Thursday, October 15, 2015

Chocolate Sprinkles Cake with Fluffy Chocolate Ganache Frosting

My son just had a birthday this week and this was the cake I made for him.  I've been super busy with everything in my life right now that I was glad that he wasn't fussy about how his birthday went.  As long as he got his favorite food for dinner (sushi!), some cool presents (like a Nerf gun!), and a cake (homemade by his momma!), he's contend.  I tell you, birthday celebration for a teen boy is so much simple.  I like how mellow it is with no drama whatsoever!

Anyway, this cake's inspiration came from looking at funfetti cake.  I asked my son what kind of cake he wanted.  He said anything will do as long as it is a chocolate cake.  And so I bargained with him that I would make the frosting chocolate but the cake yellow with chocolate sprinkles in it.  The chocolate sprinkles that I used wasn't the regular jimmies, but the one that's made from real chocolate.  As someone who was born in Indonesia, I'm used to eat chocolate sprinkles in sandwich bread.  The origin of eating this type of food came from the Dutch, who occupied Indonesia for quite some time and brought their eating habits to Indonesia.  The chocolate sprinkles is called hagelslag, which means hailstorm; and I think the name fits very well.  Chocolate hails sandwich is such a comfort food!   The way the sandwich is prepared is to slather bread slices heavily with butter so the sprinkles will stay put.  Although my son was born here, it's a habit that he's acquired since I've served to him from time to time.  To see which chocolate sprinkles to use, see here.

My husband teased me endlessly about the appearance of this cake, saying that the chocolate sprinkles creates a pattern like ants in the cake, but of course the cake tastes nothing like it!  I think it's simple, elegant, manly enough, and not too mention very delicious.  The texture of the cake is tender with tight crumbs allover and the frosting is equally rich and delectable.  I'm happy that I made this cake for my son because it's perfect for him.

Chocolate Sprinkles Cake with Fluffy Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Makes one 8-inch, 2-layer cake

For the cake
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
3/4 cup real chocolate sprinkles or hagelslag

For the fluffy chocolate ganache frosting
12 ounce semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350F.  Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.

To make the cake:  Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy.  Stop the mixer a few times and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and paddle to release any clinging butter or sugar.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla just until combined.  On low speed, slowly pour the egg mixture into the butter mixture and mix just until incorporated.  Scrape the bowl and paddle again, then beat on medium speed for 20 to 30 seconds, or until the mixture is homogenous.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  On the lowest speed, add about one-third of the flour mixture to the egg-butter mixture and mix just until barely combined.  Immediately pour in about half of the buttermilk and continue to mix on the lowest speed until the buttermilk is almost thoroughly incorporated.  Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl well.  Again on the lowest speed, add about half of the remaining flour mixture and mix just until barely combined.  Add the rest of the buttermilk and mix just until combined.  Be careful not to overmix.

At this point, it is best to finish the mixing by hand.  Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and using the rubber spatula, fold in the remaining flour mixture and the chocolate sprinkles just until the batter is homogenous.  As you fold, be sure to incorporate any batter clinging to the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the cakes spring back when pressed in the middle with a fingertip.  Let cool completely in the pans on wire racks.

To make the ganache frosting:  While the cake layers are cooling, put the chocolate in a medium heatproof  bowl.  In a small saucepan, scald the cream over medium-high heat (bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan, but the cream is not boiling).  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for about 1 minute, then slowly whisk together the chocolate and cream until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.  Let sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours, or until completely cool.  (Or refrigerate the ganache until cool, about 30 minutes, whisking every 10 minutes.)

Fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat the butter on medium-low speed for 10 to 15 seconds, or until smooth.  Add the confectioners' sugar, salt, and vanilla and continue to beat on medium-low speed for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture is fluffy and smooth.  Stop the mixture a few times and use a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl and the paddle to release any clinging butter or sugar.  On medium speed, add the cooled ganache and beat for about 2 minutes, or until completely combined.  Stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.   Turn up the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for about 1 minute, or until the frosting lightens in color and thickens.  You should have 4 cups.

Remove the cooled cakes from their pans.  Using along, serrated knife, trim the top of each cake to level it.  Place one cake layer on a cake plate.  Spoon about 1 cup of the frosting on top and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly to the edges.

Carefully place the second cake layer, top side down, on top.  Spoon about 1 cup of the frosting on top and spread it over the top and down the sides of the cake, smoothing the frosting as well as you can and covering the entire cake with a thin layer.  If time permits, refrigerate the cake for 20-30 minutes to let the crumb coating set.  Spoon a heaping cup or so of the frosting on top of the cake, and spread it evenly across the top and down the sides.  If desired, spoon any remaining frosting into a pastry bag and decorate the cake as you like.

The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Source:  adapted from Flour by Joanne Chang