Thursday, February 12, 2015

Chocolate surprise cake

Hello, everyone!  Happy Thursday!  I'm not sure if you were are, but this weekend is Valentine's Day!  Surprise cakes are all the rage right now, and the best part is, they're exceptionally easy to do!  This is a lovely chocolate cake with a perfect little heart in the middle; this can be done with any shape, and any flavor, of course; however, with the upcoming holiday, I figured a heart would be the best way to go.
This chocolate cake is everything you'd want a chocolate cake to be...moist and chocolaty.  These hearts are made with a store bought, frozen pound cake.  Feel free to bake up your own pound cake, but I personally love to use frozen pound cakes in things like this!  
This cake really comes together pretty quickly, so let's get started!
Here's your grocery list for this one:
1 stick and 2 Tbs of unsalted butter, softened
1 C granulated sugar
1/2 C Greek yogurt
3 large eggs
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 C All purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Mini chocolate chips
1 frozen pound cake (or your favorite homemade one)

To start off with, preheat your oven to 350*, then put your butter and sugar into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, and mix until well incorporated.

After that, add in your vanilla, eggs, and Greek yogurt, and again, mix well.  Pretty standard operating procedure here, folks.  Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, put your dry ingredients in together, and whisk, so that they are well incorporated.  

Your wet ingredients may look a little lumpy, but that's okay!  With your mixer running on low, slowly add in your dry ingredients.  Otherwise, you will be wearing more of the flour mix than goes in the bowl!

Once its all mixed, add about 1/2 C of mini chocolate chips, and let these mix in for a few seconds before turning your mixer off.  You want these to just mix in!
This is a very thick batter; it reminds me a lot a pound cake batter, so don't worry if it isn't very runny.  Now then, take your frozen pound cake, and cut pieces out that are as wide as your cookie cutter, and get to cutting your shapes out!  As you cut them out, line them up in your loaf pan, so that you cut out just enough.  You don't want the line to be touching the far sides, or else the chocolate cake batter won't cover the hearts on the outside.  
You can see that I lined my loaf pan with aluminum foil; this makes for much easier clean up, and there is no way your cake is going to get stuck in the pan!  Win/win! 

Once you have enough hearts lined up, take them out and set them aside.  Take about 1/3 of the cake batter, and smooth it out into a level layer.  Take your line of hearts (or, whatever shape you're using) and gently press them into the batter, again, making sure that the first shape is about 1/4" away from the edge of the pan, and that the last heart is about 1/4" away from the other end of the pan.

Now then, you have a stiff batter, and need to cover these hearts somehow, without making the shapes go all wonky.  What's a baker to do?  Easy!  Grab a zip top bag!  You may remember, from my Nana's carrot cake post, this is the easiest way to put your batter (or icing) exactly where you want it!

So, with that in mind, run some batter on either side of the hearts, then over the top, smoothing over the top.  Once your batter is all smooth and pretty, feel free to sprinkle with another 1/2 C or so of the mini chocolate chips.  I always do!  Who ever complained that something was too chocolaty?!  You don't need that kind of negativity in your life, that's for sure.  Once you're ready, pop this beauty into the preheated oven, and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the cake is cooked all of the way through.  Let cool for about 15 minutes in the pan, then move to a wire rack.
Slice in front of your audience, and accept all of the, "Ooohhh"s and "Aaahhhh"s with a smile, and don't tell anyone how amazingly easy this was! 

I hope you all have a lovely Valentine's Day, and spend it with those that you love!  See you next week, everyone!