Showcased here is a Chocolate Stout Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting. I used a the Black Out Cake recipe from the cookbook Ovenly. A few things on the cake: its not your typical chocolate cake. It has a deep chocolate bitterness from the Onyx or Black Cocoa combined with Stout Beer….it almost resembles the taste of an Oreo cookie.
BUT for the sake of this post- I will comment more on the differences between Black Cocoa and Unsweetened Cocoa when I start my new series called on "Tips and Tricks to Becoming a Professional Baker at Home' so check in later to find out everything you will need to know in order to impress your family and friends with the best baked goods made from your own home. From the proper tools to use in the kitchen, the importance of creaming butter and sugar, to checking your oven temperature and measuring ingredients properly.
WARNING: Lots of photos in this post! I wanted to make sure you have a step by step guide with properly piping the frosting, layering the cake, and making it beautiful :)
I used two 6" round pans. The recipe yields two 9" pans but I prefer baking smaller size cakes. This eliminates some major potential pitfalls when baking the perfect cake from home. Plus I just love the size and ease of decorating a smaller stacked cake. I used the leftover batter to make cupcakes!
Step 1- Have all of your tools out and ready for use. This includes all four layers of the cake for assembling.
Offset Spatula (or a regular spatula will work)
Cardboard Cake Rounds
Step 2- Precut your two 6" round cakes in half (creating a total of FOUR even layers of cake). Place each layer on a sheet of parchment paper.
Step 3- Have your buttercream made and placed into a pasty bag. Cut about 1/2 inch off the tip of the bag.
Step 4- Using your spatula, spread a small layer of buttercream on the bottom cardboard. Choose the flattest side of one layer of your cake and place on top of the frosted cake cardboard. This is going to be the base for the entire cake, so choose wisely. The buttercream will allow the cake to stick to the cardboard and not slide off once you are transporting!
Step 5- Create a thick outer frosting barrier. Think of this as a tall frosting wall that will keep the filling from oozing out as you place each layer of cake on top. Simply pipe a thick lining wall along the outer edge of the cake.
Step 6- Pipe a dollop of frosting in the center and began to spiral the piping bag to fill the cake with frosting.
Step 7- Add your next cake layer and gently press down to make sure its firmly placed.
Step 8- Continue this method of frosting for each layer of cake. You can add or omit layers of cake depending on your desired height and size of the cake. I decided to use all four layers but it would have looked just as beautiful with only two or three as well.
**Place the cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or if you need to speed up the process (like I usually need to) place the cake directly in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Just enough to allow the frosting to set. This will make the cake more sturdy for frosting the outside.
Step 9- Transfer the cake out of the refrigerator (or freezer) and add a generous amount of frosting on top of the cake. You will need more than you anticipate (and the more the better!) so slather it on. You are preparing to push the frosting over the edges of the cake, to spread around the sides. The thicker the layer is, the less likely you will encounter crumbs coming through as you frost. Some people don't mind the crumbs, and I personally think the crumb frosting layer is very IN right now :)
If you do encounter any crumbs, simply use the spatula to wipe the frosting off and scrape the excess frosting onto the side of a clean bowl. Its important to wipe clean the spatula every couple of swipes.
Some would suggest a rotating cake stand. While it does make frosting a cake much easier, I personally don't feel that its necessary for a smaller cake. It all depends on the final look you are going for. Do you want a perfectly clean frosted cake or with soft edges? I prefer mine to look….well, not so perfect. Because thats just not fun, nor is it my personality. Not a type A person over here.
Step 10- And for the finishing touches- this is when you get to be creative and have fun! I had some light and dark chocolate shavings and decided to throw a mixture on the top of the cake only.
Hello! I'm Candice and I love baking. This blog is dedicated to all things sweet, exploring your passion, staying inspired and encouraging you to Eat More Cake!