Hey Food and Cake Lovers !
Today I’m showing you my birthday cake I made because, who doesn’t love a challenge ? To make it clear, I am NOT a baker. My baking experience is only related to what we had to learn during my three culinary arts course at N.A.I.T.
Sure, we were taught all the basics of baking ; my practicum experiences lead to the baking I learned at school.
[ Are you like me and skip the intro part, looking for the actual recipe ? Well then head down to the recipe]
However, as an experienced chef for a good 35 years, it’s not hard for me to pick up my baking skills and tricks. My experience is related to Fine Dining French cuisines to cooking for large banquets. Hell, I even tried industrial cooking, working a term at Canyon Creek Soup Company, just became I was curious how this kind of cooking operation worked.
So — my birthday cake was made to celebrate my 64th birthday. I started planning this 4 layer cake three days ahead, simply because I’m not a experienced baker and wanted to make sure I covered everything before I proceed.
In cooking terms, “ Mise en Place” is the French culinary phrase which means “putting in place” or “everything in its place”. Getting ready is sooooo important in any task that you do. If you’re not prepared, things will quickly fall apart.
Just writing out this recipe took me a few hours to make sure I’m ready to start baking.
My cake is a 4 layer cake 🎂 with a chocolate cake on the bottom, with 2 layers of Red Velvet cake in the middle and another chocolate cake layer for the top piece.
Next, after baking the cakes, I begin with the cream cheese icing for the middle, between the two Red Velvet cakes.
Next is preparing the chocolate mousse for the bottom and top chocolate cakes.
After that, comes the chocolate ganache poured directly on top.
It’s then I start with the whipping cream; I spared no expense for my birthday cake – lol.
Had to think of a layer structure on top that would add to the overall over-the-edge display. There were so many avenues I could do, however I wanted this to be an elegant cake that also has a mans decor, sort-of-speak.
SO — here we go with the RECIPE :
MY BIRTHDAY CAKE BY CHEF BARI
[ Experience Level – intermediate baking skills / Allow 3 days to prepare w/ 2 to 3 hours per day ]
LETS BEGIN with — FIRST DAY
Easy Peezy Chocolate Cake Recipe – CLICK HERE for full recipe. Place cakes into freezer until you’re ready to build the cake.
RED VELVET CAKE RECIPE
Get your Mise en Place together ( measure your ingredients )
- 2 1/2 cup of sifted flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Sift all dry ingredients into a medium size bowl
- 1 cup of canola oil or Grapeseed oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice ( stir together)
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
RED COLOURING TECHNIQUE – mix together before adding
- 4 tablespoons of red food colour
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
First Preheat oven at 350 degrees F and spray 2 – 9 inch cake pans.
- Crack 2 eggs into your mixer. Mix well.
- Add 1 cup of canola oil ; incorporate.
- Add your mixed food colouring and cocoa powder into oil/egg mixture. Combine.
- Add parts of the flour mixture and alternate with the milk/lemon juice mixture. Repeat until you have the complete cake batter.
- Pour into 9 inch cake pans.
- Bake for 35 – 45 minutes at 350 degrees F. Depending on your oven it will most likely be ready in 40 minutes. But use the Toothpick check ( insert toothpick, if it comes clean, it’s ready )
- Cool for 8 minutes and remove from pans.
Place cakes in freezer until you’re ready to build your cake.
NEXT : Prepare the CREAM CHEESE ICING
PEARL WHITE CREAM CHEESE ICING
- 1 (8oz ) package of Cream Cheese
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 2 cups icing sugar
Note : Double cream cheese icing, if making 2 – 8 inch cake pans.
- Mix cream cheese and soft butter together until nice and smooth.
- Set aside in the fridge until you’re ready to build your cake. Remember…I like to make my birthday cake in three days, as it allows me time to prepare it correctly.
NEXT : Prepare White Chocolate Mousse
QUICK WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
This chocolate mousse is NOT the traditional French style mousse, ( where eggs are involved) but will be the best one for your filling inside your layers of cake. ( Please purchase my cookbook for the original French style Chocolate mousse ).
- 3 cups of white semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/4 cups of whipping cream (33 – 35 % liquid cream)
- 2 teaspoons of coffee
- 2 packages of unflavoured gelatine
- 1/4 cup water ( for gelatine to bloom)
- 1 litre ( 3.5 cups) of whipping cream ( 33 – 35 % cream) YES – more whipping cream from the above whipping cream.
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
Note : Normally chocolate mousse doesn’t require gelatine, but because it’s meant to set firm within the layers of your cake, gelatine is an important step)
- Mix Gelatine in 1/4 cup of water. Let set for 5 minutes until it blooms.
