Monday, December 9, 2013

Chocolate Brownie Cake

You know how there tend to be those staple recipes that everyone has or wants to have?  Something that you know you can make consistently every time and is also absolutely delicious.  Well for the longest time I have been deeply saddened by the fact that I had no standard chocolate cake recipe to go to, or for that matter a vanilla cake recipe.  I have my brownies down, even my snickerdoodles are consistent, but the standard chocolate cake continued to allude me.  That is until now!  
Granted the chocolate cake aspect is only one part in the myriad of parts that this cake involves but it must be shared!  All of it must be shared!  This my friends is a Chocolate Brownie Cake.  I wish I could take credit for coming up with this combination but I must give that credit to another blogger.  As it happened I was all set to simply make a chocolate cake with some form of vanilla frosting for my birthday as that's my favorite combination but due to the aforementioned lack of a cake recipe I found myself perusing my food board on Pinterest and stumbled across this Ultimate Death by Chocolate Brownie Cake.  Of course there was no way The Husband and I were going to pass this by!

The original recipe calls for using boxed mixes which would certainly make this a faster and easier cake to pull together but this is me we're talking about so everything was made from scratch.  As for making it five layers, you can thank The Husband for that one.

Here we go!
We started off by making a batch of brownies with a couple of alterations: we left out one egg yolk to help it solidify a bit more as well as leaving out the extra cup of chocolate chips that gets added to the batter.
We did let them bake a little longer than normal to aid in them being firmer than my brownies typically turned out.  In hindsight this was probably unnecessary as we'd already removed one egg yolk.
The brownie did stay in tact with the exception of the top but no worries as this was going to be placed top down as the center layer anyway.
Next up came baking the chocolate cake!  I did tons of research and ended up settling for Hershey's chocolate cake figuring I'd just give it a try and see how things turned out.  
You guys it's perfect!  The cake is moist and dense without being overly dense or sweet and it holds it's shape like a dream once it's baked.  This is a recipe worth writing down!
Once all of the layers were totally cool we cut the two cake layers in half to create four cake layers.  Let's all take a moment to marvel at my inability to cut straight across that top layer...done?  Good.  For the icing I went with a simple cream cheese frosting.
As you can see we did opt to make it slightly less chocolatey than the original recipe and skip the chocolate icing.  
There's no need to be super careful about the icing job as it's all going to get covered with chocolate chips anyway. 
And ta da!
There you have it.
A delectable multi-layer chocolatey brownie goodness that is so tall the lid to the cake stand wouldn't fit over it!
The brownie recipe can be found here.  
The cake recipe can be found here.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese - softened
1/2 C butter - softened
4 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
  • Combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl. 
  • Beat until smooth.
Tips & Tricks
  • Let me reiterate that the original format of this cake calls for box mixes and store bought icing so it's totally something that could be done quickly and easily regardless of your baking skill!
  • I ended up using a little over 12 oz of chocolate chips to cover the top and sides, next time I think I would try mini chocolate chips instead.
  • While I was super conscious of the brownie layer not being super gooey I think it could have baked for a little less time and still been fine with more of the brownie consistency.
  • If you make the Hershey's chocolate cake be aware that the batter is REALLY runny, like you're going to think you've done something horribly wrong.  It's OK!
  • On that note, I don't think I would make the cake in anything smaller than two 9" pans unless I was doing three layers in which case 8" pans would probably work.  I read too many reviews of people who had their cake batter overflow or spill as it rose due to pan size.
  • The original recipe calls for some chocolate chips to be sprinkled between each layer, I did not do this and don't feel like anything was missing.
Happy Baking!

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