Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oreo Cookie Cake

Yes, named for and made with our favorite cream-filled chocolate cookie (double-stuffed, please). This cake is best eaten with milk. I used a dark chocolate recipe for the cake that included crumbled chunks of the cookie, and a special mix of the cream filling (I don't like to waste) and home-made "stuf". Instead of torting the cake layers like I do for the Cordials and Hex-a-lot, I left the cake in two solid layers and filled it with a thick layer of cream filling. I then iced the cake in chocolate icing and sprinkled the left over cookie crumbles on top of the cake.

I originally made this cake for a lady I worked for; she wanted it for her friend's birthday. Because he liked the mint-flavored fillings, I tinted it green and added mint flavoring. He said he loved the think layer in the middle best because so many other places you buy a cake and the filling is almost not there.

One thing we agree on, however... best eaten with a tall glass of cold milk, but don't try to dunk this "Oreo"!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The (Insert fruit here) Cordial

So here is my favorite cake to date: the Cordial. More specifically, the White Chocolate Strawberry Cordial. My inspiration actually came from chocolate covered cherries, or cherry cordials. While not intending to replicate the gooey center of the cordial, the fruit and a white creamy filling intrigued me. Each one of the Cordials has one pound of fruit in it, represented as a solid layer in the center of the cake and as garnishment on the top and sides. The chocolate variations of the Cordials have chocolate cake of one kind or another, while the white chocolate Cordials have yellow cake in them (preferably of the butter persuasion).

My first attempt at this cake yielded a super sweet cherry and chocolate concoction; not quite what I had intended, but a good start, I would think. Deciding that I liked strawberries better anyway, I decided to try the Chocolate Strawberry Cordial.Ever wonder what goes into these cakes?Much prettier to look at and easier on the sweet tooth, this combination of tart strawberries and cordial cream went very well with my chocolate butter cream icing. Further tweaking resulted in the Chocolate Raspberry Cordial for my dearest (as partial to raspberries as I am to strawberries).
This time I played with the embellishment a little (I got some new toys from the cake decorating people), and the pattern pressed into the side worked elegantly well with the raspberries on top.
I guess this next rendition could best be described as a Berry Blast Cordial. Red raspberries, black raspberries, and strawberries all in one cake. I did my standard 4 layer tort, but instead of 2 layers of cordial cream and one layer of fruit, I opted for 3 thinner layers of cream with a thin layer of the fruit, one fruit per filling layer.Finally for Father's Day this year I made the Chocolate Blackberry Cordial for my father. I couldn't stay to see him try it, but I did get a voicemail later... 2 solid minutes of "Yum" and "Yummy!" I don't think I've ever heard a more satisfied voicemail in my life.
Usually the specialty cakes I do are 8" rounds or about that size in square or hexagon, but a dear friend loved the raspberry cake so much, that he asked for it for his birthday (a party of 20 people), so I ended up super-sizing the cake. A little more difficult, but doable, finally ending up with a 9"x13" edition."Thou Rocketh!" refers to a prayer said after inspiration came to my friend solving computer trouble he'd been having for almost a week; a story we still laugh about to this day.

The Strawberry Sweetheart

Sweetness if ever I saw it. Leroy wanted a cake for his beloved for her birthday, and he wanted it to be a surprise. He came to me asking about a heart-shaped strawberry cake (her favorite flavor). This is what I came up with. Solid strawberry cake, white icing on the top, pink on the sides (took me a while to figure that one out), with contrasting beading for the edges.

The day of her birthday, I brought it down to him to store in the refrigerator until lunch (when he planned to give it to her). I meandered my way back to her area to wish her a happy birthday, mentioning nothing about the cake. I was there when he gave it to her... she gave me "that look" and couldn't believe I hadn't mentioned it while I was back there. He, he, he. Sneaky.

Over all, a wonderful cake, a cute story, and a sweet couple. Strawberry for my sweetheart.

The Cake that started it all

Sometimes a stroke of Genius really strikes you. This is one of those times. I am a chocolate lover. I have a love affair with chocolate that dates back to before my conception. In my pre-mortal existence, I was the essence of chocolate. So why do I tell you this? Simple, my stroke of genius was the Hex-a-lot-a-chocolate. Once coined the Pentachoc (with 5 chocolates), I decided I needed a nice round number, hence 6

Let me decorate your imagination for a moment... Chocolate cake, with chocolate chips and ribbons of chocolate fudge baked into it. If you're keeping count, that's 3 so far. Filled with white chocolate icing (4), and covered with a generous layer of chocolate icing (5). For the pièce de résistance, shaved chocolate adorning the crown of this rich cake. There you go... 6.

Perhaps most notable, the smell alone is almost enough for an overload to the senses. I made the mistake of taking in this cake to my (at present post) mother-in-law to be for this past Mother's Day... at church... on a fast Sunday. Conversations stopped as the cake entered the chapel and everyone watched this cake. I seriously thought I was going to be mugged on my way to our seats. The next time I boxed it and hid it under my chair.

Now I will admit that there have been several renditions of this cake:
- the Hex-a-lot II where the white chocolate filling and the chocolate icing have been reversed
- the Mini-Hex where the cake is 6" instead of eight with little white chocolate flowers on the sides (quite nice for a little cheer-me-up)
- the Mother's Day Hex-a-lot with contrasting chocolate (or white chocolate) roses and writing.

In its final form, this cake has been known to disappear quickly at church functions, dinner parties, and anywhere else chocolate lovers tend to congregate.