To celebrate my son’s birthday the other day I thought I would once again, as I did with last year’s cake, decorate his birthday cake with G clefs. He plays the piano, so it crossed my mind to garnish his cake with excerpts of the pieces he currently plays, but I reconsidered, realizing piping Mozart, Mendelssohn and Bach onto a cake may not be the easiest thing to do. I doubt I could even write their music down on paper let alone decorate a cake with it. So I opted for the easy way out, and G clefs it was. Maybe I’ll be more ambitious next year and go for the music.
The recipe for the cake is good and is worth repeating as I’ve actually made it a couple of times.. I used chocolate frosting for the filling and another type of chocolate icing for the exterior. The G clefs are made of melted white chocolate. The cake freezes well, so I baked it a few days in advance and just made the filling and icing the same day I assembled the cake. You could also make the frostings ahead of time and store in the refrigerator, but I’ve been busy lately and the only time I had was the day of.
Chocolate Marble Cake
For the chocolate swirl:
6 ounces chocolate chopped
1 teaspoon dark cocoa powder
For the cake:
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room tempeerature
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
16 ounces sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- On top of a double boiler over simmering water, melt the chocolate
- When the chocolate is completely smooth, add the cocoa powder and whisk until thoroughly mixed
- Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
- Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with a non-stick baking spray.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.
- Using a stand mixer with a flat beater, cream the butter until smooth.
- Stop and scrape down the bowl.
- With the speed on medium low, gradually add the sugar, then beat until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla and mix well.
- Add 1/3 of the sifted dry ingredients, then 1/2 of the sour cream.
- Repeat ending with the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients.
- Pour about 1 1/2 cup of the cake batter into the melted chocolate mixture, then mix with a spatula until smooth.
- Pour a small amount of batter into the first cake pan just enough to cover the surface. Then using a small ice cream scoop, drop the chocolate batter by the spoonful directly on top of the plain batter. Swirl the chocolate batter with the plain batter with a knife. Pour another thin layer of batter on top of the chocolate layer and spread evenly. Gently swirl again with a knife.
- Repeat with the other two cake pans.
- Bake for about 30 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean
- Remove from the oven and let the cake layers cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes
- Use a knife to loosen the edges of the cake layers and invert onto a wire rack and allow to cool
Chocolate Frosting (for the filling)
3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
6 tablespoons milk
3 cups sifted confectioners sugar
6 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
- Melt chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Whisk milk in a pot and heat until boiling. Remove from heat and add confectioners sugar all at once. Whisk until smooth and cool to lukewarm.
- Beat butter until creamy. Add salt, vanilla then gradually add the sugar mixture. Beat until smooth.
- Add the melted chocolate and beat until smooth and shiny.
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate coarsely chopped
1 stick unsalted butter
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup sour cream
- Melt the chocolate with the butter and corn syrup in a double boiler over simmering water
- Remove from heat and whisk until smooth
- Add the half and half and sour cream and whisk until smooth