I'm working on developing an Easter recipe for y'alls right now, but it isn't quite up to snuff yet, so in the meantime, here's the cake that I made for my roommate's birthday party this past weekend, at which our epic and famous pie made an encore appearance. Maria has been after me for quite some time now to use up the fat bag of olallieberries I have stashed in the freezer to free up freezer space, so I decided to make her an oreo olallieberry chocolate layer cake for her birthday -- oreos because they're nostalgic, and birthday cakes should be nostalgic; olallieberries because then our freezer space increases and because they're delicious, especially when combined with dark chocolate; and chocolate because... wait, do I really need to explain myself with that one?
The cake itself is fluffy black chocolate cake layered with cocoa-olallieberry Italian meringue buttercream, studded with oreo cookie chunks, and covered in drippy dark chocolate ganache. Between the tartness of the berries and the dark cocoa, the cake is only moderately sweet, just the way I like it: dark, not cloyingly saccharine, with a moody attitude. Oh, and gold flecks on top just for a bit of diva power. What the heck, right?--I was making a layer cake already. Might as well go all out!
With the bit of buttercream and cake that I had left over after I finished making the actual cake itself, here's what I did: cake shots! Layers of cake and buttercream, topped off with sprinkles, in a convenient shot glass. The perfect amount of single-serving, I'm-craving-cake-in-the-middle-of-the-night delicious-ness. Forget cake pops, which require painstaking shaping, freezing, and dipping. I'll take a cake shot (or two, or three), please! :-)
Now back to the kitchen to work out this Easter recipe!
Read on for recipe....
Oreo Olallieberry Chocolate Layer Cake
makes one four-layer 8" cake
for chocolate cake:
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1/3 cup black cocoa powder
2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tspn salt
1 tspn baking powder
1 tspn baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup whole milk
1 cup hot coffee
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease, flour, and line the bottoms of two 8" round cake pans. If desired, line the cake pans with bake-even strips.
2. In a mixer bowl, combine sugar, flour, black and Dutch-processed cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix to combine.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the beaten eggs, vegetable oil, and milk. Stir to mix. Then, with the mixer on low, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix on low until evenly distributed.
4. Pour the hot coffee into the batter and mix on medium low until smooth.
5. Divide the batter between the two cake pans.
6. Bake for 35-45 minutes. When a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out cleanly, the cakes are done. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Once completed, split the layers.
for cocoa-olallieberry buttercream:
1/2 cup olallieberry puree, from about 3/4 cup olallieberries
2 Tbspn black cocoa, sifted
11 oz. sugar (~310 grams)
5 oz. water (~140 grams)
150 grams egg whites (~5 egg whites)
pinch of cream of tartar, optional
50 grams sugar
4 sticks (1 lb) butter, at room temperature
food coloring, if desired
oreo cookies, chopped into sixths
1. In a small bowl, mix together the raspberry puree and sifted black cocoa. Set aside.
2. Combine water and 11 oz. (310 gr) sugar in a small pot over medium-high heat. Without stirring, bring to a boil and let cook until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F.
3. Meanwhile, place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a mixer bowl. With the whisk attachment, begin whisking the egg whites when the syrup begins to bubble on the stove. Start whisking on medium low until the whites begin to foam, then increase speed to high and gradually add the remainder of the sugar. Whip until soft peaks form and stop.
4. Once the syrup has reached 240 degrees F (soft ball stage) and the whites have been whipped to soft peaks, gradually pour the syrup in a small stream into the egg whites, whisking on medium high continuously. Be careful not to allow the sugar syrup to fall on the beaters.
5. Continue whisking until the bowl of the mixer is at body temperature and not warm anymore.
6. Slowly begin to add the butter, about a half tablespoon at a time.
7. Once all of the butter is incorporated, continue whisking while adding the olallieberry and cocoa mixture and the food coloring, if using. Beat until incorporated. Use immediately, layering with the chopped oreos.
for dark chocolate ganache:
3 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
2.5 oz. manufacturing or heavy whipping cream
1 Tbspn butter
1. Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl and set aside.
2. In a saucepan, heat the cream and butter just until simmering.
3. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate. Let sit for a minute or so.
4. Whisk the cream into the chocolate until smooth. Cool briefly and pour onto frosted cake.