Saturday, May 29, 2010

A butterfly baby shower cake ....

for my friend LeAnne. We are celebrating the impending arrival of LeAnne and Pastor James' first baby. To wish the new "parents to be" many wonderful blessings for their impending delivery from the stork, the women at our church put on a shower for her and I got the task of making her a special cake.

The theme chosen was 'butterflies'. The sugar flower decorations were inspired by Jacqueline Butler, sugar artist from La Jolla, California, owner of Petalsweets. Her beautiful and lifelike bouquets inspired me to make some flowers for the butterflies.

The top and middle tier was a chocolate cake with a Chocolate Truffle cream cheese filling.(Recipe below) The bottom tier was a vanilla cake with a lemon curd and lemon cream and fresh berries filling. The entire cake was iced with a vanilla Italian Meringue butter cream frosting.

BHG Chocolate Lover's Cake

* 3/4 cup butter
* 2 eggs
* 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 2/3 cup boiling water
* 2/3 cup buttermilk or sour milk
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 3/4 cup packed brown sugar


1. Let butter and eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans; set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together cocoa powder and boiling water until smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla; set aside. In medium bowl stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350F. In a mixing bowl beat butter with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugars; beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition. Beat in one-third of the flour mixture on low speed just until combined after each addition. Beat in half of buttermilk mixture. Mixture may look curdled. Beat in half of the remaining flour mixture, then the remaining buttermilk mixture, and finally, the remaining flour mixture.

3. Divide batter between prepared pans, spread evenly. After putting cakes into the oven, lower the temperature to 325F. Bake about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans. Let cool on wire rack.

Chocolate truffle cream cheese filling

* 1 cup heavy whipping cream
* 8 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate (61% cacao)
* 8 oz cream cheese room temperature (Trader Joe brand or Philly's)

Place chopped chocolate in medium bowl. Bring cream just to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Pour over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then stir until ganache is melted and smooth. Let remaining ganache stand at room temperature to cool until barely lukewarm.

Whip up the cream cheese add in 1/2 cup of ganache mixture. Mix until mixture thoroughly incorporated (no white streaks from the cream cheese) and chill for 10 minutes.

Finishing the cake:

Place a rack inside rimmed baking sheet. Carefully run knife around pan edges to release cakes. Invert 1 cake layer onto cardboard round or bottom of 8-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Peel off parchment paper. Place cake layer on round on prepared rack. Spoon dollops of chilled ganache in the center of the cake round, then spread evenly. Invert second cake layer onto another cardboard round or tart pan bottom. Peel off parchment paper. Carefully slide cake off round and onto frosted cake layer on rack.

Pour half of barely lukewarm ganache over cake, spreading over sides to cover. Freeze until ganache sets, about 30 minutes. Pour remaining ganache over cake, allowing to drip down sides and spreading over sides if needed for even coverage and to smooth edges. Freeze to set ganache, about 30 minutes.

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