Birthday Cake

cake, Chocolate, Dessert, Special Occasion

June is a busy birthday/celebration month in my family and I won’t list everybody’s days here, only one because it is today.

Today is my dad’s Birthday, and I baked him a cake!

This is my dad,  Happy Birthday Papi!

My dad is a special man,  that is one of the reasons I made him his favorite birthday cake.

Chocolate Cake with Meringue frosting, on top, in the middle, and all over the place!  Isn’t your mouth watering right this instant?

I decided to try a different chocolate cake recipe for this special occasion and it seems like its going to be a hit! We are going to be eating it tonight for dessert.  It is a double layer cake, my first ever, and I am experimenting with new frosting recipes as well.

Here is the recipe, its from Smitten Kitchen and I cannot get enough from her blog.

Double Chocolate Layer Cake: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Adapted from Gourmet, March 1999

The recipe below is for 2 10-inch layers filled and coated in Meringue frosting.

Ingredients for cake layers

3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
2.5 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups well-shaken whipped cream (I used non-dairy)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Directions for baking the cake layers

Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans.  Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper.

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee.  Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer).  Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well.  Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.

Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour.

Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks.  Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely.  Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Meringue Frosting

4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

My Way: Separate the egg whites from the yolks.  Place the egg whites in a bowl and mix at high speed until fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.  Slowly add the sugar.  Continue to mix at high speed for about 2 minutes.  Slowly add the water, corn syrup and vanilla and mix at high speed until fluffy. ** My way was not too good, and the only reason I tried it this way is because I do not have too good of a bowl to put over a saucepan of simmering water.  What happened was that the sugars did not crystallize so the meringue did not harden.  It was still VERY good!

Smitten Kitchen’s Way: Combine frosting ingredients with a pinch of salt in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and beat with a handheld electric mixer at high speed until frosting is thick and fluffy, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat until slightly cooled. Use frosting the day it is made.

In order to decorate, set about one cup of the frosting aside if you wish to add decorations to the cake, either it with a piping bag or a makeshift one, a sandwich bag with the corner snipped off.  I do not have fancy cake decoration tools, so I used a zip lock like you recommended in your post about The Sweet Spot.  Place one of the layers of the cake on the plate you will be serving the cake, on top of a doily and on top of strips of foil so that you do not get the plate or the doily dirty, just like I showed you how in the Kit Kat Almond Macaroon Torte.

**Update: Cut the top part of the bottom layer of the cake so that it becomes flat.  This will help with the stability of the cake so that it does not look like a earthquake happened to it.  Once it is flat,  add some of the Meringue frosting to the top of the bottom layer and then place the top cake on top.  Cover the whole cake with the rest of the frosting and then have fun decorating.  I truly recommend you try Smitten Kitchen’s frosting, as mine was a little too wet.  I just did not have the right bowl to set over a saucepan of simmering water, but I did have the Kitchen Aid mixer.

Once we cut the cake,  I will take more pictures and show you how it looks inside.

I was unable to take any pictures as the cake was falling apart, but it did taste absolutely delicious!

Mati, have fun at the Food Blogger Connect conference this weekend in London.

For all of our readers, she is going as the Feta and Arepa representative and we can’t wait until she comes back to introduce new tricks about blogging, food blogging, food photography and more!  Stay tuned!


10 thoughts on “Birthday Cake

  1. The cake was superb, the photos…what a nice surprise. This makes you want to celebrate every day. Thanks

    1. It was a huge success, except for the fact that the cake was almost falling apart because it was so heavy, and I did not do the layering correctly…. see the edits on the post.

  2. Well its a wmv file…. and yes, I realized it does not show on the mac…. I made it on a PC…. but you see a picture on the mac so that works!

  3. Hey, no matter how it looks, cake is cake! And for the record, this one is decorated really cute! Bright colors + tasty filling = huge success! If you ever wanted to try a non – chocolate birthday cake, I’ve got a great recipe for Angel Food Cake on my site! It’s my birthday cake every year! And don’t tell… but I’ve got one coming up! 🙂

    1. Thanks! Everybody really liked this cake so much that I am making it again today, but only half of the recipe….for another birthday.
      I will look into the Angel Cake recipe on your site!

  4. Hello Matina, it’s Jasmine and Manuel back to Italy
    How are you? Did you enjoy FBC on sunday?

    I’m very glad we met, now I’ll have to try all the recipes that you and the arepas girl have posted 🙂

    Jasmine (and Manuel)

  5. Hi Jasmine (and Manuel)!

    It was great to meet you too, fbc was really interesting and gave me a lot to share with Francine (the arepas girl;))!

    Thanks for coming to visit our blog! Hope to keep in touch!

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