April 21, 2013

S'mores Cake!

I love pictures of food. If you were to take my phone and swipe through the pictures on it 90% of them would be food related. The other 10%?...pictures of moustaches, men with beards, cool tattoos, the occasional bathroom selfie and pictures of friends and family. I have this habit of taking screen shots of things I like: outfits, tattoo inspiration,  desserts, smoothies-anything and everything I find appealing. 

On Instagram, I follow a catering company in LA, called Heirloom. Why does someone in Ireland follow a catering company in LA? Because the food pics they Instagram are UNBELIEVABLE-so full of life, earthy and mouthwatering. For the love of food, if you're on Instagram I suggest you follow them! You'll constantly like their pictures-I know I do!

About two months ago, I saw a picture Heirloom instagrammed of a S'mores Cake. Instantly I knew that come April, I would be making a similar cake for my younger brother's birthday. He and I love s'mores, as do my older brother and sister. S'mores are so tasty, like ridiculously tasty. If you can resist melty chocolate, oozy, crispy burned marshmallows smooshed between two crispy biscuits? Well, then you have extreme willpower! S'more.face.stuff. 

So, a s'more has marshmallow, chocolate and biscuits-generally an American honey biscuit called a graham cracker but for this recipe I used digestive biscuits instead. That's all this cake has...just those things. It is made up of layers of chocolate cake with a biscuit base sandwiched together with a chocolate fudge frosting crowned with a glorious cloud of marshmallow, toasted with a chef's blow torch. 

This cake looks good and tastes amazing! It takes a little bit of work. But, you could spread the work out over a day or two. Make the cakes one day and the chocolate fudge and marshmallow frosting the next day. Damn, you can do this! Get into the kitchen, turn the radio way up and bake!

The adorable bunting on top of the cake? I made this, a nice change to candles. All I did was cut up some patterned card into little triangles, used a thumb tack to make a little hole in the top corners. Then I threaded the triangles onto some thin twine, tied either end onto a skewer and stuck them into the cake! Über cute and trés chic!


Holly, x

For the cake batter use butter, milk, yoghurt, plain flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, eggs and vanilla extract. 

For the biscuit base use digestive biscuits crushed to a crumb and bound with butter.

Begin the cake batter in the bowl of a stand up mixer, or with a hand mixer and beat together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, butter and 125ml of milk for three minutes.

In the meantime, whisk the remaining milk into the eggs and vanilla.

In three batches, whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture-making sure to scrape the bowl down really well between each addition. 

Bash up the digestive into fine crumbs and mix with melted butter. 

Cake batter and biscuit base ready for tins!

Divide the biscuit base into two of your three lined tins-pushing down to get an even flat layer. Then, divide the cake batter between the three tins.

Smooth out the top of the cakes making them a little thinner in the centre-this way they won't rise to much as they bake! Bake at 170C for 25-35 minutes.

Chocolate fudge frosting ingredients: icing sugar, cocoa powder, milk, softened unsalted butter and dark chocolate. 

Whisk the softened butter with the icing sugar, cocoa power and a tablespoon of milk for a few minutes. Then, whisk in cooled melted dark chocolate and continue to whisk until combined and fudgy...

...this is what dreams are made of!

Once the cakes have cooled, remove from the tin and place a cake layer, one with a biscuit base down first, onto a cake plate biscuit side up. 

Spread the top with half of the chocolate fudge frosting. Next layer will be the plain chocolate layer, spread that with the remaining frosting. Lastly, crown with the final cake layer-biscuits base touching the frosting.

So, what you should have is: cake, biscuit base, frosting, cake, frosting, biscuit base, cake. Place in the fridge until you have made the marshmallow frosting.

For the marshmallow frosting: in a heatproof bowl combine 60ml water, 350g caster sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vinegar and 3 egg whites. 

Whisk for 1 minute until fluffy.

Place on top of a pot of simmering water and whisk for 12 minutes until the mixture is stiff. I know 12 minutes seems for ever..but you gotta do it!!

Remove from the heat, add in the vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes until thickened. 

Tuck pieces of parchment paper all around the base of the cake-this keeps your plate nice and clean.

Using all the marshmallow frosting cover the entire cake. One you're happy, remove the paper pieces from the base of the cake. 

Colour with a blow torch, just the way you would melt marshmallow for s'mores, before decorating with candles and bunting!


3 x 6 inch cake tins, buttered, floured and the base lined with parchment. 

20 Digestive Biscuits, blitzed to crumbs
140g Unsalted Butter, melted

Mix the blitzed biscuits and melted butter together.
Divide in two and push, evenly, into the base of two of the lined cake tins. 

Chocolate Cake

350g Plain Flour
365g Caster Sugar
75g Good Quality Dark Cocoa Powder
Pinch Salt
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
225g Unsalted Butter, cubed and softened at room temperature
4 Eggs
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoon Sour Cream
250ml Milk (full or low fat, not skimmed)

Preheat oven to 175C.
Sieve together plain flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder into the bowl of a stand up mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
Stir through the caster sugar. 
With the mixer on low, whisk in the softened cubed butter and 125ml of milk.
Turn the mixer up to medium and whisk for 3 minutes until thoroughly mixed and the butter is properly incorporated.
Scrape down the side of the bowl with a spatula.
With the mixer on medium speed, add in a third of the egg mixture, mix for 1 minute.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and repeat process until the egg mixture is gone.
Divide the batter among the three lined cakes tins-two of which have a biscuits base.
Bake at 175C for 25-35 minutes.
To check if they are done: stick a toothpick into the centre of the cake, if it comes out clean it's ready.
Remove from oven and allow to cool on wire rack in their tins until completely cooled. 

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

175g Unsalted Butter, softened
150-175g Icing Sugar
20g Good Quality Dark Cocoa Powder
Pinch Salt
1-2 Tablespoon Milk
100g Dark Chocolate, melted

Melt the chocolate on 30 second blasts in the microwave and set aside to cool.
With an electric hand mixer, whisk together softened butter, 1 tablespoon of milk, icing sugar and cocoa powder for 2 minutes until light and fluffy-with no lumps of butter. 
Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
With the mixer on low, dribble in the cooled melted chocolate and whisk until incorporated.
Add a little more icing sugar if too thin or a little milk if to thick. 

Marshmallow Frosting Slightly Adapted from MarthaStewart

350g Caster Sugar
60ml Water
3 Eggs Whites
1/2 Teaspoon Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

In large heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg whites, sugar, water and vinegar for a minute with a handheld electric mixer. .
Sit the bowl over a pot of simmering water-making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water.
Whisk on high speed for 12 minutes until the frosting forms stiff peaks-make sure you do this for 12 minutes! 
Remove from heat, add in vanilla extract and whisk for 2 minutes until thickened.