Let’s Eat: Extravagantly

I think a (large) morsel of food this extravagant deserves a story and sharing so without any distraction…IMG_1387

There once was a girl who wandered the vast world wide web, seeking answers to the question–what shall I make for our dinner party dessert? Cupcakes were a nice bite but awfully trite…cookies were too casual and brownies were old news, so a cake it had to be…

After searching and sighing in dismay, she came upon a wondrous cake…a truly magnificent looking beauty. “That’s the one!” Said she. A tuxedo cake done up in true black and white, looking strikingly handsome and truly remarkable. IMG_1388

Peering over to investigate the chosen one, her guy said “No! don’t do it! It’s too complicated looking–you’ll be stressed, everything will be a mess, it’s not worth it! Save yourself” (maybe I’m embellishing…)

“Nonsense!” She said, “It’s beautiful and glorious and a sure crowd pleaser, with time and patience it’ll go off without a hitch.” And so the recipe became reality and there was much planning, baking, frosting, ganache-ing, and then clapping when it was presented with much fuss and festivity…and then much eating and more groaning from the cake-eaters.

Here is the recipe that started this extravagant affair. However, I was not impressed with the chocolate cake recipe so I went to my go-to chocolate cake recipe and was much  happier with the results. Her recipe for the vanilla layers is easy and comes out very nicely though!

Instead of the raspberry white chocolate frosting (I associate white chocolate with crimes against humanity, if we’re being honest) I made the simplest vanilla buttercream recipe, which you can double or triple as your heart desires.

  • Beat 1 cup of soft, room-temperature butter until creamy and smooth.
  • Gradually add 3 cups confectioners sugar, until well incorporated.
  • Add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (my favorite!) and 1-2 tablespoons cream or milk to soften the mixture
  • When smooth and well mixed, slap it on your cake (or pipe it) with a butter knife or frosting knife.

Tips for Tuxedo Cake:

  • Plan–I made the cakes a day in advance so I could freeze them overnight (wrapped in plastic wrap, in a gallon zip-loc bag)
  • Let the chocolate cakes barely  thaw 5-6 minutes before slicing them in half horizontally, they get harder to work with faster.
  • I froze the cake inbetween doing the first four layers (frosting filling, raspberry filling alternating) and the last four, just to keep everything nice and chilly. I also was very deliberate about freezing it after the crumb coat, the first frosting coat, and after the final one that I smoothed out. I think it helps make the cake more stable as you manipulate it.
  • As always, be very careful when making ganache because it’s liable to break (as the recipe creator noted from her own experience). I find that being exceedingly gentle as you mix, waiting 3-4 minutes for the hot cream to melt the chocolate, and working to make sure very little air gets incorporated, is a sure way to keep your ganache smooth.

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Her recipe gets slightly confusing when talking about slicing the cake when cold but serving at room temperature. I found that we had no trouble at all slicing the cake at room temperature right before serving. I poured the ganache over the cake about 6 hours before we served and there was no trouble at all! Plus, we don’t even have a cake stand or serving knife here so you know it can’t be that hard.

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This cake was an absolute crowd pleaser– there was a chorous of delighted eating commentary and praise. If an occasion arises where you want to make a real show stopper, you can never go wrong with a classic tux! It’s almost too pretty to eat…almost.

So in conclusion, they lived happily ever after with full tummies and sugar rushes. The end!

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