Well, well, well.
Here we meet again in 2012 for this year’s first Secret Recipe Club. What do I go and make… another cake! I seem to be making my own little trend of decorative cakes inspired by SRC assignments. First that pumpkin and chocolate cake, and now another chocolate cake – this time inspired by my bloggy assignment for February – Crystal at Mrs. Happy Homemaker. She has such a cute blog and is cranking out all kinds of great ideas pretty much on a daily basis it seems!
I actually had every intention of making something else this month since her pepperoni pizza with the pepperoni pieces cut into the shapes of hearts was too cute to resist, but then just a few days ago I decided to take another look and see what Crystal had been up to recently. I’ll still be making that pizza, but now I’ll just wait until Valentine’s Day to do it.
When I saw her cake inspired by fudge ripple ice cream, I just couldn’t resist. I have to admit though, in my mind, fudge ripple would be a vanilla cake with a fudge stripe, but that’s just me. Either way, am I going to quibble about having a cake with a lovely strip of cheesecake in it? Not in this lifetime!
The decision was an easy one since I still had a fair amount of candy clay in my fridge from a cupcake job I did a few weeks ago (pictures of the cupcakes are below as well as instructions on how simple, fun and easy these cut little roses are to make!).
I resized and tweaked the cake recipe just a bit – mainly because of what ingredients I had on hand since I went straight into the kitchen to make this, and the size of cake I wanted to make so I could use my heart shaped pan. The basic recipe is pretty close though (most changes were to the cream cheese swirl and the frosting to make them slightly lighter in texture). I’m sure the original cake is amazing all on it’s own – it’s a double decker 9-inch round! – or else mine wouldn’t have turned out so nicely!
I thought this would make a great Valentine’s Day dessert that anyone would feel comfortable putting together and would feel like a rock star when they showed it off – especially with that gorgeous stripe of cheesecake inside! Or you could make cupcakes and decorate them with the roses too – seriously cute! As for the frosting on the heart cake, it was light, chocolatey and so easy to make. The cake itself isn’t too sweet, so once you have the frosting it was the perfect balance.
So, a few weeks ago a friend of mine (Gina over at Eat Your Veggies, Peas.) asked if I would be willing to make cupcakes for her sweet baby girl’s 1st birthday party. Since it was a good reason for me to play around some more with the candy clay, and since I adore Gina, I couldn’t say no! I was REALLY happy with how the cupcakes and the decorations turned out and unless Gina was just being kind I think they were all really happy with them too. The birthday party was a vintage roses theme and used pink roses as well as red and yellow ones.
I ended up making her 18 vanilla cupcakes and 18 chocolate ones, then frosting them with vanilla buttercream. I’ll post those recipes soon, but any good cake and frosting recipe could easily by elevated by a little decoration. Also, the roses taste just like candy melts since that is what they are made from, so they are a completely edible and delicious decoration!
I used one of each color of rose on each cupcake – 3 dozen cupcakes! That is 108 roses (and I made extras so actually around 120 roses) that I was able make in about a day and a half of shaping (really only about 4 hours total and that was probably with a lot of little distractions too!). That was A LOT of practice and I loved how they turned out. I’ve shared the recipe as well as a little picture tutorial at the bottom of this post. If you try it out, I’d love to know what you think, and if you get stumped you could always tweet me for some tips or troubleshooting. If you do make something, I’d love to see it, especially if you pin it so I can add it to my pinboards on Pinterest!
Thank you to _______ for this month’s SRC recipe inspiration and for a cake recipe that my boys went bonkers over!
Chocolate Cheesecake Swirled Heart Cake with Whipped Chocolate Frosting
For the Cake:
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 cup cake flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Ripple:
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cake flour
For the Frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
Grease 1 (9-inch) heart cake pan (or 1 9-inch round) & flour lightly – or spray with Bakers Secret (nonstick cooking spray with flour).
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Add to the dry mixture and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into the prepared pan an set aside while making the cream cheese mixture.
Place the cream cheese filling ingredients in the bowl of a food processor (or use an electric mixer) and process until very smooth. The mixture will be liquid. Place the mixture into a measuring cup with a spout or a squeeze bottle and pour the mixture over the chocolate cake batter, spreading it evenly over the batter.
Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool in pan on wire rack for 20 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
Beat all the frosting ingredients well until you have a fluffy, spreadable consistency that is fairly soft and swirlable.
Spread frosting over the cake layer on the top and sides. Decorate as desired with candy roses or other decorations. Serve at room temperature or chilled (the frosting, cake and cheesecake layers will all be a bit more firm).
Candy Clay Rose DIY Tutorial
Candy Clay Rose Recipe
12 oz Candy Melts (1 small bag) in desired color for roses
1/4 cup corn syrup
Melt the candy melts according to package directions, or melt until almost completely melted, then stir to finish melting till smooth. Add the corn syrup and stir well until it forms a thick ball. Place the ‘clay’ on a piece of plastic wrap and cover well. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight before using.
To prepare the candy clay to work with, allow it to sit out on the countertop at room temperature for 20-30 minutes (depending on the temperature of your room). It should be pliable, but still slightly cool to the touch since the body heat from your hands will warm it up while you are kneading it. If it starts to get greasy or feel grainy while you are working with it, just place it back in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
To make the candy roses in the size shown here, use about a 1-inch piece of candy clay and roll it into a smooth ball, just like you are playing with playdough. Roll the ball into a snake shape, then flatten the ‘snake’ with your fingertips either pressing it into your work surface or just pressing it flat between your fingers. Work as quickly and gently as you can so that the clay doesn’t become too warm and pliable and fall apart on you. Once the ‘snake’ is flattened you can also press the top edge of it to make a thinner area for a more ruffled rose look, or leave the edges thick for a more rolled rose look (ruffled roses shown here), work from one end and roll it up loosely, slightly pleating the bottom edges a bit while you are working to make a loose rose shape at the top while keeping the bottom portion of the rose tight. Place your shaped rose on the work surface, bottom side down and gently pinch the bottom together to tighten up the base of your rose. Once your rose is formed, gently use your fingertip to ‘ruffle’ the petal edges out a bit and make them look more realistic. Keep roses stored in the refrigerator till ready to use, but bring to room temperature again before eating or they will be hard.