Sunday, June 9, 2013

Death by Chocolate (and a little bit of bacon) Cake!

Wow! Things have been so busy this past week, I was lucky to be able to post ONE recipe on the blog... I was excited about posting this one because it was just an amazing cake!

So my hubby's birthday was approximately 4 weeks ago and I had the GALL to get strep that very weekend. All I wanted to do was lay around the house, sleep, and get to feeling better. SHAME ON ME! Needless to say, I had ZERO energy to do anything, let alone make a MONSTER chocolate cake! My husband has always asked me to make a huge chocolate cake every year. I made him one once, but it wasn't very pretty and the cake was a bit on the dry side. The next year, with a new recipe, BINGO! It was tasty! But again, not as pretty. However, this year, he asked for something completely different and extremely difficult to make. I won't get into details, except that it involves layers of Cook 'N Serve Chocolate Jello Pudding "skin". M-hm. Either that or a Chocolate Magic Flan Cake. I was okay with that, except it wasn't very birthday-y. Then it hit me. We have been fans of chocolate covered bacon for a while now, so I thought I would make his favorite chocolate cake recipe with his favorite chocolate ganache, frost it with Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and top it with chocolate covered bacon! CHOCOLATE OVERLOAD. Is there such a thing? Nah.

 I found the recipe for the chocolate cake on Allrecipes (my go-to for initial recipe look-ups about 90% of the time) a few years back and we fell in love. The recipe is called Too Much Chocolate Cake. It involves a boxed devil's food cake mix (I like to use Duncan Hines - and yes, the 16.5oz works as well as the 18.25oz it calls for), chocolate pudding, and chocolate chips added to the batter. The 1 cup of oil might seem like a lot, but it really does make and keep the cake super moist. I also made 3 8-inch layers of cake versus using the bundt pan it calls for. Your diet WILL have to fly out the door with this cake. I promise. But it's SO worth it. I promise.

For the ganache, I used a very (and I mean VERY) slightly adapted version of another Allrecipes recipe, Chocolate Ganache. I used Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Squares to make this, Land O'Lakes Heavy Whipping Cream, and instead of the rum, I added a teaspoon of McCormick Coffee Extract. I couldn't taste it much, but I detected a little hint of it. I left it out to cool at room temperature to solidify into the creamy spreadable ganache I love, to use between each cake layer.

For the frosting, I used a recipe for Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream from BabyCakes by Rachel's blog. This was the first time I had ever made it, and it was the smoothest, yummiest chocolate frosting I have ever had. I halved the recipe to 4 1/2 cups, which is a good thing because I still had about a cup left over when I was through with decorating the cake.

For the garnish, I fried up 4 slices of bacon and drained the strips on a paper towel and put them in the refrigerator. That made it easier to cut them into bite sized pieces. I melted Hershey's New Baking Melts in the microwave for 15 second intervals until I was able to swish a fork through and the chocolate was melted enough to dip a piece of bacon while using a fork. I placed the pieces on waxed paper and put them in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes to harden, then garnished the cake with them. Voila! Death by Chocolate (and a little bit of bacon) Cake! I was very pleased with the end result, and I am so glad I made it for us and not to give away. Yes, I am terrible like that!

Thank you so much for looking! Now go bake something and spread some yum!