Saturday, March 6, 2010

Hungry? Why wait...Snickers Cake.

Of course as Friday approached my mind raced with ideas for the latest cake creation. Thankfully, as I was prepping dinner one night I noticed some miniature Snickers bars in my candy jar (yes, I have a candy jar) and it dawned on me.. how awesome would it be to have a Snickers bar in cake form!? So I started brainstorming.. I had to make sure each component of the Snickers was replicated somehow in this cake: the fluffy part (what is that anyway?), the gooey caramel, the peanuts and of course the chocolate coating. Of course, you can't recreate perfection and nothing comes out exactly the way you plan it, so even though I tried to duplicate the flavors as close as possible, my culinary liberties lead me in some different directions. My mousse came out a little richer and darker than I originally had in mind, but in the end I think the bittersweet chocolate added a little something to a rather sweet creation. I should have known better using bittersweet chocolate, but hey, that's why these are adventures! That being said, I think the cake and all its fillings do a good job in trying to live up to the glorious candy bar that is Snickers.

I decided to go with a Yellow Cake base and again, for time sake, cheated.. I know, I know but I was thinking about it and from now on I'm calling this sort of cake semi-homemade like Sandra Lee does on the Foot Network; instead of Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee it'll be Semi-Homemade with Evan B.

So the Snickers Cake consisted of a semi-homemade Yellow Cake base with a fully homemade Chocolate Mousse filling, Ooey-Gooey Caramel complete with chopped peanuts of course and covered in Chocolate Buttercream.

Semi-Homemade Yellow Cake I've used this recipe before so just click the link to find the recipe- I also omitted the almond extract for this cake.

Just a warning.. when making mousse and/or caramel, the processes are a little tricky and you really have to pay attention to what you're doing and how the ingredients are working together. And give yourself a little time with this cake, because the mousse has to be refrigerated overnight.

Chocolate Mousse
adapted from Simply Recipes
4 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate (chopped)
2 TBS unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
3 eggs (separated)
2 TBS sugar

-Whip the cream until soft peaks form and place in the refrigerator.
-In a double broiler melt chocolate and butter until smooth. Once smooth, remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Test the chocolate by dabbing with your finger and touching to your lip- the chocolate should be warm, but not cold. If it is too cool the chocolate will not incorporate with the rest of the ingredients.
-Whip egg whites until foamy. Sprinkle sugar over and continue whipping until soft peaks form.
-Once chocolate is the right temperature stir in yolks. Gently stir in 1/3 of whipping cream.  Fold in half of egg whites just until incorporated, then fold in remaining egg whites and finally the rest of the whipping cream.
-Spoon into serving bowl or into small individual bowls.

*Note: This is a very rich dessert and very yummy, but unfortunately I was hoping for something a little sweeter. That being said, the next time I attempt mousse I might try using semi-sweet chocolate instead of bittersweet chocolate and/or incorporate more sugar.

Ooey Gooey Caramel
Found on Recipezaar

1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 TBS butter
1 TBS cream
1/2 TBS vanilla
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 salt

-Heat white sugar in a saucepan and do not mix until it has started to melt.
-Once sugar has started to melt, stir until it becomes a golden brown color.
-When sugar has become golden, remove from heat and immediately add butter and brown sugar.
-If needed, add to low heat to make sure butter and brown sugar are incorporated. After all is combined, mix in corn syrup, cream, salt and vanilla.
-Stir together until smooth, caramel will thicken as it cools.

Now for the assembly.

Because the original purpose of this cake was for class I used a recipe that yielded 2 8-inch round cakes and actually did some splitting and slices to make this into 3 layer cake. The nice thing about doing it yourself is that you can do whatever you want...If you want to use a cake recipe that yields 3 8-inch round cakes, then by all means do so, if you don't want to slice your cakes into smaller layers you can always just fill one time around, or if you choose to slice your 2 cakes into 4 and use more filling knock yourself out :) the possibilities are endless!

I actually had a slight mishap in the removal of one of my cakes, so even though I sliced each cake in half, one 3 layers were usable- hence my 3 layer cake.

With your first layer on a cake board, start by laying on a thick layer of Chocolate Mousse,  followed by a drizzling of caramel and topped off with a handful of crushed peanuts. Always remember to leave about 1/2 inch around the perimeter to pipe the Chocolate Buttercream so your fillings don't escape each layer. After filling stage is complete place second cake layer on top and repeat filling process. Place remaining cake layer on top of filling and complete cake by frosting with Chocolate Buttercream. You can find the Buttercream recipe on an earlier post-just click away.

Voila! A Snickers inspired cake.

Happy Baking :)

Adventures in Cake Decorating: Lesson#2 Class#1

The girls and I have made it to Lesson 2 (out of 4) in Cake Decorating. I honestly look forward to these classes at the end of a long week at work- did someone say dork?? For this class we worked on a couple new borders and learned how to make rose buds and chrysanthemums. Of course I had to show off my finished product...the mums are still a work in progress but I think they're so cute! Next week we're learning how to make flowers out of royal icing- I can't wait :)