
Store leftovers in the fridge, but let the cake come to room temperature for at least a few hours to soften the frosting. I ate this cake days after making it and it was as good as the first time I had it. 

7 comments:

Mara @ What's for Dinner? said...

Good lord woman, that looks fantastic. I should come to you the next time I need cake help. You're a master!

Jacqueline said...

Thanks Mara!! After making cakes for ~5 years I can definitely say that I'm finally starting to get the hang of it. :) I definitely have my disaster moments still, but it usually works itself out. And feel free to ask anytime, although I've seen your baked goods and I'm not really sure you need any of my help!!

cupcake with filling said...

hi! what an amazing patterned layer cake.. you did a very great job and also thanks for giving us the tip of how to make such amazing decoration.

Jacqueline said...

Thank you!! It's a quite easy pattern to replicate, so I figured if I showed a step by step someone might actually use it sometime in the future.

Cakesmakeme said...

Hi Jacquie, do you think this cake and frosting combo would work well under fondant.

Jacqueline said...

Hi Cakesmakeme! Yes, in fact I have used this frosting under fondant and it works really well. The German buttercream frosting is quite similar to Swiss meringue buttercream (which USED to be my favorite frosting until I came across German buttercream). The only thing to be aware of is this: because this is a custard-based frosting, I (personally) would not trust leaving it outside at room temperature for days at a time, which is OK to do with a Swiss meringue buttercream. Therefore, I put my fondant covered cake in the fridge when using this frosting, and took it out at least 3 hours before serving to give it time to warm up and soften the frosting (more time is good if you have it). Now some people have issues with putting fondant in the fridge (sometimes it can get some condensation on it) but with my fridge I've never had that problem. So if you're OK with putting fondant in the fridge then go ahead and try this frosting!

Tomoko said...

This is cool!

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