Well this is a quite a birthday cake if I do say so myself. For my birthday this year we decided to take on a very different and slightly difficult cake. There was an episode of Holiday Baking Championship on Food Network a few weeks ago where the bakers had to innovate this classic French dessert. So I took on that challenge as well! For many people holiday baking is the best baking of the year, for myself included! I have never really done a ton of fancy treats, but I am sure ready to start. Next year I will get a better jump start on this so that you have time to perfect your favorites. Many of my recipes come from my mom. Not this one though. I had to go to a serious source of baking expertise, Martha Stewart.
I won’t lie to you, first time making it was a little bit stressful. But now that I have done it once I am very confident that this will become a yearly tradition and a treat that will be shared with friends and family. It’s really not as difficult as I imagined, all you need is patience and a few hours of your time. A baking partner doesn’t hurt either.
This was also a great opportunity to break in my new icing application tool (Thanks Alanna!) As you can see we are far from professional cake decorators, however, the rosette tip turned out to be perfect for the making bark-like decorations.
Cake Batter: For Martha Stewarts site click here: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/7bTRR8/www.marthastewart.com/338834/chocolate-genoise
- 2/3 cups cake flour
- 1/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa powder
- Pinch of Baking Soda
- 5 Tbsp Butter
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 6 eggs
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Peppermint Buttercream Filling:
- 1/2 Cup Andes Peppermint Chips
- 12 Tbsp Unsalted butter-Softened – I usually ignore the unsalted part but in this case it’s really important. Your dessert will almost be inedible with that much salt in it.
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 5 Tbsp heavy cream
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:
- 4 cups powered sugar
- 1/2 cup Hershey’s Cocoa Powder
- 3-4 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1 cup unsalted butter- Softened
- 1/2 cup salted butter- Softened
- 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Prepare the cake according to Martha Stewart’s instructions. Do not over cook your egg and sugar mixture, it will turn into scrambled eggs. Max temp for that mixture is 110 degrees. Be patient waiting for your eggs to thicken, this may take some time. Be very gentle when folding the dry ingredients in. Do not be skimpy when buttering the pan, you don’t want a fight when taking the paper off.
We baked this for about 15 minutes in the convection oven. You want the cake to be springy to the touch. It’s also very important to not over bake it otherwise it will just crumble when you try to roll it.
Once the cake has cooled for about 3-4 minutes lift the parchment paper out of the pan and invert the cake onto plastic wrap dusted with flour. Very carefully roll the cake with the plastic wrap. Here is how it should look. It’s ok if it cracks a little on the first roll, but don’t let the outer rolls crack too much. Wrap the cake in a damp dish cloth and place in the fridge for about 5-10 minutes while you prepare the filling.
The ingredients for the peppermint filling just need to be mixed in a bowl on medium speed until smooth.
Take your cake out of the fridge and unroll it. Lightly and evenly spread the filling on the cake. Leave at least 1/4 inch around the edges. Start to roll the cake the same direction you did before. Remove the plastic wrap as you roll. The filling may start to come out the sides, it’s ok. Just keep on rolling. Once you are done it should look something like this:
Cover and place back in the fridge while you make the chocolate frosting.
Place the softened butter in a mixer and beat until it’s pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Sift in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Keep the mixer going and add in the vanilla extract and cream. Keep mixing until you have reached the desired texture. Add a little more cream if your frosting is too thick. You want it to be easily spreadable, but not runny.
I put mine in the fridge for just a few minutes just to firm it up and make it spread on to look like bark. One of the tricks to spreading frosting on cake is to move the frosting around as if you’re going over the cake and do not press it onto the cake.
We added some sparkly gel mistletoe decorations and silver sugar to finish off the decorations.
I really hope you give this one a try! Let me know how yours turns out. And don’t forget to sign up for email alerts for all the upcoming posts.