Whenever Ruth's birthday comes around I choose the most difficult dessert/dinner on my wish list of things to make. One year it was a 2-day fish taco extravaganza, another year it was my first 5-layered (leaning) cake with each layer featuring a different fruit filling, and last year was the over-the-top chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake cake. What can I say, Ruth is a good friend and totally worth it! On the Sprinkle Bakes website this is a 7-sins layer cake. I knew I wasn't up for a layer cake, so my original though was layered cake in jars. Great in theory except I only have 16-ounce jars, so this entire recipe would have made about 3 servings. I don't know about you, but that's a tad much for me.
Of course I realized the mason jars wouldn't work while I was just starting the assembly, so I started looking around the kitchen for other ideas. Luckily we had plastic champagne flutes and small tumblers from our New Year's Eve party. The flutes look elegant and cool, perfect for a fancy party. The tumblers are still cute and way easier to eat from!
There are a lot of steps, but none of them are difficult. This recipe takes a little bit of time, but it is all totally worth it. I made the cake the night before so it was cool and ready to go for assembly. The pastry creams MUST be made the day before so they have adequate time to chill and develop flavors. Making the three different pastry creams is high the awesome scale. Yes you dirty a lot of bowls, but having so many flavors in one dish is a delightful treat to eat.
Just before you are ready to assemble it takes a few minutes to make the frosting and ganache topping. Assemble however you want. This would be awesome to layer in a large trifle dish for a big party or in little cups for easy grabbing. I still think this would look amazing layered in a jar, but use 8-ounce jars!
Here is your next, probable questions - do all these layers and flavors actually taste good? Yes! The chocolate cake is light and flavorful and provides a great support for all the pastry creams. Speaking of pastry creams, they are all spectacular on their own, like you could just eat them with a spoon, no cake needed! Each one has a distinct flavor whether dulce de leche, espresso, or dark chocolate. Each bite can be a little different. The milk chocolate marshmallow buttercream frosting is intensely sweet and the chocolate ganache pulls all the flavors together.
Best of all, the dessert holds its own. The little cups are portable and easy to take out to dinner to celebrate a birthday and can survive the craziest of cab rides home. They last in the fridge too. Like a week later I could still eat a leftover one and it tasted just as fresh as when I made them! This is the dessert to make when you want to impress your friends!
One Year Ago - Vanilla Cake Pops
Sinful Chocolate Trifle Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes Yields - 12+ servings
Devils’ Food Cake 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped 3/8 cup + 4 teaspoons cocoa powder 1/2 cup hot coffee 1 egg + 1 egg yolk 2 tablespoons heavy cream 1/2 tablespoon vanilla 1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour 3/4 cup light brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and grease two cookie sheets. Line with parchment paper and grease that too.
- Whisk together the chocolate, cocoa, and hot coffee in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, and vanilla. Whisk in half the chocolate mixture and set aside as well.
- Add the flour, brown sugar, soda, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. On low speed, mix all the ingredients. Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix in the other half of the chocolate mixture for about 30 seconds and then raise the speed and mix again for 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl as needed.
- Add the egg mixture in two parts, first on low speed and then increase the speed to medium for about 45 seconds. Scrape the bowl as needed, you want the batter to be fluffy.
- Divide the batter in half and spread evenly on each cookie sheet.
- Bake for 9-10 minutes or until the cake is set but before the edges are crispy. Allow to cool on the pan.
- Note - Make the the night before!
Chocolate Pastry Cream - Three ways 2.5 ounces dark chocolate + 2 tablespoons whiskey 2.5 ounces milk chocolate + 2 teaspoons espresso powder 2.5 ounces white chocolate + 3 tablespoons dulce de leche 1/4 cup cornstarch 2 cups (16 ounces) evaporated milk 2 eggs + 4 egg yolks 3/4 cup sugar 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Chop each chocolate individually and evenly and add to three separate bowls. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the cornstarch and 1/2 cup milk. Whisk in each egg and egg yolk individually. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan whisk together the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk and the sugar over low heat until the mixture boils. Whisk continually.
- Temper the eggs by adding a little of the hot milk mixture while whisking the eggs. Once the eggs are hot, pour the eggs + milk into the saucepan and heat and whisk until the mixture thickens and boils.
- Run the pastry cream through a fine sieve.
- Divide the pastry cream between each bowl of chopped chocolate. Stir to melt the chocolate.
- Add one tablespoon of butter to each bowl and again stir to melt & combine.
- Add the whiskey to the dark chocolate, the espresso to the milk chocolate, and the dulce de leche to the white chocolate. Stir each mixture to combine. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the pastry creams and refrigerate overnight. Make the night before!
Milk Chocolate Marshmallow Buttercream 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 2 2/3 cups powdered sugar 6 ounces milk chocolate, melted and cooled 7 ounces (a small jar) marshmallow cream 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Beat the butter in the bowl a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on high for 3 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar in three batches first on low, and then on a high speed.
- Beat in the melted chocolate and marshmallow cream. Scrape the bowl as needed.
- Add in the cream and beat until you have reached the desired consistency.
Dark Chocolate Ganache 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate 1/2 cup heavy cream 1/4 cup light corn syrup 2 teaspoons vanilla pinch of salt
- Chop the chocolate evenly and add to a heatproof bowl as you heat the cream to scalding in a small saucepan.
- Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for 2 minutes. Stir to melt the chocolate.
- Stir in the corn syrup, vanilla, and salt.
- Use quickly after making before the the chocolate sauce hardens.
- Break or cut the cake into small pieces. I used rounds for the champagne flutes and broken pieces for the smaller cups.
- Start with a dollop of buttercream and then add a layer of cake.
- Add 1-2 teaspoons dark chocolate pastry cream, smooth and top with cake.
- Add 1-2 teaspoons milk chocolate pastry cream, smooth and top with cake.
- Add 1-2 teaspoons white chocolate pastry cream, smooth and top with cake.
- Pipe another dollop of frosting, top with cake, more frosting, and then drizzle with the dark chocolate sauce.
- Garnish with whatever your heart desires!