Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Semi-homemade Chocolate Cake

This is one of the easiest cakes I've made. Just doctor up a regular chocolate cake mix and tub of frosting, and suddenly you've got something you can be proud of! To make the cake, I used a regular chocolate cake mix and added about 1/2 of a bag of melted chocolate chips to the mix. I baked it using 9" round cake pans. If you want your cakes to come out cleanly and without cracks, I recommend using the following technique. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the inside of your pan. Grease the bottom and sides of pan, place parchment circle inside, grease again, and add about 2 Tbs flour to coat. (If making a chocolate cake I recommend coating with cocoa powder instead. The flour will leave white marks on a chocolate cake.) After the cake was done baking and had cooled, I topped it with chocolate buttercream and dusted it with cocoa powder.

Semi-Homemade Chocolate Buttercream
1 tub storebought chocolate frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 bag melted chocolate chips (or 1 chocolate candy bar)
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix this all up using the paddle attachment until the frosting is smooth and creamy and holds its shape. It makes quite a bit, which is perfect for frosting and decorating the chocolate cake.

When assembling the cake, I recommend putting the first cake layer dome-side down (or cutting the dome off completely). This way, your cake will be level and will be easier to frost. The top layer should be done the same way-- I find that the dome side of round cake will flake off easier, resulting in a mess of frosting with specks scattered throughout. Dome side down will solve this problem. After frosting, I cut out a "K" using cardstock. I placed it gently on the cake and dusted the whole thing with cocoa powder. After removing the "K", I outlined it using a #4 tip and finished it off with a decorative border (tip #106 or 107 work equally well) and placed Junior Caramels around the outside.

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