Cookie Dough Filled Chocolate Cake

This cake makes me think of that song from “The Sound of Music” when they sing about their favorite things.  I don’t know why whiskers on kittens is mentioned in that song but cookie dough isn’t, get it together Julie Andrews!  A few years ago I made my nephews this Brownie, Cheesecake, Cookie Dough creation that I really wanted to translate into a cake, something that made a little more sense than just tossing together three awesome desserts.  Since then I have grown and matured, and we now have a triple layer cake filled with cookie dough, frosted with a brown sugar frosting, coated in ganache, and decorated with cookies. Grown up cake, right??  Ok, maybe I am just a kid that knows how to use an oven, and has a few grays….and a couple smile lines….they are not wrinkles.  This is a cake that will take a bit of time; I’ll make it over a couple of days, baking the cake one day and doing the decorating on another. I like to use refrigerated cake layers because they are so much more sturdy than freshly baked cake. When you watch those baking competitions and they are throwing cake around like a football, its because its been refrigerated or maybe even frozen. If I need a treat in a pinch, I usually go to cupcakes, these chocolate ones would be great with the cookie dough frosting if you need a chocolate and cookie dough fix today.

So, I start with my cake.  I am making a three layer, eight inch cake.  I like to get all of the dry ingredients together while the eggs and butter are coming to room temperature. DSC_0001.JPG

I use a large spoon to scoop my flour into the measuring cup.  This is a confusing part of baking and following recipes, some recipes have people scoop the flour right out of the container with the measuring cup, some use this spoon method, and then the super serious bakers use weight measurements.  If you make a baked good using a recipe and you find its a little on the tough side, try using a spoon to get your flour instead. Basically if you scoop it right out with the measuring cup the flour is compressing inside the cup and you can end up with quite a bit more than the recipe intended. I have tried making everything both ways, and while both ways make a good cake the spoon method does give you a little bit of a lighter texture. If this method sounds like too much trouble then you go on with your flour scooping ways and you will still have a fine cake – let us not allow cake scooping to cause division among us.   Anywho, onto the rest of our cake. I sift all of my dry ingredients togetherDSC_0002

Then I move onto my butter.  I cream together my butter and sugars.  I pretty much always use dark brown sugar, I love the deeper flavor that it has.  The darker brown has a little more moisture than the light brown so take that into account if you substitute light brown, it might change the texture a tad. Once my butter and sugar are pretty well combined I start adding my eggs one at a time.  I add an egg and then beat my batter for about thirty seconds.  After all of my eggs are in, I scrape down my bowl and do another thirty seconds on speed four of my kitchen aid, which is a medium speed.  I take my sifted dry ingredients and add a third of them to my mixer with it on a low speed.  I add the ingredients then count to five.  I then pour in half of my liquid. My liquid for this cake is coffee because I love coffee and chocolate.  I count to five (the mixer is still running on low) then I add another third of my dry ingredients and count to five, then the rest of the coffee and guess what, I count to five! Then the last of the dry ingredients and another five count.  I turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl.DSC_0009.JPG

See how its barely mixed?!  This is good, I scrape down my bowl and give it a mix on a low speed for ten seconds.  Can you sense that I am super scared to over mix my batter? I then add my batter into the pans.  I actually only have one eight inch pan at the moment, so I pour a third into the pan and just cook the three layers one at a time.  I like to weigh out my batter to make sure I am adding a third for each layer.  I really love my kitchen scale because I am totally unable to eyeball anything.  My oven cooks these in about eighteen minutes at 350°, but I would say anywhere between 16 and 20 minutes depending on your oven.  Let your cakes cool completely before frosting them.   Refrigerate overnight if you can.

