Friday, 14 September 2012

a brownie birthday cake with a rescue mission

brownie cake with crumb frosting
i have become the unofficial birthday cake baker for the family i have married into, and for my friends too. most of the time i do this willingly because what can be better than a home baked cake with a flourish of irregular frosting. it is very rarely that my baking efforts  go pear shaped and where they have i’ve been able to bandage them. but this isn’t the story of a cake like that. this is the story of a birthday cake that needed a rescue operation that enlisted the support of the hoover, a tub of cream cheese, plenty of oven cleaner and 'trying to stay calm when all you want to do is scream'. the end result was a cake that was every bit what i had wanted it to be but its passage, just like life was far from smooth.

i know exactly where i was at fault because for some reason i misread the recipe and added raising agents to the flour. a colossal mistake on my part as i was meant to use all purpose flour. having said that if it hadn’t been for that mistake i would have never concocted a crumb frosting made from the erupted batter that baked on the tray. all i did was blitz the biscotti like brownie into coarse crumbs and then incorporate some cream cheese and a little sugar to make the frosting. 

the cake itself had a thin matte crust on top and a sugary bottom enclosing a fudgy brownie. it’s the kind of the cake that makes you want to smile when all you want to do is be grumpy because you had to clean up so much after it! it’s the kind of cake i’d want to make again but without all the hassle it entailed in the first place. so here is what i’d do. i’d make the recipe below making sure to use all purpose rather than self raising flour. i’d bake it in a round tin. then i’d take some kind of a chocolate biscuit and blitz it to crumbs, add some cream cheese and a little sugar to sweeten and frost the brownies with that.

{brownie cake with crumb frosting}

recipe adapted from martha stewart's fudgy brownies
brownie batter
one hundred and fifteen grams butter
one hudred grams dark chocolate
one hundred grams milk chocolate
three hundred and thirty-five grams golden sugar
four eggs
one teaspoon vanilla extract
ninety five grams flour
half a teaspoon salt

butter a round cake tin generously. preheat the oven to a hundred and eighty degrees celsius. 

place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and place over simmering water. make sure that the bottom of the bowl is not in contact with the water. stir the melting chocolate and butter every so often to bring them together. once this is done let the mixture cool to room temperature.

stir the butter into the room temperature chocolate and butter mixture. then add an egg at a time whisking until smooth after each addition. whisk in the vanilla. fold the flour and salt into the batter last. the batter should look glossy.

spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin smoothing it with your spatula. bake for forty to forty five minutes until a knife inserted in the centre reveals very few moist crumbs. let the brownie cake cool for five to ten minutes before running a knife around the edges and turning over. 

for the frosting blitz four chocolate biscuits of your choice (i'd suggest using oreos) with a hundred grams of cream cheese a tablespoon or so of sugar. run it over the top of the brownie cake using a spatula to give it a rough finish. 

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