(Quarter-) Century Celebration Cake

(Quarter-) Century Celebration Cake
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It's not a real celebration without glitter and chocolate, am I right?

This week, my gloriously talented and kind roommate finally turned 25 so I knew I had to create something equally grand to help Julie celebrate. Happy Birthday, superstar!

When I was in college, I discovered the magical cake blog of  Sweetapolita and my cake baking ways were forever changed. As in, I got really good at it. Or at least I found better recipes and gradually began to improve. Her rich chocolate cake recipe is *glorious* and while I've made a few adaptations for myself over the past few years I will ever be grateful for her help. This cake is moist, rich, dense, crumbly, and most importantly chocolatey. 

Le sigh! Look at that richness oozing out!

This chocolate mountain is not for the faint of heart. Only fabulous people can partake. After two years of living with Julie, I was honored to whip her up my favorite chocolate cake recipe and knew exactly what I needed to fill it... Over the past couple years as roommates we've learned a lot about ourselves and each other. One of these things being Julie's affinity for that magical elixir... peanut butter! Seriously. I don't think I've ever met anyone who loves peanut butter as much as this girl. It's kind of amazing. Now while I wasn't as patient as Julie is with making my own homemade peanut butter, I did want to incorporate some store bought nutty stuff into this cake and a cream cheese based filling was the perfect surprise. 

I may or may not have been influenced by a certain "Bruce Bogtrotter" cake mentioned in the musical we went to see for Julie's birthday. Even after all these years Matilda is influencing my life. 

Plus, this edible glitter has been sitting in my cabinet for a couple of months, begging for a fabulous occasion to be used. I think Julie's birthday was perfectly fitting. 

Sparkles on stars on sparkles on stars on sparkles!

Another reason to celebrate? After two weeks of no blogging (due to a mid-blog post water/latptop fiasco), we're back in business. I can't wait to get back on track and share more with you guys!

Go-To Chocolate Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup cocoa powder, preferably extra dark
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups strong, hot black coffee
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used soy)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9" cake rounds and one 9" metal mixing bowl. Make sure the bottom of the mixing bowl is well greased and floured to ensure easy removal. 

Sift dry ingredients into bowl of a stand mixer and stir together with paddle attachment on a low speed. 

Put on splash guard and add remaining ingredients on a low speed. Once everything is added, beat on medium speed for two minutes or until smooth. Batter will be very liquidy. 

Distribute batter evenly into pans and mixing bowl. Bake for 40 min or until center comes clean with a toothpick. The mixing bowl cake make take longer (about an hour in my experience). Remove cake from oven and let cool to room temperature before chilling for preparation.

Honey Peanut Butter Filling

  • 6 oz cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt

Beat cream cheese, butter and peanut butter in a mixing bowl until smooth and creamy. Add in powdered sugar and salt and whip for three minutes. Set aside until ready to use. 

Rich Dark Chocolate Fudge Frosting

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder 
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 pound high-quality semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled

First off, melt your 1 pound of high quality chocolate over a double broiler. I used Mast Brothers' baking chocolate but your welcome to use your preferred favorite. It will be flavoring the fudgy frosting so make sure to choose one of your liking. 

Next, add your boiling water to cocoa powder in a small mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.

In a stand mixer beat butter until light and fluffy. This usually takes about five minutes for peak creamy paleness. Add in powdered sugar and salt and beat for another two minutes. 

Add in cooled pound of melted chocolate and beat slowly, scraping down sides as needed, until fully incorporated. 

Lastly add in cocoa powder mixture until rich and smooth. Set aside until ready to frost your cake. 

To assemble "mountain" style cake, layer one 9" in round, then peanut butter filling, next 9" round, peanut butter filling, and finally the mixing bowl shape on top. I recommend freezing the cake for ten minutes after this step to ensure the layers stay put while spreading and building the fudge frosting over the top. Once fully frosted, add sprinkles (or edible glitter of your choosing). NYCake (http://www.nycake.com/) has an amazing assortment of glitters and sprinkles to tickle your fancy.