Just in time for Easter, I made a Speckled Egg Cookies and Cream Cake. As my mother used to say, “I had more fun than a barrel of monkeys!”. I dirtied lots of bowls and utensils by the time I finished with the cake but it was worth it.
This is the kind of cake you go into thinking about how nice the end product is going to be. To shorten the process, I started with two boxes so that I’d have full even layers. I baked them in two 8-inch round pans. Splitting layers is not my forte so using two mixes ensures that each layer bakes to the top of the pans. If at any time this results in a dome on top, I slice off the tops and we snack on them or they get tossed in the freezer to resurface as cake truffles later.
After baking the mixes according to the package instructions, I folded in 3/4 cup of coarsely crushed chocolate sandwich cookies and then spooned the batter into the pans that were prepared for non-stick baking. I also lined the bottom of the pans with parchment circles.
While the cakes were baking, I made the buttercream frosting. Once the cakes had cooled to room temperature and were firm enough to handle I gave each layer a generous brush with simple syrup. After placing the first layer on my serving plate I piped a ring of buttercream frosting around the edges. This helps to keep any frosting or filling on the layer from bulging out at the seam. Who likes a bulge at the seam, certainly not me! Next, the top layer is applied and the cake is ready for crumb coating.
As the name implies the crumb coat seals in any loose crumbs and prevents them from getting into the final coat of frosting. For the crumb and final coat of frosting, I always use an offset spatula. The large surface area of the spatulas makes it much easier to come in contact with the frosting. This makes applying and smoothing the frosting easier and it keeps your knuckles and fingers from digging into the cake. Once the crumb coat is applied the cake goes into the fridge for at least 15-20 minutes to chill and set the frosting.
Once out of the fridge it’s time for the final coat. We prefer more cake than frosting with each bite so it’s applied with a light hand. You do have to apply enough so that it’s an even amount which makes smoothing out the final coat much easier. Typically, I will use the same size or larger offset spatula to smooth the sides. On occasion, I’ll also use a large frosting smoother. Here’s a helpful tip; drywall scrapers (new and unused of course) also do the job just as well.
To smooth the tops of my cakes this is my favorite gadget. I’ve been using this icing blade for over 20 years and I have no idea where it came from. It’s perfect for big cakes, and sheet cakes. Once everything was smoothed out, back in the fridge it went for another 20 minutes.
I will share my buttercream frosting recipe along with a few helpful hints in a later post.
Now here’s where the fun and mess came in. Hence the grungy looking background sheet. This is also what I use to protect my walls and countertops when I airbrush. I mixed 1/3 cup of cocoa with water adding a little at a time until it was the right consistency for speckling. I was so anxious to start speckling I forgot to take a picture of the process. Using a small pastry brush I dipped it in the cocoa mix and pulled back on the brush and aimed it at the cake. Speckles everywhere!
To top my Speckled Egg Cookies and Cream Cake I made a chocolate coconut nest and filled it with speckled malted eggs.
4 oz finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate
2/3 cup sweetened coconut
Speckled Malted Eggs
Line baking sheet with parchment paper or use a Silpat. Melt the chocolate in a microwave on high at 35-second intervals until smooth. Stir in coconut until completely combined. Drop rounded tablespoons of mixture onto prepared pan, space them at least 2 inches apart and keep them as round as possible. Using the back of a large spoon gently press into center of each mound to create a slight depression. Gently press 3 or 4 speckled malted eggs in the center and let them set until firm. Place one on top of the cake and save any extras for later.
These are the link parties I participate in. Drop by and show them a little love!