Ok, now stay with me, we are moving onto the cookie dough filling.  The first thing I do is microwave my flour.  WHAT?! Yes, flour is apparently bad to eat raw, so we are microwaving it to make it safe to eat.  I microwave mine for two minutes stirring it every thirty seconds.  I have found that if you do not stir it you can burn your flour, which smells disgusting, so make sure you stir it. Next, I combine the butter and sugars and cream those together just like I would if I was making cookies. DSC_0014.JPG

After I have given those a good two minute beating in the mixer, I add the rest of my cooled flour, some powdered sugar, vanilla and a little salt.  I beat those together and then add in my chocolate chips.  I pour those in and just gently mix that together with a spatula.  I like to use mini chips here, the large chips are just awkward feeling inside of the cake.  The recipe I am giving you should be plenty to fill this cake and decorate it.  It would also give you enough to frost about 24 cupcakes instead.  I begin to fill my cake.DSC_0016.JPG

I know it looks like the cake is on the table, but it is on a piece of cardboard and that is on a little plate that I can move easily without worrying about touching the cake. Onto the next layer.

I pop this into the fridge while I work on my frosting for the outside.  You could definitely use this to frost your cake and call it a day, but I like to use a smooth frosting that I can then cover in ganache.  The chocolate chips would give you little bumps in your ganache if you are do go that route.

I basically just toss everything into the mixer and call it a day.   Super simple frosting that according to my father in law is pretty good to just eat all by itself with a spoon.  I am using butter, brown sugar (the dark brown stuff again), powdered sugar, salt and vanilla. This is one of those five minute frostings, which is good if the crowd is starting to get hungry.  I do a pretty thin layer of this over the outside of the cake.  Make it as smooth as you can, but don’t overstress about it.DSC_0022.JPG

Back into the fridge this cake goes!  I am onto the ganache. Ganache is just cream and chocolate mixed together.  Depending on how much cream vs. chocolate you use it can be made into truffles, whipped into frosting, or you can do what I am doing here and pouring it over a cake.  This pie has some tips on making a ganache. Start by getting a bowl, mug or can onto a pan that is bigger than your cake and has edges.  Then carefully set your cake atop that.  This is why I have a piece of cardboard and a tiny plate under my cake.DSC_0031.JPG

Now pour the ganache over the cake.  You will want to let your ganache set for about thirty minutes before your pour it on, otherwise it will be a little runny.  I actually didn’t wait long enough when I was making this cake, I had nine people waiting on cake and I rushed the process, but like most things it was a salvageable situation.  DSC_0032.JPG

As the ganache cooled I used a spoon and just spooned extra over any spots that didn’t have enough coverage.DSC_0036.JPG

I used the cookie dough filling and some little cookies to decorate the top and sides of the cake. I had to modify a Wilton tip a little to make it so the mini chips would fit through the tip.IMG_0302.JPG

And we have CAKE!DSC_0050.JPG

Notice how wet this looks, like I said I had a hungry crowd and I served this before the ganache totally set.  It was still delicious, but in the ideal world, you would let the cake set up for an hour or so before trying to decorate and serve.DSC_0060.JPG

Rich Chocolate Cake

A delicious rich chocolate cake.


Ingredients

  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • ¾ Cup Cocoa Powder (I use Hershey’s Special Dark)
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ¾ Cup of Butter softened
  • ¾ Cup Sugar
  • ¾ Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 3 Extra Large Eggs
  • 1 Cup Coffee at room temperature
  • ½ tsp Vanilla

Directions

    Preheat oven to 350°
  1. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder,and salt.
  2. Cream together butter and sugars in a mixing bowl
  3. Add Eggs one at a time to butter/sugar mixture, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add one third of Dry Ingredients,to mixing bowl and blind lightly.
  5. Combine Vanilla and Coffee and add half of that to the mixing bowl, blend lightly. Continue adding dry then wet then dry ingredients, mixing lightly after each addition. Scrape down bowl and mix again until just combined.
  6. Pour equally into three buttered and parchment lined 8 inch baking pans.
  7. Bake for 16 – 20 Minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
  8. Let cool completely before frosting.

Cookie Dough Frosting

A fun filling or frosting that tastes just like cookie dough.


Ingredients

  • 1½ Cups Butter Softened
  • ¾ Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • ¾ Cup Regular Sugar
  • ¾ Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1½ Cup of Flour that has been heated to 160°
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips

Directions

  1. Cream together butter, brown sugar and regular sugar.
  2. Add flour, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt and mix well.
  3. Fold in chocolate Chips

Brown Sugar Frosting


Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Butter Softened
  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • ½ Cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

Directions

  1. Beat all ingredients together well.

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