A celebration always requires cake! 

I have been admiring cakes by a few amazing Australian bakers for some time. Katherine Sabbath, Cakes by Cliff and Unbirthday Bakery are creating amazing edible works of art.

So, as we prepared to celebrate my son’s 18th birthday my mind went to the cake! And my mind boggled over what to do….which cake to bake…how to decorate it…and the big question…would it work? On the other hand my son didn’t care much for the cake..”you can make whatever, Mum, I don’t eat the cake anyway”.

I had a couple of practice runs…testing cakes and frosting….then the day came. Summer from Cakes Paper Party  has some of the most delicious cake recipes I have ever tried. The end result was layers of chocolate and vanilla cake sandwiched with cream cheese Italian meringue buttercream (my favourite recipe by Warren Brown) and crushed oreos. Decorations included a chocolate sail and caramel popcorn.
And guess what?
The birthday boy was pretty impressed by the cake and….ate it too!

So to begin with…two layers of vanilla cake and two layers of chocolate cake. These recipe will make 3 layers of each. Freeze the extra layers for later.

Vanilla Cake recipe by Cake Paper Party
Ingredients

16 tablespoons (8 ounces, or 227 grams) unsalted butter softened
12 ounces (340 grams) castor sugar, (superfine)
4 tablespoons (60 mls) sunflower oil
4 large eggs
1 ½ tablespoon (23 milliliters) vanilla extract
6 ounces (170 grams) all-purpose flour
6 ounces (170 grams) cake flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups (300 mls) buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and grease and flour 3 8inch cake pans or line with baking paper.
Beat butter, sugar and oil for 2 minutes in a stand mixer then add eggs one at a time. Mix in the vanilla. Sift the dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture. Turn the mixer on and mix until just combined. Add the buttermilk and mix on medium speed for 1 minute.  Pour equally into the prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Then allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire rakes to finish cooling.

Chocolate cake by Cake Paper Party

4 ounces (114 grams) dark 70% chocolate, broken or coarsely chopped
4 ounces (120 mls) hot espresso

8 ounces (228 grams) unsalted butter, softened
14 ounces (396 grams) granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 ½ tablespoon (25 mls) vanilla extract
1 ½ ounce (45 grams)  cocoa powder
8 ounces (227 grams) all-purpose/plain flour
1 teaspoon (5mls) baking soda
½ teaspoon (3 mls) salt
8 ½ ounces (240 grams) sour cream

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and grease and flour 3 8inch cake pans or line with baking paper.
Mix the espresso with the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted. Microwave for a few seconds if the chocolate doesn’t melt. Set aside to cool to room temp. Beat butter and sugar for 2 minutes in a stand mixer then add eggs one at a time. Mix in the vanilla. Sift the dry ingredients and add half to the butter mixture.  Turn the mixer on and mix until just combined. Add half of the sour cream and mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and sour cream.  Pour equally into the prepared pans. Bake for 28-32 minutes. Then allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire rakes to finish cooling.

Prepare Warren Browns Italian Meringue Buttercream
1 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup water
5 egg whites
1⁄4 cup sugar
2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons

Boil 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water over medium heat until it reaches 245. As it cooks begin meringue so it’s ready when syrup is done.
Whip egg whites with a wire whisk in a stand up mixer on high until soft peaks form. About 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle in 1/4 cup sugar. Beat.
Slowly pour the hot syrup into the meringue steadily with the mixer still on high.
Beat the frosting for 7-10 minutes until the outside of the bowl is room temperature.
Beat in butter by the tablespoon. The butter will deflate the frosting a bit.

To make the Cream cheese Oreo filling

Remove 2/3 of the buttercream and set aside. Take 250g cream cheese, soften and beat well until smooth. With the whisk attachment still attached whisk the cream cheese into the buttercream spoonful by spoonful.
Add 10 crushed oreos and mix in well.

Layer cakes and fill with cream cheese buttercream alternately vanilla cake and chocolate cake.Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes then crumb coat with reserved Italian meringue buttercream. Refrigerate again until firm.

Then frost with remaining buttercream. Crush a few more oreos to decorate the base of the cake. Refrigerate while you prepare the ganache.

Chocolate ganache

250g dark 70% chocolate, coarsely chopped
125ml cream
30g copha, melted

Heat the cream until bubbles form around the edges then pour over chocolate. Stir to melt. Then stir in melted copha. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Pour the ganache over the cake allowing it to drizzle over the edges (encourage drips with a teaspoon or pipe drips while the ganache is pourable).

Decorate as desired.

….hmmm, needs something?

…yes, I know…a dusting of gold powder.

Don’t you think layer cakes just scream celebration!

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