Plate-Lickingly Good Chocolate Cake! (Henri’s TWO Birthday Cakes)

Chocolate cake recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Henri Turned 10 this month and the celebrating has been at a feverish pitch for weeks. It is a big year when your little baby hits double digits and becomes a Tweenager. On his actual birthday we celebrated with our family. He wanted to rent the movie Grease (one of his babysitters was recently in the play at the high school), have sushi and eat chocolate cake! It sounded like a fantastic idea to me. After 20+ years I’d forgotten about some of the racy content in the movie, which they edited out of the high school play, Oooops! Luckily we were watching at home and could fast forward through the more “educational” scenes!

The cake he chose was amazing. I used my Devil’s Food Cake recipe and topped it with Dorie Greenspan’s Chocolate Malted Buttercream. A bunch of chocolate shavings made it look festive, but it was so simple to put together.

Henri’s Chocolate B-day Cake:

1/2 recipe of Devil’s Food Cake (baked in an 8 by 3-Inch cake pan for about 45 minutes or until tester comes out clean)

Chocolate Malt Buttercream by Dorie Greenspan in Baking: From My Home to Yours:

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar

1/4 cup Malted Milk Powder

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup boiling water

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Pinch salt

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted

Prepare and cool the Devil’s Food Cake

To Prepare the Buttercream:

Melting chocolate with brown sugar | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

In a double boiler melt the chocolate and 1/2 of the brown sugar.

Stirring malted milk powder into melted chocolate | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Stir together the malted milk powder, cocoa and boiling water in a small bowl. Once the chocolate has melted add the malted milk mixture and whisk gently until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Mixing chocolate buttercream in stand mixer | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and remaining 1/2 of the brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the salt and vanilla. Turn the speed down and add the cooled chocolate mixture to the butter. Scrape down the bowl and continue mixing. Slowly add the confectioner’s sugar and mix until smooth.

Chocolate cake topped with chocolate buttercream | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Cut the cake into 2 or 3 layers. Fill the layers with the malted buttercream and then cover the outside with more icing.

Shaving chocolate bar with chef's knife | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

using a chefs knife you can make the chocolate shavings from a large block of chocolate. The backside of the chocolate is generally smooth and if you just scrape the blade against the chocolate it will curl up into shavings.

Chocolate cake covered with chocolate shavings | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Cover the top with the shavings and serve at room temperature.

Chocolate cake recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

This cake actually got better after a day, the icing was smoother and the flavors popped out more, just cover and leave it at room temperature.

The next party was a sleepover with Henri’s buddies from school. They came over, we went to see Star Trek and then they came back to the house for cake, ice cream and a mostly sleepless night! Henri designed T-shirts to give to the kids and wanted me to make a cake to match. He and Charlie had so much fun designing the shirts they decided to start a T-shirt business, more to come on that! This cake was a marbled yellow cake inspired by Shirley O. Corriher’s Magnificent moist Golden Cake in BakeWise with his favorite cream cheese icing.