Wow–the days and weeks have gotten away from me! I came down with a nasty cold after Thanksgiving and I am not, what you might call, a quick “rebounder.” I take some time to bounce back! I am working on it, though. With the help of some roasted garlic cloves I hope to be 100% soon! Needless to say, I have not been cooking anything too snazzy in the kitchen as of late. Roasted winter vegetables, simply grilled steaks, some pasta, sweet potatoes, and beans are pretty much it. That said, I hope to get back on it and squeeze in some fun holiday treats before the season spirals away from me.
I recently did some baking for my wonderful co-worker, Jill, who is getting married in the Bahamas next month. We had a surprise shower for her at work and I made this celebration cake for the gathering. It is an adaptation of Annie’s Eats Cookies and Cream Cake, which won me our office bake-off. This time, instead of crushed Oreos I used Heath Bar chocolate bits folded into the whipped cream filling.
I must say I was quite pleased with the result. The chocolate cake is rich and moist, the whipped cream filling is light and fluffy, yet not too sweet, and the Hershey’s chocolate frosting is fudgy and delicious. I’d say this cake has mass appeal, which makes it perfect for an office occasion or a party where you might not know everyone’s tastes.
Heath Bar Chocolate Cake:
For the cake:
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup Hershey’s cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
For the filling:
- 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
- 1/8 cup confectioners’ sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 bag of Heath Bar chocolate bits
For the frosting:
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa powder
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 8 or 9-inch round baking pans.
Stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
To make the filling, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat on low speed until all sugar is incorporated; increase speed to high and whisk until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in candy pieces with a rubber spatula.
To make the frosting, melt the butter in a medium bowl. Stir in the cocoa. Alternately add confectioners’ sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.
To assemble the cake, slice two cakes in half cross-wise using a serrated knife. Place one cake layer on a cardboard cake circle. Pipe a ring of the chocolate frosting around the outside edge of the cake. Fill the area inside the ring of frosting with a thick layer of the cookies and cream mixture. Repeat with remaining layers. Place the last cake layer on top. Frost the sides of the cake layers with chocolate frosting. Pipe a decorative border of the chocolate frosting on top of the cake. Fill the area inside this border with a thick layer of the cookies and cream mixture. Garnish with extra candy pieces and chocolate frosting.