Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Milky Way Madness

I was extremely fortunate to magically find a sublet with six wonderful strangers this summer.  I love all of them so much.  The best part, is that everyone in the house has a significant other except one.  (It was two of us, until Jay waltzed into my life two weeks ago).  This means that our house really has more like 11 people in it.  Luckily for me, all of my housemates have equally wonderful SOs, so I've made many new friends my first summer in Boston, without even leaving my house.

One of these awesome significant others is Heather, (Resi's girlfriend).  Heather's birthday is next week, so I collaborated with Resi to make her a cake.  I haven't done a candy-themed cake in a while, and have been itching to do one, so I asked Resi what Heather's favorite candy bar was.  Dark chocolate Milky Way cake it is!

Unfortunately, there was a little miscommunication/misunderstanding on when she wanted the cake.  She said Monday, and I thought she meant this one (the one before her birthday), but she actually meant the next one (after her birthday).  So I made the cakes last night, stuck them in the freezer, and then texted Resi to ask what time they would be home for the cake.  I didn't hear from her, so I figured I'd just go ahead and assemble it anyway.  While I was putting the filling in, Resi texted me back saying she wanted it next week.  Oh well, now they were both surprised, I guess!  Cake is good any day, right?

Dark Chocolate Milky Way Cake
Cake recipe used from Emma's Cake
Yield: 1 two-layer 8" cake

 Cake Ingredients
2 cups All-Purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1 1/2 tsps baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 cup strong brewed coffee
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
Whisk together dry ingredients
In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients
Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring continuously until smooth
Grease two 8" round cake pans and dust with cocoa
Evenly distribute the batter between both pans.  Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes.
Cool in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes.  Then gently invert cakes onto racks to finish cooling.
I recommend making the cakes a day ahead of time, and then freezing them in individual gallon-size freezer bags overnight.  This will help the cake hold together better during assembly and be less crumbly.  Remove cakes from freezer half an hour before assembly.

Vanilla Whipped Cream
Pour 1 container heavy whipping cream into a bowl.  Cut open a vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into it.  If you do not have a vanilla bean, use 1 tsp good vanilla extract.  Cover tightly and place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours. 

Beat cream on high with whisk attachment until stiff peaks form.  You want it a little stiffer than you would use for dolloping, but don't overbeat or you will have butter.

Cake Assembly
Two 8" round cakes
Vanilla whipped cream
Caramel sundae topping
Chocolate sauce (you can make your own from the recipe here)
Mini Dark Chocolate Milky Way candy bars (loosely chopped)
Gently shave off the tops of the cakes with a long, sharp, serrated bread knife to ensure that they are even and flat
Carefully spread a layer of whipped cream over the base cake layer, starting in the middle and pushing out to the edges.  Leave about 1/2"-1" of space to the edge of the cake.  When you place the top on, it will push the filling out further.
Swirl a little (or a lot) of caramel sauce on top of the whipped cream filling.
Place the top layer gently on top of the base and filling.  Top with more whipped cream, drizzle with caramel and chocolate sauce, and finish with chopped Milky Way pieces.

Even though it was a week early, I think it turned out to be a really spectacular cake.  I think it's safe to say it's one of my better looking cakes so far.  Now I just hope Heather and Resi like it!

Happy Birthday, Heather!  I hope you were surprised!
Love and cookies,

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