(Serves approximately 30)
Animal Cookie Decorations
1 tube refrigerated sugar cookie dough
2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbs milk (or a little more until you get a good glazing consistency)
assorted food coloring colors
Roll out the dough and cut with animal shaped cookie cutters. Bake for about 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees until light brown. Let cool completely and then frost with the prepared icing.
You can make these well in advance as they keep for a while. Let them set and dry completely so the icing becomes hard and smooth.
Chocolate Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees
I made three batches of this recipe and baked it in 10 inch round cake pans. I baked the layers a couple of days in advance and put them in the freezer. This made them easier to work with and also gave me the time to fill and decorate on the day of the event.
Instructions for each layer:
1lb lt. brown sugar
2 c. flour, sifted
¼ tsp. salt
Mix together in a large bowl
1 cup hot water
1 stick butter
2-1oz squares unsweetened baking chocolate
Mix together in a glass bowl until smooth, if necessary microwave on high for one minute. Cool slightly and add to flour mixture.
2 eggs, separated.
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
½ cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
Beat yolks in buttermilk and add vanilla and soda, then add to flour and chocolate mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff and them fold into the batter. Grease and flour the sides of the cake pans and line just the bottom with wax paper cut in a 10 inch circle.
Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
1 can Oregon Fruit Red Raspberries
2 Tbs. cornstarch
Drain the syrup into a small saucepan. Whisk in cornstarch. Heat and whisk until slurry is thickened and clear. Remove from heat and stir in raspberries. Let cool completely and refrigerate until ready to assemble the cake.
Mascarpone and Cream Cheese Filling
4 oz. mascarpone at room temperature
8oz cream cheese at room temperature
1 stick of butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ lbs. confectioner’s sugar
Beat the cheeses and butter together in a stand mixer until creamy. Add vanilla and then gradually beat in sugar until it is thick and spreadable and smooth. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the cake.
18 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Heat whipping cream in a saucepan just until it boils. You have to watch it closely as it boils over fast! Put chocolate chips in a bowl with pour spout and pour the cream over the chocolate. Mix together until the chocolate is smooth and the ganache is shiny. Let cool while assembling the cake.
Stack the first layer top side down on a cake plate. Spread with cream cheese frosting and then pipe a thick layer around the edges. Spread ½ the raspberry filling on top of the cream cheese. Place the second layer top side down on the filling. Repeat with filling. Then place the final layer top side down so that the top of the cake is absolutely flat and level. At this point just for support, I inserted three wooden skewers cut to the exact height of the cake.
Pour the ganache over the top of the cake starting in the center and pouring in a circle from the center to the edges very slowly. Watch this video first. As you get to the edges let the ganache spill over the sides to coat completely. You can use a spreader to fill in any gaps to get complete coverage. After the cake cools you can scrape the excess ganache that has collected around the base of the cake with the spreader and then wipe the cake plate with a wet paper towel.
Stand the cookies around the base of the cake, pressing against the ganache.
Using matching ribbon that matches your cookie colors, wind around a wooden dowel like a maypole. I glued the ribbon to the base of the dowel with hot glue to start and on the top to hold. Then cut long strands of ribbon to flow over the cake and to puddle around the base of the cake.
Tags: Chocolate Raspberry Mascarpone Cake