Friday, April 2, 2010

Recipe Fridays!

Chocolate Cake with Crepe Paper Flowers and a Phyllo Nest

This cake is a lot of work, but it is worth it. I won't waste your time with the directions for the phyllo nest and flowers; if you want to get that crafty, you can, but I just like the chocolate cake;)


Serves 8 to 12


Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pans
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for pans
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup dark rum
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract


4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
18 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 1/2 cups sour cream


1 thick 16-ounce block bittersweet chocolate, room temperature
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
Phyllo nest
Small candy-coated chocolate eggs
Crepe paper flowers


Make the cake: Butter two 10-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment cut to fit, and butter parchment. Dust with cocoa, and tap out excess. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a mixer. Add remaining ingredients. Mix on low speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Divide batter among prepared pans.

Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until a toothpick inserted into centers of cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool in pans on wire racks for 45 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cakes to loosen, and turn onto racks. Remove parchment, turn cakes right side up, and let cool completely.

Make the frosting: Sift confectioners' sugar, cocoa, and salt into a bowl. In the bowl of a mixer, beat cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add sugar mixture, beating until combined. Beat in melted chocolate and sour cream until combined.

Make the garnish: Using a vegetable peeler, scrape chocolate at a 45-degree angle. Using a spatula, transfer curls to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or up to 4 days).

To assemble: Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to create level surfaces. Reserve trimmings. Place 1 cake, cut side up, on a cake stand. Spread 2 cups frosting over top. Top with remaining cake, cut side up. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides. Finely grind cake trimmings in a food processor. Sprinkle crumbs over top of cake.

Using tweezers, gently press chocolate curls to sides of cake. Dust top with confectioners' sugar if desired. Decorate with nest, chocolate eggs, and flowers.

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