Sunday, December 1, 2013

Chips Ahoy! Cake

Did everyone have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!?

I know I did!

Every year for Thanksgiving, we have a family & friends dinner potluck. Everyone cooks, bakes, and makes something special to share for the party. Of course, it wouldn't be a party without cake!!! 
It felt like so long ago since last Thanksgiving...

Remember in 2012, when I made this cake here >>
And in 2011, when I made this cheesecake here >>
Can you believe this is my third Thanksgiving baking with you guys?

That's awesome!  And looking back at the past years gave me ideas on what to make this year. I decided to make cake again! I thought it was appropriate since I've been venturing more and more into cakes lately. It makes for good "practice." So here he is!!!

Chips Ahoy! Cake
Recipes adapted from here and here
...this is probably every cookie lover's cake. If you're like me, we grew up on Chips Ahoy! cookies. I love me homemade chocolate chip cookies, but I must admit, I still buy these cookies because I remember eating so much of them when I was a kid...
...and I'll still probably buy these until I have my own little ones too!
I love these cookies so much I based this cake on them. I thought it be a fun to make for friends and family this year. And I know how much everyone loves COOKIES!!!


Ingredients
Cake:
1 3/4 c sugar
1 3/4 c flour
3/4 c cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 lg eggs, room temp
1 c buttermilk, room temp
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 Tbsp instant coffee granules
1 c boiling water

Cookie Dough Frosting:
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, room temp
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 c light brown sugar, sifted
1 c flour, sifted
1 c powder sugar, sifted
10 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 c mini chocolate chips (can be incorporated in frosting, or topped as garnish)

Chocolate Ganache:
see recipe here and here.

Garnish:
Chips Ahoy! cookies split in halves

Directions
To make cake:
  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Line and grease two 6-inch round cake pans w/ parchment paper. Set aside. Note: This recipe also works with larger cake pans (8 or 9-inch), just make sure to divide the batter evenly between the pans. And if you use 6-inch pans like I did, prepare a cupcake pan to make about 7 extra cupcakes! 
  2. In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, lightly beat together the eggs, buttermilk, and oil.
  4. Pour 1/3 of wet ingredients into flour mixture. Mix well. Repeat process until all ingredients incorporated well. Do not over mix.
  5. Add coffee granules into boiling water. Stir until granules dissolve completely. Then pour water into batter. Stir well until everything well incorporated. Do not over mix. Expect batter to be runny.
  6. Pour 2 cups of batter into each 6-inch cake pan, and pour extra batter into cupcake pans.
  7. Place cake and cupcake pans in the oven. Bake cake for 30-32 minutes. Note: If you made cupcakes like I did, they will be done after about 16-17 minutes. Remove from oven quickly, and continue to bake the cake for the remaining time. Tip: Know your oven and check done-ness of cake and cupcakes to ensure moistness. Do not over bake or else the cakes will be dry.
  8. Let cool completely before frosting.
By using smaller cake pans, I was able to yield extra cupcakes to sample out!
See more on that technique here.
While the cakes are cooling, prepare the frosting.

To make frosting:
  1. In a stand mixer w/ whisk attachment, beat cream cheese until smooth. 
  2. Add butter, and beat until smooth.
  3. Add brown sugar, beat until smooth.
  4. Add flour and heavy whipping cream in alternating portions until smooth.
  5. Add powder sugar, beat until smooth.
  6. Add vanilla and pinch of salt, mix everything together until smooth. 
  7. Optional: stir in chocolate chips now or add it later for garnish.
In my case, I saved the chocolate chips for garnish to make crumb coating a bit easier.
This chocolate cake is a variation of my regular go-to chocolate cake recipe see here. But instead of putting vanilla in the cake batter, I used coffee granules this time to pick up more of the deep chocolate-y taste.

After the cakes and frosting were ready to go. I just went to decorating. Here's is the cake after it was stacked, crumb coated, frosted, and in the beginning progress of becoming awesome...
See tips on cake assembly and decorating here and here.

I placed cookies along the bottom border, spread ganache and arranged cookies all around the top of the cake. And lastly, stuck some mini chocolate chips around the sides of the cake.

Note: you will get frosting on your hands during this step. # gravitymakesthechipsfalldown
I couldn't wait to cut into this cake!!! 

In the fridge waiting before it was served...

And of course, I had to take pictures of it before I never see it again...
I love how he turned out!
I especially loved how moist it looks =)
Finally time to serve!
It was really fluffy and moist, just how a chocolate cake should be. The frosting complimented the cake really well. And who doesn't love all those chocolate chips!!!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving!!!

Enjoy!

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