Tuesday, June 3, 2008

cookies n' cream cake

I once read somewhere that when photographing food, you need to make it look heroic. This cake is definately heroic...in all it's ganache-spilling-over-the-sides glory. :) Basically, it has everything you'd want in a hero...fluffy yellow cake, cream cheese filling with Oreo cookie chunks, and satiny chocolaty goodness.

The filling was really simple to make, and it is basically the cream cheese frosting recipe posted for the Strawberry Patch Cake, only with Oreo chunks mixed in. I had intended for the frosting to go on the top and bottom of the cake, yet there ended up not being enough, and so I was left with a bare cake top. When this problem arises, ganache is always the answer! Usually, ganache is easily made with chocolate chips and a little bit of corn syrup to make it
set, yet there was not a chocolate chip to be found in my cupboard. Enter improv substitution:

And the equation to remember when you are all out of ganache-making materials...

chocolate chips + light corn syrup = chocolate ganache = milk + butter + cocoa powder + powdered sugar

And to my surprise, it came out pretty good! It probably needed to cook-up for a bit longer (which will make it set more), but the end result was pretty darn good. And delicious.
And FYI...those measurements in that ganache-splattered picture are meant to be doubled. :)

Cookies N' Cream Cake
Adapted from "Yellow Cake Made From Scratch"...allrecipes.com

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt (sorry, Leah ;)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup shortening
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cookies N' Cream Cheese Filling
Adapted from Cathy Love's "Cream Cheese Frosting"...foodnetwork.com

4 oz. butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup Oreos, chopped

Chocolaty Ganache

1/2 cup milk
4 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Cut a piece of wax paper to fit onto the bottom of the pan. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Dust bottom and sides of pan with flour.

In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream sugar and shortening until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating just to combine. Stir in vanilla. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. The top of the cake should spring back when lightly touched. After cake has cooled for 10 minutes, remove from pan.

While cake cools, prepare filling. In a small bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With mixer on low speed, add powdered sugar one cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in vanilla extract.

When cake is completely cool, slice into two 4.5x6.5-inch layers. Place one layer on a serving dish, and spread filling over cake. Top with second layer.

Prepare ganache...heat milk and butter in a double broiler, and combine until butter is completely melted. In a separate bowl, combine cocoa and powdered sugar. With a wisk, slowly add cocoa mixture to milk mixture until smooth. Pour warm ganache over cake, letting it drip down the sides.

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