August 9, 2011

Chocolate-Buttercream Cake Decadence Pie

Generally, when I bake I follow a recipe. But sometimes recipes don't turn out quite right, which is unacceptable when you are baking to thank an intern who has slaved away to help you all summer and even let you bum an impromptu ride for 8 hours.

Sometimes you think you are smart wrapping up a roll cake in a dish towel for a while before filling it with buttercream and topping it with ganache (think homemade swiss cake roll). And sometimes when you unroll the cake, it cracks in 27 place and it will not come close to rolling back up again.
Then, my friend, you must innovate because you cannot waste decadent-tasting cake. So I made cake roll I had planned for into a cake pie: luscious, thick chocolate cake crust with buttercream icing filling topped with ganache. Instead of icing being a light finish on cake, icing rules this cake. It might be the best dessert mistake I've made.
Before you start to think I think outside the box more than I actually do, let' me say my cake pie innovation has two recipe sources: Nanaimo Bars, a similar tasting dessert that layers a chocolate-graham mixture, buttercream and straight chocolate, and a Tiramisu Toffee Trifle Pie, which turns cake into a pie crust and fills it with cream.
Hopefully the passion with which all of our cake-partaking going away partygoers and contributors to the cause of not wasting leftovers spoke of the cake creation reflects a tiny bit of how awesome its honoree, my intern extraordinaire, Mia, is!

Chocolate-Buttercream Cake Decadence Pie
Adapted from Eat, Live, Run

1 recipe Chocolate Roll Cake (below)
1 recipe Buttercream Filling (below)
1 recipe Chocolate Ganache (below)

Prepare cake and let cool. (You can prepare the cake in advance if you like.) Prepare buttercream filling. Cut or break cake into chunks and arrange on the bottom and sides of a pie plate like a thick pie crust. You will probably use most, but not all, of the cake to make the cake crust. Pour Buttercream Filling into the cake crust.

Put the pie plate in freezer while you prepare the Chocolate Ganache. Pour hot ganache over the top of the buttercream; freeze for 30 minutes for the ganache to set. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Chocolate Roll Cake

6 oz. semisweet chocolate
6 Tbsp. butter
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350.

Grease a jelly roll pan (baking pan) and then lay a sheet of wax paper on top and butter the wax paper as well, making sure to get the sides of the pan greased.

Melt the butter and chocolate together over very low heat until smooth. Take off the heat, add the sugar and mix well.

Beat eggs until thick, pale and light. This will take about seven-eight minutes beating on high. Fold in the chocolate mixture and vanilla extract, but be careful not to over-mix (this will deflate the eggs).

Mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk to the cake batter, folding slowly the entire time. Make sure to get down to the bottom of the bowl with your rubber spatula!

Spread the cake batter onto your prepared pan and smooth out to the edges, making sure the batter is evenly distributed.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Buttercream Filling

1 stick butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. milk

Beat together the softened butter and powdered sugar until well mixed. Add the milk and vanilla and beat until very light and fluffy— about six minutes.

Chocolate Ganache

2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Bring cream to a simmer on the stove. Immediately pour over chocolate chips and stir to melt.

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