Two weeks, and two unique and delicious cakes.
One ridiculously delicious cake, which we finished today, we’d been meaning to bake for precisely 1 year and 360 days–since Epicurious.com Editor-in-Chief Tanya Steel told me in an interview that it is among her favorite recipes on the site.
The other ridiculously delicious cake, which we concocted last weekend, we very proudly invented.
Let’s begin with the more recent. This Double Chocolate Layer Cake has over 1350 reviews on Epicurious, and nearly all of them are raving. Understandably, as this cake is soft, chewy, chocolately, satiny, rich, spongy, dense, and completely delightful. The chocolate ganache frosting provides a smooth and glossy finish that’s makes the cake just the right amount indulgent. I’m reposting the recipe below with our very, very minor tweaks.
3 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee (we used hazelnut, and recommend that or a similar flavor)
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease pans, line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper. Combine chocolate and hot coffee in a bowl, and stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
In a large bowl, sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl, use an electric mixer beat eggs for about 5 minutes until thickened slightly and lemon colored. Slowly beat in oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate until combined. Add sugar mixture slowly and beat on medium speed until just combined (do not overbeat). Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a toothpick comes out clean, about an hour. Cool layers completely in pans on racks (we cooled them overnight) before frosting.
To make the frosting bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil in a saucepan over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth. Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool until spreadable, or refrigerate covered and bring to room temperature before spreading
Spread frosting between cake layers and over top and sides, serve and enjoy!
Now for the second–the Mint Chocolate Chip Oreo Ice Cream Cake. This is a recipe that we invented for my cousin’s birthday last week, we’re so smug that we’ll tell you how freakishly delicious it was until your ears get toxic epidermal necrolysis and fall off kind of (but not really) like in Alex’s dermatology class slides (p.s. don’t Google that). Yum!
What I love second most about this cake, after its eyes-roll-t0-the-back-of-your-head sweet creaminess, is the fact that the layers look the same, but are in fact different: fresh mint chocolate ice cream looks just like frozen whipped topping with Oreo cookie crumble. As a result, the cake looks stunning cohesive, but still features delicious and complementary layers.
If you are going to make this cake and you have an ice cream machine available, we highly recommend making fresh mint ice cream. We based ours off a recipe from the amazing Simply Recipes blog, and we absolutely swooned over the mojito-like flavor of the ice cream. Here is the recipe on the blog (we doubled it for our purposes), and our entire cake recipe is posted below (note: it can take several days to assemble, so plan accordingly!).
(mint chocolate chip ice cream from Simply Recipes)
6 cups of fresh mint leaves (not stems), rinsed, drained, packed
2 cup milk
4 cups heavy cream (divided, 2 cups and 2 cups)
1 1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
12 egg yolks
12 oz. dark chocolate, very finely chopped
(Oreo cookie crumble)
1 box Oreos
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp sugar
Make ice cream. Heat mint leaves, 1 cup milk, and 1 cup cream in heavy saucepan until steaming. Then remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes. While the mixture is steaming, place the remaining 2 cups of cream in a bowl in an ice bath and set aside. Reheat the mixture until steaming, remove from heat and let stand for 15 more minutes. Strain the mixture into a bowl (pressing on leaves), and return it to the saucepan. Add sugar and salt to the mixture. Heat until just steaming again, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium sized bowl. Slowly pour the heated milk cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that the eggs do not cook, then scrape the mixture back into the saucepan. Stir the mixture over medium heat with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens enough to coat the spoon (about 10 minutes). Pour this mixture through a strainer into the cold cream that you set aside. Chill thoroughly (in an ice bath or overnight in the refrigerator), divide mixture in half, and cook in according to ice cream machine instructions in two batches.
Once your ice cream is made and you are ready to start assembling the cake, make the cookie crumble. In a large bowl, smash 1 box Oreos into coarse crumble. Add melted butter, and stir to combine. Divide cookie crumble in half.
Spread half of cookie crumble in the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Press crumble down pat with a spatula. Add half of the ice cream, slightly softened, and freeze until hardened (several hours). Add second layer of cookie crumble, followed by second half of the the ice cream, softened, and freeze again until hardened (several hours).
To make whipped topping, beat together cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Crush the remaining 10 oreos, and gently fold them into the whipped cream. Spread whipped topping on top of the cake, and freeze again for several more hours until the topping is also hard. Let stand for about 15 minutes before serving, and enjoy!
Finally, finally, finally, just because we are actually posting recipes, it doesn’t mean I will neglect my promise of posting our weekly menu as well. Here’s what’s up this week:
Baked Japanese yams
Spinach salad with roasted portobello mushrooms, goat cheese, and toasted walnuts with a lemon vinaigrette
Salmon with soy ginger sauce over soba noodle salad (we are making our own soy ginger sauce) from Whole Foods
Chicken tortilla soup from Serious Eats
And phewf, that’s all folks.