Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Birthday And An Engagement

All right friends. I know it has been a while. So let's ease back into this with something somewhat familiar: a chocolate cake. But this time it is a fancy three layer vegan cake! And in between the layers?!?!?! Chocolate ganache, marshmallows and peanut butter, and peanut brittle! And yes it's all vegan. And yes it's all delicious. So let's get started shall we?

This is Laura, and her cake.

It was super tasty. And fun to make! There were a lot of steps but I'd say worth it. I used the Rebar vegan fudge brownies recipe for the cake layers. Then for the filling I just went a little hog wild. I had recently made a candy bar pie(coming soon) that had a peanut brittle nougat filling. Holy eff but was it delicious. So I wanted to try and use that between the cake layers for a peanut butter and chocolate-esque cake (Laura is obsessed with peanut butter. Eats it by the spoonful). Biggest impediment for transitioning the nougat to this cake? Nougat's main ingredient is egg whites.  I decided to substitute vegan marshmallows, which I have worked with before. Therefore I knew that they would have the texture and taste that I was hoping to achieve.

I melted the marshmallows with peanut butter and layered them with ganache and peanut brittle between the chocolate cake layers. 

Pre melting

I just popped them in the microwave, then stirred them together. With only a little hiccough along the way.
Sorry bowl!

I had made the peanut brittle ahead of time. For the cake I crushed it up a little smaller to mix in with the marshmallows, and to sprinkle right in between the layers. 

Peanut Brittle
I baked the cake in one giant layer. I doubled the recipe, poured it onto a quarter sheet pan (10 x 13" with high rims) and baked the whole thing at once. Then I used a round cake pan as a stencil. I got this method from Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook. This book is amazing. Blows my mind. Caity gifted it to me and I am obsessed.  In fact this entire cake was inspired by how they do their cakes, from the cookie sheet baking, to the layering, brittle, and leaving the sides icing free. It was just up to me to veganize and pick my cake/filling/icing combination.

This single layer became three!
The layering process. Cake, then ganache. . .
Then I sprinkled brittle right into the middle as well as the marshmallows.
I actually wrapped as I layered so everything stayed in place. You can just make out the different layers of filling.
I froze the cake to a)help all the layers harden/settle (especially the gananch and melted marshmallow) and b)to keep it fresh for Laura's arrival. Because of the somewhat complex assembling process and my schedule I made the cake two days ahead of time, then took it out of the freezer day of.

I call this one Fist Pumps of Excitement

I enjoyed the look of the cake without icing on the side, so you can see and appreciate all the layers. Also this is the Momofuku method.

Check out them layers! Delish.

One issue: the vegan brownie recipe was soooo moist that it made it hard to handle when making the layers. A proper cake recipe would probably work better. However it made for delicious eats!

And then we went out to celebrate. 
Because not only was it Laura's Birthday, but these beautiful suckers got engaged! Congratulations!
Congratulations Bre and Sean!
Also, we wanted in on the action. Not quite as elegant.

Rebar Vegan Fudge Brownies

1 ½ cups flour
½ cup cocoa
1 ½ cups brown sugar
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
¾ cup coffee
¾ cup soy milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

1.     Preheat oven to 325 F.  Flour edges of sheet pan. Line with Silpat
2.     Sift together the flour, cocoa, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt
3.     In a separate bowl stir together the coffee, soy milk and vegetable oil.
4.     Combine wet and dry, and stir until well mixed.
5.     Pour into prepared baking sheet.
6.     Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Turn 180 degrees half way through.
7.     Cool on a wire rack.

Vegan Ganache

8 oz semisweet chocolate
1 can coconut milk

Warm milk over low heat until just boiled. Pour over chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk to combine. Letting it melt before stirring leads to a smooth finish.  

For regular ganache the ratio is usually 4-5 ounces chocolate to half cup of cream. Sometimes  corn syrup is added to help  with a glossy finish.  Martha breaks it down pretty well!

Peanut Butter Marshmallows

1 package Vegan marshmallows

¼ cup peanut brittle
½  cup peanut butter

1. Throw all ingredients in a bowl. 
2. Melt in microwaves in increments until melted enough to stir together. 
3. Spread onto cake layer. 

Here's the Brittle recipe!

Cake Assembly

To assemble your cake first cut out your cake layers. 
Take a 6 inch springform cake pan, and use the bottom as a your stencil. You should be able to get two whole layers, and two halves to make the third layer. 
Cut out your first layer and put it in the springform pan. Then start layering! I went cake, ganache, brittle, marshmallows, next cake layer, then all over again! Topped it off with ganache frosting and popped it in the freezer!

1 comment:

  1. Not as elegant you say! Pffff. I want to get in on that three-way champagne drinking stat. PS THIS CAKE IS INSANE!!!