Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Chocolate Gingerbread Cake with Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting & A Star Wars Baby Shower!

Ummmm, have you had enough eggnog recipes yet?!  No?  Yay!  This Chocolate Gingerbread Cake, was made for a super lovely lady friend of mine, who is expecting her first baby!  We threw her a Star Wars themed baby shower, which may seem a little odd for a baby shower, but if you know this girl, you know how perfectly suited to her it was.  No gross baby shower games like eating out of a diaper, drinking out of a bottle, or guessing weight and date were done at this shower.  But if I had to guess a baby name?  My money's on Luke, Leia, or Harrison.  I  love this girl.  She's gonna be the best mama.

Remember those eggnog sugar cookies that we baked up last week?  Those were the topper, and the inspiration for this "It's a Jedi cake".  Perfect for this soon to be mama, who loooooves her eggnog!   Underneath those cookies?  Pure heaven...in holiday spiced, chocolaty, and sugary-sweet form!  Chocolate gingerbread cake?? Come on!!  And if you're going to do an eggnog flavoured frosting, it might as well have cream cheese too!  (Duh!)  Rum would be a delightful addition to the frosting, but I figured, booze and baby = a no no, so I stuck with vanilla.  What really took this cake to the next level, was the decadent chocolate gananche!  I found that the Star Wars Font "It's a Jedi" letters that I had created out of the eggnog sugar cookies, didn't really stand out.  Ganache was my delicious solution to help give the lettering some pop!

This cake is full of the flavours of the holiday season, and would be a perfect addition to any party you may be hosting or attending this Christmas, and is absolutely certain to wow all!
Chocolate Gingerbread Cake
Recipe adapted from: Savory Sweet Life

2 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
1 cup hot coffee
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced or grated.  (A trick I learned, is to keep a nub of ginger in the freezer.  Super easy to add fresh ginger to recipes, by grating the frozen root!  Thanks Martha!)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare 2 round cake pans, by greasing with butter or oil,  and shaking with cocoa or flour, and set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, add the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices together, and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the hot coffee, and fresh ginger, with the cocoa powder, and set aside. 
Using a large bowl cream the butter, oil and both sugars until the mixture is super fluffy, about 3-5 minutes, add the eggs and molasses, mixing for another minute or so.  Next add the dry ingredients, and mix until combined.  And lastly, add the coffee-cocoa-ginger concoction to the batter and mix until smooth.  Pour the batter into your greased cake pans, and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until a inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cook for 5-10 minutes before shaking loose.  Finish the cooling on wire racks, before frosting.

Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting

1 package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons rum extract (optional)
2 teaspoons nutmeg
3-4 cups icing sugar

Using a stand up or hand held mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy.
Add in the vanilla and nutmeg and continue to mix.  On low speed, slowly add in icing sugar a cup at a time, until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.  

Chocolate Ganache

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 - 1/2 cup half-and-half

I don't have a double boiler, I just use a stainless steel bowl over a pot of boiling water. I use a mix of dark and semi-sweet chocolate, but you can use all 8 ounces of either type according to your preference. Add the chocolate, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth and glossy. Allow ganache to cool slightly, but use while still warm.
Make sure you are using a large plate, or baking sheet, to catch any drips. Pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using a spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. 
Refrigerate, uncovered, for at about 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely.


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