Bakerella’s Just A Cake

Oh, Bakerella.  Dear, sweet, colorful, talented, temptress Bakerella.  First, I found you when I had a wild obsession with Cake Pops a year or so ago.  And now I have found you again, thanks to Pinterest, and a need to drown my sorrows in some chocolate ganache.  I did not realize you made other delectable things not cake-pop related.  But I should have known.  Oh indeed, I should have known you confectionary Goddess, you.  Before you start, here is the link to her “Just A Cake” that I’m making.  This is in NO WAY my own recipe, except perhaps the addition of duck eggs to the boxed cake mix.  heh heh.

My sorrows are being drowned in the form of a 2 layer chocolate cake with butter cream frosting topped with ganache.

Did you read that?  Chocolate Cake…with butter cream…topped with ganache?

Yuh huh.

So here I go.  Someone get the insulin ready for me will ya?  Kthx.

First, I must disclaim that I used a boxed cake mix.  Yes, yes I did.  DON’T JUDGE ME!  Now, I did this for a few reasons.  I had it in my cupboard, this is for my family – not that my family doesn’t deserve a home made cake – they do – but they don’t care if I spend 2 hours making a homemade cake from scratch or if I open up a box and put in the ingredients.  But mostly, because you can richen up a cake mix by using duck eggs, which are the only eggs we have at the moment.  (Thanks Hagrid.)

First cut your parchment paper so you can put it in the bottom of your round pan.  Grease the pan, add parchment, dust with (in this case cocoa) or flour.

Mix your cake.  I used a cake mix, but I used Duck Eggs, which are richer than chicken eggs simply because the yolk is larger and creamier and the whites are more gooey.  In general, you can substitute 1 duck egg for 1 chicken egg.  Duck eggs are especially suited for baking – which is what we use them for mostly.  So if you happen to know anyone with a couple of ducks and you can score some eggs, do it!!

I also substituted coconut oil for the vegetable oil.  We’ll see how it works out, but so far it’s no different.  YAY!

Bake the cakes as per the instructions either on the box (GASP) or according to your particular cake recipe (I highly recommend Bakerella’s cake recipe – just sayin’.)

Set them aside to cool.  I left them in the pans for about 10 or so minutes, then I overturned them onto a cooling rack and pulled the parchment off.  I didn’t bother cutting the cake to make them straight across.  I like my cakes rustic.  Now if I were making this for someone, I would be a little more cautious about how it looked.  But for my fam, they don’t care, they just want cake.

While your cakes are cooling, prepare your other stuffs.  I made the ganache first like Bakerella suggested.   (Glad I did!)  Next I made the butter cream frosting.

INGREDIENTS

Ganache

1/4 C  (1/2 stick) of butter (you can probably substitute coconut oil but when it begins to cool, it will be harder than the butter mixture – but it would certainly work – just wait until after you make your butter cream and watch it while it sets up)

3/4 C heavy cream (that’s heavy whipping cream – not 1/2 and 1/2)

3/4 C semi sweet chocolate chips

Put the chocolate chips into a separate metal or glass bowl.  Heat the cream and the butter in a sauce pan over low heat until it’s warm but not boiling.  Pour it over the chips and stir until everything is smooth and melted together.  Set aside.

Butter Cream Frosting

1 1/2 C butter (2 1/2 sticks)

1 tsp vanilla

6 cups powdered sugar measured and set aside

4-8 tbsp milk

Beat the butter until it’s fluffy, add the vanilla.  Then slowly (and I do mean s-l-o-w-l-y) add the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, scraping the bowl as you go.  Once all of the powdered sugar has been incorporated into the butter, start with 4 tbsp of milk, adding slowly until the frosting becomes smooth.  I used 6 tbsp.

*TIP – Make sure you thoroughly mix the frosting and add enough milk so that it’s smooth – not gritty.  I don’t think I let it mix long enough and it turned out a bit gritty – from the powdered sugar.  It’s still good, just kinda textural.

Cut strips of parchment and place on your cake plate in a square and place a dollop of frosting in the middle to hold the cake in place.  That way, when you frost the sides of your cake, you can just pull the parchment out and have a clean pretty cake plate.

Place one cake on the dollop firmly and adjust the strips of parchment so they are barely under the cake – but still under it.  I always put the flat (bottom) side down.  Affix it to the dollop and spread about 1 cup of frosting on the first cake.  Then place the other cake on top. You can either turn the cake upside down so the flat part is on top (which is what I did) and the weight will smoosh it down making it more flat without having to cut into the top of the cake causing a crumbly mess.  Or you can cut the cake with a serrated bread knife so both sides are flat.

Then (and I LOVE this tip from Bakerella) spread a thin layer of frosting along sides and top of the cake to pick up any loose crumbs.  She suggests putting it into the freezer for a few minutes for the frosting to set.  I don’t have much room in my freezer for a bag of tater tots, so I put the cake into the fridge and went out side for a while to play with the kids.

Andrew found a bird nest in the fake wreath hanging by our garage lights.  Cute.

So then we came back inside, and the ganache was pretty much done.  You know it’s done when there is a slight ribboning to the chocolate when stirred and lifted.  If it’s too thick, you can zap it in the microwave for just a few seconds at a time (maximum of 5 at a time) stirring in between.

I finished frosting the cake (fighting little fingers the whole time) and finally added the ganache.

TIP* Before you add the ganache, carefully pull the parchment strips from the bottom of the cake.  If they aren’t coming easily, slip a spreader under the cake and gently lift it so the parchment comes away from and out from under the cake.

I waited too long to pour the ganache  so it’s a little too hard for it to be super pretty like in Bakerella’s pictures.  But this will work.  A few swoops of the spreader and we were good.

Thanks Bakerella 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Bakerella’s Just A Cake

  1. The photograph of your daughter trying to get as much icing off the whisk as possible, is the money shot! That girl already has her priorities straight.

    • Oh yes, she does know how to steal the spotlight. It took me 3x as long to frost the cake because I had to keep repairing her holes and swipe marks 🙂

  2. Of ffs – I was wondering how to keep my cake plate clean when I frosted — apparently the super easy way to do it was right under my nose.. i use parchment for everythign else in baking (and I do mean everything) so why I didn’t think of it to keep my cake plate clean is beyond me!

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