The Sophisticate’s Birthday Cake, Part 2

I left you hanging last weekend: three nut meringue birthday cake layers, the promise of filling and assembly for today’s Sophisticate’s Birthday.

Patience is rewarded.

Today the meringues get filled with a whipped milk chocolate cream, topped with a dark chocolate glaze, and decorated with a loose pattern of milk and white chocolate squiggles.

Do not let the milk chocolate filling fool you into thinking this is a cake for a child, or some grown up with a child’s sensibility.  This cake is for the adult bordering on world weary.  It needs to get placed in front of the person who might do better drinking coffee in Habsburg Vienna instead of in today’s cupcake bakery.  If you know the right person, make them this cake.  Put on a little Mozart, serve a thin cake slice mit schlag, and fete your worldly birthday boy or girl.

Milk Chocolate Filling

  • 1 1/4 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp.) unsalted butter
  • 1 pound good quality milk chocolate, chopped

Assemble two bowls, both large, one slightly larger than the other.  Fill the larger of the two bowls with ice cubes (or snow, as I did, given snow’s abundance).

Set the smaller of the two bowls on top of the ice or snow.  Set aside.

Combine cream, corn syrup, and butter in a heavy large saucepan.  Place over medium heat.  Whisk the mixture to blend,and continue whisking as it starts to simmer.  When simmering, add chopped milk chocolate.  Reduce heat to low, and continue to whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is very smooth.  Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl sitting atop the ice (or snow).

Using a balloon whisk, whisk the chocolate mixture until it cools and thickens.  This can take between 8 and 15 minutes.  When melted chocolate is thickened, remove the bowl from the ice (or snow) and set it on a flat work surface or counter.  Using an electric hand mixer, beat the mixture until the color lightens significantly, and just until the frosting becomes thick enough to hold peaks when the beaters are lifted from it.  Stop at this point.  Frosting/filling will continue to thicken as it stands.

Working quickly, place one meringue layer, flat side down, on a flat plate or cake stand.  Top with about a cup and a half of filling.

Using an offset or regular spatula, spread the milk chocolate cream gently to the edges of the layer.  Top with a second meringue layer, flat side facing up.  Repeat the spreading of another cup and a half of filling on this layer.  Top with the third meringue layer, flat side up.

Cover cake loosely with plastic wrap and let set in the refrigerator while you make the glaze.

Glaze

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 8 ounces dark (67-70%) chocolate, chopped

Combine cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Stir to blend, and bring to a simmer.  When this simmers, remove it from the heat and add the chopped chocolate.  Continue stirring until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.

Remove chilled cake and top with glaze.

Using offset or regular spatula, gently push glaze out to the edges of the cake.  It’s fine if the glaze spills over the sides.

To finish:

Note: I’m not a cake decorator, not even close.  In fact, if you ever hear me utter the words “I’m taking a Wilton cake decorating class” you will know I have lost my mind and it’s time to stop following this blog.  This following decoration works for me.  It’s pretty without being fussy.  If you possess the talent and steady hands that I do not, feel free to frost and decorate this cake as you see fit.  The following is only a suggestion.

  • 2 ounces melted milk chocolate
  • 2 ounces melted white chocolate

Put each melted chocolate (you may melt over hot water or in the microwave) in a small zipper plastic bag.  Snip off a smidge of the corner of each bag, once chocolate at a time, and gently squeeze the bag to drizzle chocolate over the top of the glazed cake in a random pattern, if desired.

To serve the cake, use a serrated knife and cut through the center of the cake, employing a sawing motion and very, very light pressure.  Turn the cake and cut again through the center, forming 4 equal quarters.  From each quarter of cake, cut 3 or 4 wedges in the same slow and gently sawing motion, as desired.  Serve wedges with ice cream, or mit schlag (whipped cream).

©2011  Jane A. Ward