black forest cupcakes

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There’s nothing like a bit of baking at the long week – especially if it’s for a surprise birthday lunch. My aunt had a big birthday recently (I won’t say how big) so of course I had to make her favourite – black forest.

While most black forest cakes are made with sponge I decided to go with a super moist mud cake instead stuffed with a sweet cherry filling. These babies are topped off with a creamy mascarpone frosting, a bit of chocolate, and of course, a cherry.

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The cherry filling and chocolate discs can be made a day in advance and stored in air tight containers.

chocolate mud cupcakes
makes ~24 cupcakes
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cups dark cocoa powder
2 cups castor sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup strong coffee, at room temperature
2 tbsp vinegar
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil (e.g., canola)
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F.

First up, make the coffee so it has time to cool. I usually mix about 2 heaped tablespoons of instant coffee powder into 1 cup of boiling water.

Sift together the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle.

In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients and add to the dry ingredients, mixing well.

Fill cupcake papers to about 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out with moist crumbs. If you’d rather make a cake, then bake for 1 hour.


cherry filling
450g fresh cherries
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup castor sugar

Remove the stones from 260g of the cherries (reserve some to serve) and roughly cut the cherries into quarters.

In a medium saucepan stir together the cherries, water and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes and allow to cool at room temperature.

The syrup looked a bit thin, but because I made this a day before it thickened up quite a bit.


mascarpone frosting
600g mascarpone cheese
8 tbsp icing sugar
2/3 cup cream
2 tsp vanilla extract

Beat the mascarpone and icing sugar until fluffy. Add the cream and vanilla and beat until thickened.


chocolate discs
~300g dark chocolate (I used 50% cocoa)

Roughly chop or break the chocolate into pieces and melt over a double boiler. Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. This will let the chocolate thicken slightly so it’s easier to work with.

While the chocolate is cooling, line a baking tray with non-stick paper. If you’re as OCD as me you can draw circles on the baking paper to make sure the discs are all about the same size (just make sure you put the pencil side down when you start piping), or you could just wing it.

Once the chocolate is cooled, place it in a piping bag with a small hole cut into it (or use a small nozzle), and start drawing circles onto the baking paper making sure there’s enough overlap so it won’t break when you lift it off the paper. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.


 

 

to assemble
Core cupcakes and add a few bits of cherry and the syrup into each.

Pipe or spoon the mascarpone onto each cupcake. Place a chocolate disc on each and top with a cherry!

Happy baking! x

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the “fatty bum bum” cake

Hello and welcome to my first blog post! I hope you guys enjoy it 🙂

A while ago my supervisor asked me if I could make her a cake for her sister’s birthday. The brief was simple: it had to be chocolate and it had to be decadent and this cake definitely meets those criteria – a chocolate buttermilk layer cake with salted caramel buttercream, Bailey’s buttercream, dark chocolate, almonds and cacao nibs. This special order cake was aptly nicknamed the “fatty bum bum” cake.

It was so much fun making this cake! I usually make cupcakes so it was fun planning something bigger. Although, I have to be honest, it was a bit nerve-wracking at times like the day before I delivered it I had a dream that I tripped and fell onto the cake! Luckily that didn’t happen.

the fatty bum bum cake // kitchen adventures

 

Let’s start with the cake…

chocolate buttermilk cake
adapted from The Paperseed

3 cups flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dark cocoa powder (if you can’t find dark cocoa the normal stuff is fine too)
1 1/3 cups canola oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups freshly brewed extra-strong coffee
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two 9-inch cake tins with butter and baking paper.

Place flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa in a large mixing bowl. Using a mixer on low, mix to combine. Keeping the mixer on low, add the oil, buttermilk, then eggs one at a time.

Slowly add the hot coffee in a thin stream, pouring down the side of the bowl. Just a warning – the cake batter gets very thin after you add the coffee so don’t panic, it’s meant to be like that. Add the vanilla and mix until the batter is smooth.

Divide the cake batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for about 40-50 min or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Allow to cool in pans for at least 20 minutes.



salted caramel buttercream

adapted from gimme some oven

250g butter, cubed and at room temperature
1 cup icing sugar
8 tbsp salted caramel sauce

In a stand mixer beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy and it becomes pale yellow in colour. Add sifted icing sugar and salted caramel and mix to combine.

(This recipe makes WAY more buttercream than needed for the cake – I aways make too much because I don’t want to run out of buttercream – so feel free to make a smaller batch.)



bailey’s buttercream
I love Bailey’s and tend to get a bit heavy handed with it whenever I make this buttercream. If you feel like the xxx is too much feel free to add bits at a time until it’s to your liking. Alternatively you can substitute it with another coffee liqueur such as Kahlua.

400g butter, cubed and at room temperature
2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp instant coffee powder (if you have granules you can push it through a sive with a spoon)
2/3 cups  Bailey’s
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a stand mixer beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy and it becomes pale yellow in colour. Add sifted icing sugar and instant coffee powder and mix to combine.

While mixer is on low, slowly add the Bailey’s a few tablespoons at a time and mix until incorporated between additions. When all the Bailey’s has been added beat on medium speed for a few minutes.

(Again, this makes WAY too much buttercream)



to assemble
Trim the top part off the cakes. An easy way to do this by using your fingers as a measure and adding toothpicks to where the cake needs to be cut. I used four toothpicks evenly spread around the cake. Then use a sharp knife, starting at one toothpick, carefully cut the cake using a long sawing motion. At this stage you don’t have to cut all the way to the centre of the cake, just deep enough that your knife can reach the next toothpick. Continue until you have made a cut around the whole of the cake then cut the centre. Carefully remove the top part of the cake. (I always use this to do a quick taste-test with the buttercream).

Place the bottom layer onto your serving plate. Fill a piping bag with the salted caramel buttercream. Pipe along the edge of the cake then fill in the centre and smooth out with a palate knife. Alternatively you could spoon the buttercream on to the cake and use a palate knife to spread it out but I find using a piping bag to be a bit neater.

Place the top layer of your cake on top of the buttercream making sure the layers stack neatly.

To get a smooth(ish) finish to the cake fill another piping bag with the Bailey’s buttercream. Pipe vertical line on to the cake all the way around. I piped a line every 0.5-1cm. When you’ve gone all the way around the cake use a palate knife to smooth the buttercream out. Like you did with the bottom layer pipe along the edge of the top of the cake then fill in the centre and smooth out with a palate knife. If you’re having trouble getting a smooth finish to your cake try pouring some hot water over your palate knife, drying it, and then smooth out the buttercream.

Time to decorate! I used the left over buttercreams to pipe blobs onto the top of the cake. I also melted some dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa) and piped blobs on to the cake. Finally I sprinkled some chopped almonds and roasted cacao nibs around the blobs. I also made salted almond praline to go on top of the cake but it’s missing from the pictures because the last time a cupcake version the alcohol in the buttercream made the sugar in the praline to melt (think puddles of caramel everywhere) so it needed to be added at the last minute.

the fatty bum bum cake

 

I really hope you enjoyed my first real blog post! Comments/suggestions are welcome and I hope to see you back here soon.