Last year I made an Elmo cake for Ethan’s second birthday. It seemed pretty logical that this year should be Cookie Monster’s turn. As if the full house of Sesame Street characters and the constantly playing of TV shows are NOT ENOUGH. I don’t know how to explain that except MOTHERS ARE DUMB.
This time, though, also celebrated Maya’s first birthday. For sure she recognized the character on the cake because I had been telling her since weeks ago that I was making her a Cookie Monster cake. And look! How much it looks DIFFERENT from Cookie Monster. Imagine if I wasn’t reminding her everyday.
Ingredients (8-inch 2-layer cake):
Chocolate Devil’s Food Layer Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups boiling water
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
5 large egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 4 drops of blue food colouring paste
1/4 cup Nutella
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans, and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, whisk the boiling water, chocolate and cocoa powder until smooth.
Beat butter and sugar together on medium speed in a bowl of a standing mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in sour cream and vanilla extract.
Reduce the speed to low and beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half of the chocolate mixture. Repeat with another 1/3 of the flour mixture and the remaining chocolate mixture. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until just incorporated.
Divide the batter and pour into the prepared pans, smoothing the surface with a spatula. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Place the cakes (in the pans) on a wire rack to cool. Then invert the cakes onto a greased rack. Cool completely before frosting.
To prepare the buttercream, put egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water. Use an electric hand mixer to beat constantly until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot. Remove from heat.
With whisk attachment, continue whipping the mixture in a standing mixer until thick, glossy, and cool.
Switch over to paddle attachment. While mixing on medium speed, continuously add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture. If curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth. Add vanilla and salt, mix well.
Reserve 3 cups of the buttercream. Set aside. Add the food colouring in the remaining buttercream and beat for another 10 seconds, or until the colour are evenly distributed.
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on your serving plate and spread with 1/3 of the white buttercream. Place another cake layer on top, and gently press down a little bit. Spread with another 1/3 of the white buttercream. Smear the remaining 1/3 of the white buttercream on the sides of the cake.
Outline the eyes and mouth with a toothpick, and fill with Nutella. Pipe blue buttercream on the face.
Cover and refrigerate the cake. Leave out in room temperature for at least an hour prior to serving.