Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy!: Campfire Delight Layer Cake

Birthday's come but once a year, and for my Dad it came last week on July 26th. Now I wasn't here for his actual birthday, but luckily my Mom held back the celebration till Saturday so Josh and I could be there. I am glad she did because it was a great day with great endings. Two great endings to be exact...

Ending 1: After an amazing dinner of beef tenderloin made by my mama, we dug into this...

A multi-layer Campfire Delight Cake. One of the best cakes I have ever made. Picture this and salivate: 3 moist and light, yet substantial layers of delicious chocolate cake with two thick layers of toasted marshmallow creme in between covered with thick delicious malted chocolate buttercream. 

It's the kinda cake that you eat the night of the birthday party and then the next night and the night after that until it's all gone. Oh, and it is extra delicious with a scoop of french vanilla ice cream on top!

Ending 2: After dinner and dessert we got a show. My brother Bryan bought my Dad a roman candle for his birthday. A roman candle? Yes, a roman candle. In and of itself, weird, I know. But when used for the purposes my brother intended for it to be used, an awesome gift.

So the deal was my dad would stand on one side of the yard and my younger brother PJ would stand on the other and my dad would get to shoot the roman candle at him. Initially I was ecstatic to watch this family spectacle until I became apart of it. After two near misses directed at my brother, Pj bolted and my Dad turned his fire onto the crowd of which I was apart of. We all scattered as sparks flew in between us. It was seriously like the last battle in Harry Potter. My dad might as well of been yelling Avada Kedavra. 

              Work by John Hendrix

It was epic and I caught it on tape, but there may be some inappropriate language so I won't post it here :) Believe me, it was epic.

But even "Ending 2" is not the end. This one comes with a recipe!

Campfire Delight Cake
adapted from Sweetpolita

Chocolate Cake
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong black coffee (can be hot)
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare 3 x 8″ round cake pans with butter and flour or parchment paper.

2. In a bowl of electric mixer, sift all the dry ingredients. Add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and with paddle attachment on the mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. (You may need the plastic splashguard that comes with mixer.) Batter will be liquidy.

3. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake for 20-30 minutes rotating the pans halfway through the baking time. Cakes are done when a toothpick comes out clean or almost clean. Do not over-bake. 

4. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes then gently invert the cakes onto the racks until completely cool, then wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before building the cake. It is easiest to bake the cake part the day before and refrigerate over night. Working with cold cake is just a lot easier with layer cakes.

Malted Chocolate Frosting          
1 lb butter (4 sticks or 2 cups) at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup Ovaltine Classic (brown in color)
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped and melted
1/2 cup whipping cream

1. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the icing sugar and butter and beat on low speed for about 1 minute.

2. Add vanilla and malt powder, and beat on low until well combined.

3. Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes).

4. Add whipping cream and beat on med-high speed for another minute.

5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator while you make the toasted marshmallow creme.

Toasted-Marshmallow Creme          
16 large white marshmallows
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 lb butter (2 sticks, or 1 cup) at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
7 oz of Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Cream (or Marshmallow Fluff)

1. Preheat the broiler. Place marshmallows on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

2. While the oven is pre-heating, combine the butter and powdered sugar in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on low until blended (about 1 minute). Add vanilla and mix on high for about 3 minutes. 

3. Place the marshmallow sheet on the lower rack of the oven, and broil the marshmallows until nice and brown. Be sure to keep an eye on them–they burn very, very quickly.

4. Add marshmallow cream and toasted marshmallows to the butter mixture and mix on lowest setting for about 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Building The Cake
1. Take your three cakes, marshmallow cream and  chocolate frosting out of the fridge and cut off the doming tops off of two of your cakes.

2. Place the sturdiest flat layer on top of a cake board that's set on a spinning cake decorating stand if you have one.

3. Smooth half of the marshmallow cream on top with a spatula.

4. Place the second flat cake layer on top of that and smooth on the other half of the marshmallow creme. Top with the domed cake layer, dome on top.

5. Cover the entire cake with a THIN layer of chocolate frosting (the crumb layer) and refrigerate for 30 minutes. You can return the frosting to the fridge as well.

6. Take your frosting out of the fridge 10 min before the cake comes out. Finally, frost the cake with a thick layer of chocolate frosting. (You will have a lot of extra frosting you can freeze for cupcakes later on :)

7. To create the frosted effect, with a medium palette knife (straight, not offset)using your dominant hand, hold the palette knife with a medium-firm pressure at about a 45 degree angle starting at the bottom of the cake, and with your other hand slowly spin the turntable while keeping your palette knife against the cake at at all times, then gradually directing the palette knife upwards until you get to the top. Finish with the same technique on top. If you aren’t happy with your  attempt, this frosting is so satiny, that you can smooth it over and try again.

8. Top with a single Lindt chocolate and some chocolate sprinkles. (You can serve immediately or refrigerate until service, just make sure to take it out 30 minutes before serving.)

Then make a wish, blow out the candles and grab your roman candle for a good time!


  1. This was seriously the best cake ever!

  2. Tried it for ourselves, and wow!!!!

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