- Warm 1 cup of whipping cream with 2 teaspoons of coffee in your microwave/ approximately 1 – 2 minutes (must be hot).
- Place 3 cups of white chocolate in metal bowl. Add your 1 1/4 cup of hot cream. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, let’s begin mixing 3 1/2 cups of whipping cream ( that’s exactly 1 litre ) in a cold metal bowl. Whip up until it begins to thicken. Add in your sugar and keep mixing. Add your vanilla and finish mixing until a nice firm peak.
- Your white chocolate has sat now for 5 minutes with warm cream. Now mix in the gelatine and mix together until nice and smooth. You can under a bath of ice or wait until your chocolate cools down. You should be able to place your fringed in the chocolate without burning it.
- Once cooled down, add a couple of large spoons into whipped cream, fold into chocolate mixer.
- Fold in the rest of the whipping cream into your chocolate mixture. ( Fold in easy ).
- Place in cake moulds lined with parchment paper, because I want the round shape to sit on top of the chocolate cakes x 2.
- Place in fridge for 3 – 4 hours until firm and set or the next day.
Today you’ll need another 1 litre of whipped cream. So first things first , whip up more whipping cream and set to the side in the fridge. ( See instructing above if you forgot)
You will need a metal spatula today.
Optional : 2 ounces of Spiced Rum or Orange liqueur.
BEGIN BUILDING YOUR BIRTHDAY CAKE
- Take your one chocolate cake and one of Red Velvet cake out of freezer and let get to room temperature, so it’s east to cut.
- Take out your cream cheese icing.
IMPORTANT: Hold back 1/4 cup of cream cheese icing ( Will use to decorate at the end)
- Cut chocolate cakes length wise into two pieces.
- Cut Red Velvet Cake length wise into two pieces.
- Bottom Layer will start with one sliced piece of chocolate cake.
- Sprinkle Spiced Rum into the cake.
- Add 1 of the 2 formed frozen white chocolate mousse on top of the chocolate cake. (See photo)
- Add 1 of 3 Velvet Cakes on top of the chocolate mousse. (See Photo)
- Sprinkle Spiced Rum on top of cake.
- Now spread a generous portion of cream cheese icing on top of your velvet cake.
- Add the second sliced velvet cake on top of cream cheese icing.
- Sprinkle again with Spiced Rum. ( Don’t forget to give yourself a shot too 😉 ).
- Add your second frozen white chocolate mousse on top of the velvet cake. ( See Photo)
- Now cover that with your last round piece of chocolate cake.
- Sprinkle the last of the Spiced Rum on top of the last cake.
- Place back in freezer to set for 2 hours. You’ll see why later.
- Now you’re going to start with the important topping that will nicely finish off your presentation of your cake.
NEXT : Prepare Chocolate Ganache
- 2 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup of whipping cream (33 – 35 % cream)
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- Place 2 cups of chocolate chips into metal bowl.
- Warm up 1 cup of cream and butter in your microwave until hot – approximately 1 -2 minutes, depending on your microwave.
- Pour hot cream into chocolate chips and let sit for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, mix until nice and smooth. It should be nice and shiny too.
- Let cool for a few minutes, but NOT too long or you’ll have problems pouring it over the top of your cake. ( No lower then 80 degrees F)
- Take out your formed cake from the freezer. ( See Photo)
(TIP : Set your metal spatula into a container of hot water )
- Begin pouring the chocolate ganache starting from the centre of the cake. Take a hot metal spatula and begin smoothing out the top. Don’t worry about it dripping down the sides. That’s perfectly fine.
- Place back into the fridge to set. Approximately 20 minutes until it’s set.
- NOW – Place whipped cream in piping bag and pipe around the cake from bottom to top. Take your metal spatula and smooth down the sides the best you can. (See Photo)
- If you’re adventurous you can now add that 1/4 cup of cream cheese icing I was talking about earlier, and place it in a squeeze tube or smaller piping bag. Starting at the top centre of your cake, start piping out a small circular line ( like a coil) until you reach the outside circle.
- Here’s the fun part. Take a toothpick or wooden skewer ; from the centre, run your toothpick or wooden skewer from the Center straight out, as if you were dividing the cake into eighths or ten pieces. You’ll achieve the same design I’ve done. ( Please see Photo).
- There are lots of decorating ideas you can do for the sides. It can be sliced strawberries like shown or shave up dark chocolate and gently place on the side. Whatever you do, don’t over decorate- it will begin to look too busy…
I also like topping my cake with whipped cream rosettes as you can see in my photo.
Hope you have a great time making my birthday cake like I did.
Please support my efforts by purchasing my cookbook or donating. Please pass along to your friends and family. This is a tested recipe I did for my birthday on May 30th.