Monday, September 28, 2015

Brownie mega cake with raspberry, rosewater, and cookie dough

brownie mega cake with rosewater, raspberry, and cookie dough

HELLO HUMANS. Boy, am I excited to share this beauty with you today.

If you follow me on Instagram (and if you don’t—well, I’ll wait for you!), you may recall the strange-looking cake I posted few weeks ago with the caption “Yeah I got some weird hobbies”. And that, I think, summarizes the motivations behind this creation of mine: the desire to be weird and creative through the medium of cake.

Other cake lovers out there can probably guess the inspiration behind this monstrosity—Katherine Sabbath—because damn if I don’t smell a KS-inspired cake a mile away. They’re always huge, first of all (unless they’re not). And piled on top of the multitudes of layers covered with colorful frosting are plenty of candy and sprinkles and macarons and mini bundt cakes and whatever the hell is going on in this cake. You don’t want to love it, but you do anyway. It almost seems wrong, from a moral perspective, for a cake to have so much stuff on it, so many layers and so much food coloring-tinted frosting and ganache and so many sprinkles, but you squee and click the little heart on Instagram anyway and gush over her account to anyone who will listen. (Or is that just me?)

Basically, I want to be Katherine Sabbath. I mean, those skills, man! *shakes head sadly*

So it was inevitable that someday, I attempted to make a KS-inspired cake of my own. Because she doesn’t have a blog or publish recipes (which, TBH, is probably for the best because if she did have a blog we’d all be out of a job), I went off of the photos and the accompanying descriptions to design the cake.

Starting with this photo. “Layers of double chocolate brownie, filled with cookie dough, Turkish delight and peanut butter fudge. Covered in raspberry rose buttercream and dark chocolate ganache.”

Clearly, “restraint” would have to be banished from my vocabulary if I was to succeed with this cake.

I toned it down a little, choosing to make a cake with a brownie base, rose-scented cookie dough stuffing, simple chocolate ganache, and raspberry rose frosting. I also drew on this photo, making raspberry chocolate bark for a colorful topping. For additional delicious toppings—because of course you need more toppings for a true KS cake!—I baked up some mini cookies (pinched off of the cookie dough filling) and got me some fresh raspberries.

The result?

Nailed it.

To be totally honest, my frosting job wasn’t exactly perfect. Nor did my ganache come out flawlessly smooth—I might have to start using an immersion blender for that. But overall, I was pretty proud of myself.

Close up of that swirly bark.

This being my first tiered cake—meaning, having layers of different sizes—I was a little nervous about the whole stacking thing. Would the 6-inch cake cause the 8-inch cake to buckle? Would it slide off? Did I need skewers of some sort to keep them together? How the hell would we even eat the thing?

I needn’t have worried, because it all came together without a hitch. Not knowing what the hell I was doing, I just frosted each set of layers separately, as if it were a separate cake, and placed the smaller one on top using a couple of spatulas. Nothing disastrous occurred, so I can only assume that method works.

I wouldn't lie to you, would I?

And although “nothing disastrous occurred”, I must admit that this was a very stressful project. Especially since I made in the week prior to the beginning of school, a very stressful (and tragic, seeing as it is the end of summer vacation) week already without having to put together a six-layer cake with seemingly hundreds of components (make that five). But through the power of Earth Balance and chocolate, June prevailed, miraculously. Woo.

I have but one regret to confess about this—I did not taste a bite of this cake. Nay, as it was for someone from my mother’s church, through an auction, yadda yah I didn’t really care, I was just sad to see this cake go. But I heard it got rave reviews at the woman’s party. So I’m assuming they were able to cut it decently well. Without total tragedy / chaos occurring. I did recommend that they remove the decorations on top before slicing the cake (which is a little sad to watch from the baker’s perspective, but hey at least I didn’t have to watch it happen in person).

Besides, I know what all of the components taste like (through sampling and previous experience, etc.). Surely they were lovely together. Even if...rosewater, and...cookie dough...don’t exactly sound like the perfect pairing. 

Flavor compatibility isn't exactly the top priority here.

So that’s all, folks. Here is the recipe for that huge, gauche, ridiculous, undeniably mega cake you see in those lovely photos.

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Brownie mega cake with raspberry, rosewater, and cookie dough

Ingredients

Brownie cake

3 6-inch brownie layers

3 8-inch brownie layers

Cookie dough filling

336 grams • vegan butter, room temperature • 1 1/2 cups

150 grams • granulated sugar • 3/4 cup

330 grams • light brown sugar • 1 1/2 cups

90 grams • nondairy milk • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons

2 grams • rosewater • 1/2 teaspoon

510 grams • all-purpose flour • 3 3/4 cups

9 grams • salt • 1 1/2 teaspoons

3 grams • baking soda • 3/4 teaspoon

7 grams • freeze-dried raspberries, ground into a powder • 1/4 cup

240 grams • chocolate chips • 1 1/2 cups

Raspberry rose frosting

336 grams • vegan butter, room temperature • 1 1/2 cups

540 grams • powdered sugar • 4 1/2 cups

60 grams • nondairy milk • 1/4 cup

7 grams • freeze-dried raspberries, ground into a powder • 1/4 cup

4 grams • rosewater • 1 teaspoon

Chocolate rose ganache

224 grams • dark chocolate, finely chopped • 8 ounces

244 grams • coconut milk, full-fat • 1 cup

2 grams • kosher salt • 1/2 teaspoon

1 gram • rosewater • 1/4 teaspoon

Raspberry chocolate bark

142 grams • vegan white chocolate, chopped • 5 ounces

142 grams • semisweet chocolate, chopped • 5 ounces

Handful of freeze-dried raspberries

Directions

First make your brownie layers. You will need 3 batches of brownie batter; divide evenly between baking pans and bake as directed in the recipe. Let cool completely before using.

