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Celebrating With The Neighbors

This cake is one of the reasons why I was away from this blog over the weekend. One of our neighbors turned 40 on Sunday and we all gathered to steam some oysters, eat some pulled BBQ pork, cheeses, drink a lot (like a truck ran over me 5 times already)and eat this cake. I made her a 2 tiered dark chocolate cake filled with cream cheese frosting and covered in fondant. I had a great time making it and it was a big hit. I can’t believe we almost ate our way through the whole thing!

I’ll be back later for recipes and instructions.

For the cake layers, I used this recipe I found on Lisa’s blog, La Mia Cucina. I made 5 batches as I’d rather be on the safe side and I am OK with recycling what’s left over. I made a couple of changes though. You can find her recipe here, below is the one I used.

Dark Chocolate Fusgy Cake:

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 oz. good quality bittersweet chocolate melted
1 cup sour cream
1 c. boiling water
2 TBS. instant espresso powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter and sugar until well mixed. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla and melted chocolate. Add 1/2 c. of the sour cream and then 1/2 the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until well blended. Add the reamining sour cream and remaining dry ingredients to the batter. Stir in boiling water with espresso powder.
Bake in a 9 or 10 inch cake pans.

As I said I made 5 batches and I filled 3 10 inch pans and 2 8 inch pans.

For the frosting I made 2 batches of the following recipe, and before you scream and send me to Pastry Hell, yes I used Crisco! I found that in SC where the humidity is very high 99% of the time, Crisco helps my buttercream set and prevent my cakes and fondant from sweating, shifting, and ultimately collapsing. I did use the trans-fat free one though.

2 lbs. of powdered sugar
1/3 C. warm water
3 1/2 oz. cream cheese , softened
7 oz. trans-fat free Crisco

In stand mixer, cream Criso and cream cheese until very smooth. Add sifted powdered sugar and water. Mix until well incorporated.
Fill and cover the cakes with this. Refrigerate until ready to cover with fondant.
You can find the original here.

For the fondant, I usually go 2 ways: either I run around town and look for glycerin and glucose to make my recipe or I call C. who runs the pastry department at the restaurant across from the one I used to work for. She is my to go source when I am lazy and hers is always perfect. I decided to go another route this time again and decided on this recipe after seeing Monisha’s cake last week. Amazingly easy and fun to make and so smooth to roll and handle, no tear which meant no tears for me saturday night when I used it.
I made 2 batches since I plan on using some next week for another cake. For the dots I used pastry decorating tips and used the openings or bases to cut different size circles.

It got so humid overnight and it rained all day long sunday, I started worrying as the fondant might sweat and stretch, get gooey or gummy and start chnaging the overall appearance of the cake. I think I was the only one to notice the little shifts and things but the birthday girl was extremely happy with it. It looked and tasted good, you would expect it to be sickenly sweet but it wasn’t that much. So it was a shock full of sugar! Hey, it was a birthday after all!

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Emilie October 23, 2006 um 1:51 pm

This cake is very funny…

Lis October 23, 2006 um 1:53 pm

Now that’s an adorable cake, I love it! I’ve never worked with fondant before but I’d like to try one day. The dark chocolate with the cream cheese frosting sounds delicious 😀

And are you serious?? OMG, I’ll be emailing you with my address ASAP! hahahaha!

Brilynn October 23, 2006 um 1:56 pm

You may just have the luckiest neighbours ever!

wheresmymind October 23, 2006 um 5:11 pm

Holy catz that looks great!

Alpineberry Mary October 23, 2006 um 9:11 pm

Very cute cake!

Anonymous October 23, 2006 um 9:36 pm

Absolutely adorable!! Now why can’t any of my friends be talented bakers such as you? I get the feeling that I’ll be making my own birthday cake again this year…lesigh!

Anonymous October 23, 2006 um 10:38 pm

What a fun cake and it sounds yummy too.

Anonymous October 24, 2006 um 12:39 am

That is absolutely beautiful!

Mercotte October 24, 2006 um 2:53 am

Amazing !! vraiment superbe, j’adore le glaçage et ta déco !!

Helene October 24, 2006 um 11:57 am

Emilie: tu as raison, les enfants l’ont vite appeler le cake martien!

Lis: still waiing for your address, I never say something I don’t mean!

Brilynn: I don’t know…now they complain of espnading waistlines but keep dropping by with empty containers and a hint!

Wheresmymind: thanks, it was a lot of fun to work on.

Mary: thank you, it went well with the rest of the party colors.

Ellie: I am like you, I always end up maling my own bday cake. In a way, we get exactly what we want, right?!

Peabody: it was really good, not overly sweet.

Ivonne: I’ll trade you a slice for one of your delicious tart!

Mercotte: merci du compliment! Je me suis beaucoup amusee a le faire.

Julia October 24, 2006 um 3:06 pm

Wow what a super sweet cake – really impressive and I can imagine it was a spot on hit…

Lauren October 24, 2006 um 11:22 pm

I just read your blog for the first time and I love it! You have so much charm, the pictures are wonderful and yummy. I’ll be visiting often.

Great job on the cake.

Jen October 25, 2006 um 12:09 am

All I can say is WOW. You are amazing Helene.
I am doing the same as Lis and putting my order in. Did I mention my birthday is in December?

jasmine October 25, 2006 um 12:16 am

What a great cake. I love the decoration.


Helene October 25, 2006 um 12:51 am

Lauren: thanks for stopping by! I am just baking my way through life! This is the only thing I can do 24/7!

JenJen: that gives me enough time to think about packaging! Oh wait! I’ll be in France then…

Julia: thank you dear! It fit the Diva theme we had going on very well!

Jasmine: thank you. Sending you hugs lovely.

Sarah October 25, 2006 um 3:06 am

I love the looks of this cake. i wanted somthing along these lines for my wedding cake…with bold polka-dots or stripes. I ended up with a very melty cake in the shape of a stack of presents, but if I ever get married again (to the same man of course!), I’m going to resurrect my pola dot dreams and I’ll have to remember this cake.

Ashley October 25, 2006 um 5:25 pm

That cake is really sweet. Thank you so much for the MM fondant recipe. I am really excited to try it. I love the look of fondant but generally hate the taste. But I haven’t tried MM fondant.

esther valjean October 31, 2006 um 8:02 am

this cake is out of this world! your fondant is perfection and i love the funky design feel.

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