Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Let The Party Begin!

The "What can I eat that's gluten free" theme this week is cool treats. Even with all the hot Oregon weather lately, I haven't made any cool treats. Instead, I'll refer you to one of my first posts about "Frozen Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate." (pictured above) This is the coolest of the cool treats. Thanks again to Cathy at Noble Pig for sharing this recipe.

Now, on to the Party. Yesterday was my wife's birthday. She was able to relax a bit during the day before the two of us went to a nearby outdoor concert featuring a local pianist and his band. A few days ago, I asked my wife what kind of cake she wanted for her birthday. She said "chocolate with vanilla frosting." I let that sink in for a minute and then I dragged her over to the computer. "What about this?" I said excitedly. "Or this?" "Or even this?" I was wide eyed and practically drooling at all the choices flashing before me on the Internet. I looked back at my wife. "What do you think?" She just shrugged her shoulders and said; "Can't you just buy one of Laurel's cake mixes at the store and top it with Pillsbury vanilla frosting?" Ok, if that's what you really want. So, I made a trip to the store and they were all out of Laurel's cake mix. Oh well. Instead, I had to make a cake from scratch. Before I give out this recipe, you may want to send small children or the elderly in frail health out of the room. Is the coast clear? It's just us now, right? Pssstt, this cake is not healthy for you. There is a ton of sugar, butter, chocolate, and calories. But hey, it's a birthday cake. A birthday comes around but once a year and by eating this cake, you'll prove to everyone that you have the strength to live another year. Besides, if cake were supposed to be good for you, it would be called broccoli, right? Here's the recipe:

Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Ganache Filling:
3 cups brown sugar (just close your eyes and throw it in the bowl)
1 cup butter (2 sticks-softened)
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-2/3 cup GF flour mix
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/3 cup sour cream
1-1/3 cup boiling water
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-1/4 cup heavy cream
2-1/2 tablespoons butter
2-1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pillsbury Vanilla -per request

Begin by creaming together brown sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly before adding vanilla. After the vanilla is added, mix on medium high speed for about 2-3 minutes to a light airy consistency.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: GF flour mix, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

Alternate adding sour cream and dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Finally, add the boiling water and mix slowly, just until combined. Divide batter between 3 prepared 9 inch cake pans. Prepare cake pans by buttering and dusting with gf flour mix. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-35 minutes. Mine baked for about 28 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for 20-30 minutes before inverting onto a parchment lined baking sheet or cutting board. Place layers of the cake in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up.

Prepare the ganache by bringing the heavy cream, butter, and sugar to a boil in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Place chocolate chips in a metal bowl, pour hot cream mixture over the chips and let sit for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, stir up the ganache. Cool to at least room temperature if not a little cooler. The ganache will firm up as it cools.

Remove the cake layers from the freezer. Spread an even layer of ganache between each layer of cake. Spread a very thin, "crumb layer" of vanilla frosting on. The crumb layer is meant to hold together all the dark chocolate crumbs so they don't show through in the final frosting. Stick the whole thing back in the freezer for another 15 minutes.

The impatient, wild lioness stalks her prey waiting for the right moment to attack when no one is looking. On to the frosting. Remove the cake from the freezer and apply the final coating of frosting.

Pipe on some left over ganche. I am not a professional decorator by any stretch, my hands shake terribly. "Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday where's a knife, a fork, and my plate?"

Here's to another year. Happy Birthday Honey!!!


  1. You know...I think you fudged about the Laurel's cake mix. You were a man on a mission to make a "from scratch" chocolate cake! Go ahead, admit that you went to the store, saw the cake mix and just passed it up! :) All I can say is that your wife is one lucky lady to get a homemade birthday cake. I'll bet the lioness enjoyed it too!
    A very sweet story.

  2. Holy chocolate cake! That looks incredibly good.

    Yes, your wife is one lucky lady. :)

  3. You are so talented!! I am so impressed. Yes, your wife is lucky - not only because of the cake - but because it's so obvious how much you love her.

  4. Well, HAPPY BIRTHDAY and HAPPY EATING!! That cake looks so yummy and it definately is one I should not eat!! (But I didn't leave the room-I had to keep reading!) Can't believe she is 33. I knew her before she was born! You sure do treat her right and feed her well. Keep up the good work!

  5. Happy Birthday to your wife =D! The cake looks divine!

  6. Lori, Ok,maybe I was on a mission. However, I truly looked for the cake mix. I went to two different stores and they were out at both. P.S. you're not the only unsophisticated one, I had no idea about the extract until I looked into it a little more.

  7. Ah! That makes me feel much better. My husband and my 16 yr old knew that (unless they lied). It was my topic of conversation for 2 days!

    OK, I'll trust you on the cake mix. :) Hope it was delish.

  8. Love that drink! And I am so impressed you made her a whopper of a cake on her birthday. You are a good man my friend.

  9. Holy cow! That looks so nummy! Great job. Nothing like actually eating cake on your birthday to make it feel like a birthday.

  10. That looks AMAZING...

    I do believe I know what I'm going to make for my birthday cake in 2 months. (Yup, I make my own cake - but its a fair trade. My husband lets me make a HUGE elaborate mess playing around with new ideas and recipes... and than cleans up the mess with a smile. I get all the parts I love about cooking - none of the downsides!)

    Thanks for the recipe (and happy birthday to your wife.)