To make cookie dough, start by placing vegan butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Cream until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and milk and mix to combine. Spoon in flour, salt, baking soda, and freeze-dried raspberries and mix just until a dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips.

Divide cookie dough between two 8-inch round baking pans and two 6-inch round baking pans, reserving some dough to make mini cookies. Press dough into an even layer. Chill until firm.

To make the mini cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the extra cookie dough into marble-sized balls. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the tops are dry and the edges are golden-brown. Let cool on a wire rack completely.

Make the frosting. Place vegan butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and beat until smooth. With mixer on low speed, spoon in powdered sugar a little bit at a time. Then slowly pour in milk and mix until incorporated. Add raspberry powder and rosewater. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.

To make the chocolate ganache, place chocolate and salt in a large bowl. Heat coconut milk in a small saucepan over low heat until steaming. Pour milk over chocolate and let sit for a minute. Whisk until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in rosewater.

To make raspberry chocolate bark, simply melt your two chocolates in separate bowls in the microwave (not at the same time, mind you) in 20-second bursts, stirring in between. Be sure not to over-heat the chocolate.

Pour the melted chocolates on a greased quarter sheet pan and swirl together with a butter knife or fork. Sprinkle freeze-dried raspberries on top to taste. Chill bark until firm, then break into pieces.

Finally, assemble your cake. Remove one 8-inch cookie dough layer from the baking pan and place on top of one of the brownie layers. Stack another brownie layer on top. Repeat so you have a three-layer 8-inch cake. Repeat with the 6-inch brownie and cookie dough layers.

Frost both the 8-inch and 6-inch stacked cakes with raspberry rose frosting. Carefully stack the 6-inch cake on top of the 8-inch one and smooth out the frosting if necessary. Drizzle chocolate rose ganache on top of the cake. For the finishing touches, decorate cake with the mini cookies you made and raspberry bark, plus fresh raspberries if desired.

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Yo, I made dis.

For more glorious layer cakes, check out the following posts.


Maple gingerbread cheesecake-stuffed cake. I have no idea what I was thinking when I made this cake. Pure ridiculousness deliciousness.

Momofuku carrot cake. God bless Christina Tosi.

Momofuku apple pie cake. An attempt was made.

22 comments:

  1. Whoa... this is so fancy!! I have never made a tiered cake before, but it looks amazing!

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    1. Thanks Cathleen! It was pretty amazing :)

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  2. Looks great! This surely is mega cake :)

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  3. Holy smoke! That cake looks out of this world :D Fancypants ;) I bet it was delicious! Love the garnish, so pretty :D x

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    1. Haha this is totally fancypants, I agree! :)

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  4. Oh, my gosh, this is one stunning, impressive cake! Well done, June!!!

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  5. Holy Cow, how do you come up with such amazing creations? This sounds and LOOKS heavenly. BEAUTY-FUL!!

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  6. Wow your cakes are epic. Thankyou for your comment on my blog so glad you did now I found this awesome cake blog.

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  7. What a beautiful cake! I wouldn't have been able to resist taking a giant slice for myself!

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    1. Thank you! Wish I could have got a slice myself :P

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  8. Oh my Gosh!!! That looks incredible! I'm in love with the unfinished look of the frosting and the dripping chocolate ganache! Not to mention the crazy topping as well :)

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    1. Thanks Tasbih! Covering it all with chocolate ganache was my favorite part :)

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  9. This cake is insane, I love it! Brownie is so much better than chocolate cake ANY day, so great idea to use brownie for the layers. Love that you used coconut milk in the ganache too :)

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    1. Yes, brownie cake is truly a treat! Makes a nice sturdy layer cake too :) Thanks Claudia!

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  10. Your cake turned out really well! You should always make extra layers for yourself lol! I'm sure you know this now, but just in case I thought I might make it a bit easier next time; when making a tiered cake you want a cake board (heavy enough to support the weight of the final cake, or it can crack your icing when lifted) as well as dowels (some people use thick straws-just some kind of internal support) between each tier that will have another cake on top, this helps the weight so your cake doesn't collapse. Your tiers were smaller and you used a dense cake/brownie so you were lucky ;) Hope that makes sense, so baseboard, cake layer, BC/filling, cake layer, etc. I put each tier on its own board regardless so I can move them in & out of the fridge easier (these are thin boards that are typically the same size as your cake layers or a bit smaller depending on your preference & these set on your dowels for support). Then I'd ice the cake, add your dowels then repeat for the 6' cake, the cake rounds underneath also help you move your layers easier without messing up your BC. The 6' obviously doesn't need dowels since nothing's going on top of that one besides your yummy toppings ;) hope that makes sense! So awesome, I can't believe that's your first tiered cake!

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    1. Thanks for the tips! I figured I didn't need dowels since the brownie cake is pretty sturdy on its own. Plus in lieu of the cake board I think the platter we got was pretty good--held up to the weight of the cake pretty well, but I'll have to look into getting a cake board specifically next time! It was a lot of fun so I'll definitely be making tiered cakes in the future :) Thank you for the comment!!

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