This is a recipe that is not for the faint of heart.
You must be a bona-fide chocoholic in order to truly appreciate it.
Otherwise, you may find yourself overwhelmed in chocolate-ness. Which, truly, might not be a bad place to be. But, only if you are the kind of person who likes that sort of thing.
It all started simply enough.
Mom and my step-dad decided they had a hankering for a nine-layer cake. There is some dissention as to who actually decided they wanted the cake first – neither is willing to take responsibility for the original idea.
When I got to town, it had become a full-blown obsession and we went on a hunt to find one – visiting a few local bakeries (even one run by an old high-school chum) only to find that “nobody bakes those anymore.” (the standard answer we received)
Apparently, nine-layer (or seven-layer) cakes are a pain to make and are prone to collapse/failure/all sorts of doom and gloom.
Mom and I decided we were not going to be thwarted so easily.
We would just make the cake ourselves.
We’re like that.
We don’t like taking “no” for an answer. We take it as a challenge.
So, we sought recipes for homemade icing and baked our cakes. (well, Mom baked the cake. I focused on the research.)
And the assembly began.
First we started with making the icing (recipe is at the end of this post)
The recipe called for 3-4 tablespoons of heavy cream. But we found that we had to increase that amount considerably to make it to a good icing consistency.
After two batches of icing were prepared and the cakes were cut, we were ready for assembly. We’d decided early on that there would not be seven, eight or nine layers. We were quite content with four. That would be challenge enough.
So, we slathered on our homemade icing and piled on the layers.
Just as I was putting the finishing touches on the outer layer of icing my step-dad magically appeared in the kitchen and whisked the cake right out from under my spatula.
I didn’t even get to take a picture of my finished masterpiece!
After diving in (all three of us) it was determined that the cake was a success. The number of layers were not really important. (Truthfully, I think it is just a way for a pastry chef to show off.)
I did manage to get a picture of the cake the next day – it’s a little crumb-y but that is because the cake itself is so delicate.
So, if you have a hankerin’ like we did, here’s a recipe for a truly decadent chocolate icing to go along with a standard yellow cake.
3 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa
1 stick of butter (softened)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
Sift cocoa, sugar together. Combine 1 cup of sugar/cocoa with butter. Add cream (1 tbsp at a time) and sugar/cocoa, alternately, until the icing is desired consistency. Add vanilla.
This is an icing recipe that really needs to be made with a mixer. I can tell you from experience that it truly doesn’t come together well without the mixer.
The icing also needs to be refrigerated. We made a double batch for this cake and had about 1 1/2 cups of extra icing left (which we’ll use for cupcakes next week)