Monday, July 10, 2017

Dirt Cake




Six years and two kids later I'm back with the perfect cake for a two year old's birthday party.

Malted Milk Dirt
3/4 cup (60 g.) milk powder, divided
1/4 cup (40 g.) flour
2 tablespoons  (12 g.) cornstarch
2 tablespoons (25 g.) sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
6 ounces white chocolate, chopped, divided
3/4 cup (60 g.) malt-flavored Ovaltine

Fudge Sauce
1 ounce bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons Maple syrup
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream


Chocolate Cake
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (300 g.) sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. refined coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup Fudge Sauce
1 1/4 cups (155 g.) cake flour
1/2 cup (70 g.) unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Frosting
2 ounces (55 grams) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups (180 grams) powdered sugar (sifted if lumpy)
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of fine sea salt (optional)
1 tablespoons cream or whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the fudge sauce:
Place the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder and salt in the bowl of your mixer. Over high heat, bring the maple syrup, sugar and heavy cream to a boil, stirring occasionally. Immediately pour over the chocolate and let sit for 1 minute.

Using the whisk attachment, whisk on low speed till ingredients are combined. Increase speed to medium and whisk till sauce is glossy and smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. If you have any leftover that is...you probably won't.

Clean and dry the mixer bowl and whisk attachment.

Make the chocolate cake:
Pre-heat oven to 350. Spray two round 9in cake pans with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper and set aside. I also have two tiny 3 in cake pans that I used to make the mound of dirt, but the batter could have easily just filled the two normal pans.

In the bowl of your mixer, combine butter and sugar. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium-high  for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides, add the eggs and beat on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides.

On low speed, add the buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 3-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides. Add the fudge sauce and mix on low speed till fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides.

Add cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Beat on low speed for about a minute, scrape down the sides and beat again for just another minute.

Pour the batter into your prepared pans and spread evenly, using a small angled spatula.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or till cake bounces back when lightly pressed and is no longer jiggly in the center.

Cool cake in pans on a wire rack. Remove from pan and use immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and store in fridge for up to 5 days.

Clean and dry the mixer bowl and whisk attachment.

Make the malted milk dirt:
Pre-heat oven to 250. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Combine 1/2 cup (40 g.) of the milk powder, flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt in a medium blow. Toss to mix. Add the melted butter and toss till the mixture starts to come together and form small clusters.

Spread clusters on your prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely.

Crumble any clusters that are larger than 1/2″ in diameter and place in a medium bowl. Add the remaining 1/4 cup (20 g.) milk powder and toss till it is evenly distributed.

Melt 3 ounces of the white chocolate in a bowl set over barely simmering water. Pour over the crumbs and toss till the clusters are completely coated. Continue tossing every 5 minutes, until the white chocolate hardens and the clusters are no longer sticky.

Add the Ovaltine and toss till evenly coated. Melt the remaining 3 ounces white chocolate and pour over crumbs, tossing till clusters are completely coated. Continue tossing every 5 minutes, until the white chocolate hardens and the clusters are no longer sticky. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to 1 month.

Make the frosting: Place frosting ingredients in a food processor and run machine to to mix. Scrape down bowl then process just until smooth and somewhat fluffed. [Don’t have a food processor? Beat butter, powdered sugar and salt, if using, in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Pour in chocolate, milk and vanilla, beat until combined, then one more minute to whip it further.]
Assemble the cake:

Turn first layer out onto your cake stand, top with half of the fudge and then a layer of frosting  then sprinkle a couple tablespoons of the dirt before topping with the second layer. More fudge, more frosting, finishing the sides. Then create your dirt heap and decorate with your favorite trucks. Your two year old will thank you.

1 comment:

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