Hot Cocoa Cake

Photo by: K. Henriques

I posted the recipe for Hot Chocolate Macarons yesterday and as promised I wanted to post part two of my themed dessert baking for this week. I saw the recipe for this Hot Cocoa Cake “The Perfect Cake” recipe book from America’s Test Kitchen and it looked so fun! I hadn’t planned on making it the same night as the Hot Chocolate Macarons (and probably would not recommend it as both recipes are a little time consuming) but they looked super cute together so it was worth it.

Again, learning valuable lessons from my Christmas baking challenge I prepped everything beforehand. I didn’t have any issues making the cake portion of this recipe however I didn’t pay attention to the fact that I was supposed to do 3 layers; not one. I ended up having to cheat a third layer which created a sloppy layer. Thankfully it was later covered up by icing, but I still prefer it to be more even with similarly aligned edges.

Unfortunately something went wrong with the marshmallow creme filling. First, it was pretty runny so my only guess is I overheated the gelatin rendering it useless. I was afraid all of it would soak into the cake layers and you wouldn’t even know it had been there, however thankfully it was still visible when we cut into it the next day. Secondly, the butter never really mixed in well with the marshmallow creme so there were some chunks of it throughout. I don’t think it affected the taste but next time I think I’ll throw it in the stand mixer and let it whip for a few minutes.

The icing wasn’t too difficult though and I made sure to melt the chocolate and let it cool as the directions said before whipping it with the rest of the heavy cream. My chocolate icing of choice is a chocolate buttercream (much to my husband’s dismay) and so ganaches or other icing’s that use real chocolate aren’t always my favorite because they’re too rich. This is one time I actually felt like it could have used a little more chocolatey flavor but that’s definitely a personal preference though!

Overall, this was a great cake and was something different and fun, especially for winter! America’s Test Kitchen is known for their precision and the only issues I had were my own fault. It’s a little more time consuming of course but worth the effort and tasted really good!

Baking Ease8
Time Spent8
Taste8
Visual9

Recipe Used: The Perfect Cake – America’s Test Kitchen p. 276

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