Jun 06 2011
My grandparents are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary this year–SIXTY YEARS of marriage!! That makes my recent 2nd anniversary with Greg seem like the beginning of a very long road–one that apparently includes lots of cake.
Our wedding cake was absolutely beautiful–six separate rounds on a cake stand Greg made himself and each of those rounds was a different flavor combination. For our second anniversary, I wanted to start trying to recreate those flavors and the first one Greg chose was chocolate cake with a Bavarian cream filling. I halved this recipe for a 6 inch cake for two–this one will make a 9 inch cake.
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups cake flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1-1/2 cups milk
Grease and flour 9×1-1/2-inch round cake pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate mixing bowl beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition (about 1 minute total). Beat in vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to beaten mixture, beating on low speed just until combined after each addition. Beat on medium to high speed for 20 seconds more. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30 to 35 minutes for 8- or 9-inch round pans, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool.
Bavarian Cream Filling
Adapted from Bon Appetit
- 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 1 (1/4 ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In a large bowl, whip the cream until it stands in soft peaks. Chill until needed. Soak the gelatin in 2/3 cup cold water for 10 minutes. In the mean time, beat the egg yolks with the confectioners’ sugar in large metal bowl until they are pale yellow and have a thick, creamy consistency.
Bring the milk and the vanilla to a boil in a saucepan, stirring occasionally to make sure the milk does not scorch at the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and slowly pour the milk into the egg yolks, stirring constantly. Place the metal bowl over a pot of gently boiling water. Continue stirring until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
Gradually stir in the dissolved gelatin and place the bowl over a large bowl of ice water. Make sure that the mixture is lump-free. Continue stirring vigorously until the cream starts to cool and stiffen, then fold in the whipped cream. Chill until you’re ready to fill the cake.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 1 stick butter, very soft (but not melted)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 4-5 cups confectioners’ sugar
In a large bowl, beat the butter, vanilla and cream for 30 seconds. Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar, beating constantly and occasionally stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, until the frosting reaches the desired consistency. I like a stiffer frosting for this cake.
To assemble the cake: place one cool cake later on the plate you’re using for serving. Use a sharp spoon or mellonballer to gently remove about 1/4 inch from the top of the cake–avoid scraping off the very edge–what you want to create is a very shallow well across the whole area of the cake that the Bavarian cream can fill without being squished out by the top cake layer. Spread the cream in the well, taking care not to drag too much. Place the top layer on the cream and position to be in line with the bottom layer and flat on top. Ice the whole thing with the buttercream; add decorations as desired.
I honestly don’t know if this perfectly mimics our wedding cake because I don’t remember what flavor I had that night. It was definitely a chocolate cake that got shoved in my face by my groom who had expressly agreed upon NO smashing up until the moment he had the stuff in his hand and his buddies were egging him on. So maybe this was that cake. If it was, I certainly enjoyed it more this time around. This is somewhat dense with a tender crumb and a deep chocolate flavor. The Bavarian cream is more sophisticated than you’d get in, say, a doughnut, and has a really lovely custard-like texture with a mild sweetness. Which is highly appreciated next to a super sweet frosting such as this one. Really just a nice, solid celebratory cake.
I wouldn’t mind the having the same one 58 years from now. Without the smashing.