Sunday, April 10, 2011

As Our Children Get Older, I'm Told We Get Younger.....

Celebration Time..Oh yes!  My oldest turns 21.  A tradition in our home is..if it is YOUR birthday, you get to choose your birthday  "cake".  And I say cake loosely..we've ended with pie on SEVERAL occasions.  This year, Liz wanted a chocolate cake with raspberry cream filling.  Chocolate my specialty. I use ONE recipe  and one only for birthdays.  I found it YEARS ago..Hershey's Chocolatetown Cake.  I substitute sour cream though for the butter milk many times.  It actually comes out even more moist.  The key to this one..just don't OVER BAKE.  It is perfectly moist and delectable.
So here goes.....

Birthday Cake in the Making - Happy 21st My Sweet Elizabeth.  I know your dreams will come true
You may think this is a long hard recipe, but it is so easy and so elegant.  You will make it over and over...I promise.
If I were you, I'd start with the puree for the Raspberry Whipped Cream.  You can make it ahead of time.

Raspberry Puree (Sauce):
2 cups frozen raspberries(unsweetened)
1/4 cup granulated white sugar, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice(optional)

Thaw the unsweetened frozen raspberries in a large fine meshed strainer suspended over a large bowl.  (This may take a few hours.)  Once the berries have completely thawed, force the juice from the berries by gently pressing the berries with the back of a large spoon.  All that should remain in the strainer is the raspberry seeds.  Throw away the raspberry seeds and, to the strained juice, stir in the lemon juice (if using) and 1/4 cup of white sugar (or to taste).  Store in the refrigerator for up to a week. the cake... With this cake, as you should with ALL chocolate cakes..use cocoa powder instead of flour to coat your pans.

Chocolatetown Cake 
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour (use cocoa powder) two   8 or 9" cake pans  (you can also  use 9x13, but not for this incredibly looking birthday cake..)

½ Cup cocoa powder
½ Cup boiling water
2/3 Cup shortening
1 ¾ Cups sugar
1Tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 ¼ Cups flour
1 ½ Tsp baking soda
½ Tsp salt
1 1/3 Cups buttermilk (or sour cream)

Stir together cocoa & water, set aside. 
Cream shortening, sugar, vanilla in large mixing bowl.  Add eggs, beat well.
Mix dry ingredients together and mix well.  Add alternately with buttermilk to creamed mixture. 
Fold in chocolate.  Pour into pans and bake 35 to 40 minutes., or until cake tester comes out clean. Cupcakes, about 20 minutes.   Cool 10 minutes, remove from pan(s). Cool completely, frost as desired

Yes!  Frost as desired.  And I will give you some ideas, but for this cake, it is specific!  First we are filling with Raspberry Cream between the layers.  

Raspberry Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
raspberry puree 
In a large mixing bowl place the whipping cream, vanilla extract, and sugar and stir to combine. Cover and chill the bowl and beaters in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. When chilled, beat the mixture until soft peaks form. Then add the sweetened raspberry puree or raspberry jam, a little at a time, and beat just until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised.  

Spread within a 1/2 inch of the edges. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes so the filling is set somewhat.  It will help when you frost the cake.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.  Frost.

Again...refrigerate for about 30 minutes so the frosting set somewhat.  It will help when you pour the ganache on top.

12 oz white chocolate morsels or candy melts, white
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Heat whipping cream in saucepan just to boiling point. Do not boil. Remove from heat and add chopped Candy Melts, stir until smooth and glossy. Cool about 10 minutes.  It needs to be pourable and spreadable.
Pour on top of cake and spread allowing it to drip down the sides of the cake.


This cake needs to be refrigerated due to the cream filling.  But I would set it out 30 minutes before serving.
You can see the beautiful White Ganache
 drizzled down the sides of the cake.
Icing on the they say.  I promised frosting ideas for this incredible chocolate cake....

1/3 c. butter
1/3 c. Hershey's cocoa
2 2/3 c. confectioners' sugar
1/3 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture just begins to boil. Remove from heat. Pour into small mixer bowl; cool completely. Add confectioners' sugar alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency. Blend in vanilla. Makes 2 cups.
VARIATION:  Add 1 TB Flavored Coffee Creamer...Irish Creme, Caramel..use your IMAGINATION!

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place butter and peanut butter  in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.

3 oz white chocolate baking bars or squares, chopped
3 tablespoons whipping cream
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 cups powdered sugar

In small microwaveable bowl mix 3 oz white chocolate and 3 tablespoons cream, microwave uncovered on High for 1 minute, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth. Cool 10 to 15 minutes
In medium bowl, beat butter and 2 cups of the powdered sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Add white chocolate mixture; blend well. Add remaining powdered sugar, beat until smooth. Spread frosting over cake.

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