Happy Wednesday all! I am really excited to share what I have been creating with you guys today. I have somewhat of a signature cake, it’s called Guilty Pleasure. It consists of chocolate cake, drizzled and layered with dark chocolate ganache and chocolate chip cookies. It’s an absolute crowd pleaser and one of my favorite cakes. Earlier this week I had a friend reach out asking for a cake, for what was supposed to be her daughter’s graduation this weekend. She required something with chocolate and something decadent. After messaging back and forth about the Guilty Pleasure, she decided that instead of chocolate chip cookies in the middle, she wanted BROWNIE PIECES. I nearly lost my mind because I can’t believe I’ve never even considered doing that. It inspired my search for the perfect brownie recipe, and, the new cake was born.
I will be posting recipes for the cake, brownies and ganache I use. My chocolate chip cookie recipe is posted earlier in my blog if you would like to make the original cake, I have a feeling you’re gonna want the brownies though. This brownie recipe is courtesy of Browned Butter Blondie. She is a bad-a** baker and food photographer, you should check her out! These are the brownies I’ve been posting all over social media. They are probably the best brownies I’ve ever made. Perfectly chewy texture with the perfect amount of fudgie-ness. And that brown butter – oh my gosh, it changes everything. As you can see, I made a second batch with peanut butter – highly recommend!
So here is the Brown Butter Brownies recipe. I am going to link the original recipe so if you are curious you can check her original instructions. She also does a great job explaining how to brown butter if you have not before! https://brownedbutterblondie.com/the-best-brown-butter-brownies/
Recipe: yields 1- 9×9″ baking pan.
- 1 cup salted butter, browned
- 7 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp. dutch cocoa, sifted
- 1 tbsp. vanilla
- 3 eggs, at room temp
- 1 & 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup flour
- Set your oven to 325 degrees. After browning the butter, immediately add the chocolate chips, vanilla and sifted cocoa. Stir until incorporated and set aside to cool for 8-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a mixer with the whip attachment, whip the eggs with the sugar on medium until light and airy, about 3 minutes.
- Turn the mixer on low and slowly add in the browned butter & chocolate mixer.
- Turn off mixer and add in the flour, folding it in by hand. Do not over mix.
- Pour the brownies into a parchment lined and sprayed pan, and bake for approximately 37 minutes. Her recipe says to bake for 45 minutes, but mine baked much faster. I think I would risk burning if I had kept it in for the full 45, so make sure you are checking on them every 15 minutes.
Chocolate Cake Recipe: yields 2 – 8″ round cake tins.
- all purpose flour- 2 cups
- granulated sugar- 2 cups
- dark cocoa powder – 3/4 cup
- baking soda- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons
- baking powder – 1 & 1/2 teaspoons
- salt- 1 teaspoon
- milk- 1 cup
- eggs, room temp – 2 each
- vegetable oil – 1/2 cup
- vanilla extract – 2 teaspoons
- hot water – 1 cup
- In a bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl or measuring cup, combine your wet ingredients: milk, eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla and water.
- With a whisk, combine the wet and dry ingredients & mix until there is no raw flour or cocoa powder clinging to the sides.
- Spray & line your cake pans with parchment or wax paper.
- Pour batter into cake pans and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.
Dark Chocolate Ganache: yields about 2 cups.
- 8 ounces dark chocolate chips or block cut into pieces
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
Directions for double boiler:
- In a glass or metal bowl, set up a double boiler with a small saucepan filled about halfway with water. Ensure the bowl fits inside the saucepan. If the bowl is too small, moisture will seep into the bowl and seize up the chocolate.
- Place chocolate and butter in the bowl, place bowl on top of saucepan.
- Over medium heat stir gently and frequently to combine ingredients.
- Once chocolate and butter is smooth and without lumps, remove from heat and set aside.
- If you are using a microwave: place chocolate and butter into a heat proof bowl and microwave in 45 second intervals, mixing to ensure ganache is smooth and without lumps.
Assembling the cake. This cake is extremely easy to throw together, so if you’re new to the cake decorating scene this is a great cake to start with!
Things to know before cutting & decorating: make sure your serrated knife is sharp. If you try to cut with a dull knife, this process with be more of a headache than a simple step. Using a turntable will help you cut the cake, but if you don’t have one, just use a large flat plate. You want something round so you can turn it as you cut the cake. Make sure you ganache is warm when decorating.
- Once cake has cooled, de-pan the cake and remove the parchment / wax paper. Flip right side up and place on cake turntable or large round plate.
- With a sharp serrated knife, cut the rounded top off of the cake. Do this by gently edging the knife into where the cake starts to round, place your hand on top of the cake to keep it steady. Then moving from your elbow keeping your wrist tight, start “sawing” the cake top off, turning the platter or turntable as needed. *This is a slow process, don’t try to rush it.
- Once the cake top is off, reserve for snacks. Find the center of the cake, and with the same technique, cut the cake in half.
- Take the bottom half of your cake and place it on your final cake plate or cake stand.
- Take a generous spoonful of the ganache and put it in the center of the cake. With the back of the spoon, cover the entire surface, allowing the ganache to soak in the cake and run down the sides.
- With your cooled brownies, break them up into small pieces and layer on the first half of the cake, creating a somewhat even layer. Drizzle more ganache so the cake top sticks better.
- Place the cake top on top of the brownie covered cake bottom.
- Repeat with the ganache, covering the top surface of the second half, allowing the ganache to run down the sides.
- Break up more brownie pieces, and place on top of the cake.
- Drizzle more ganache on top and voila, the cake is complete!
Look at this beauty. I think I’m naming it 3 Shades of Chocolate. What do you guys think?
I think my friend and her family are going to absolutely love it. I love the rustic look to this cake, it’s so matter-of-fact. I have some leftover brownies and ganache, I may have to make a cake for Mark and I to indulge in.
I hope you guys enjoyed this recipe! Like and share this post with someone who deserves a sweet treat. Let me know what you guys think, and post pictures and tag me if you make this cake (or the brownies). Cheers & happy baking!