It's hard to make real friends in this day and age. People tend to be more self-absorbed and image focused. I blame the hype of facebook and twitter. Your worth is measured in tweets and "likes." Communication is artificial. The art of listening is lost. It's kind of like finding good music- the most fulfilling relationships are where you least suspect them.
That's why this cake is made with so much love and why I got so frustrated when it wasn't perfect. It was a small token of appreciation for the man we lovingly refer to as Master Santos.
Rich is one the most genuine people on the face of the PLANET. My respect and care for him is infinite. He says he's a little brother to me, but little brother's shouldn't be so wise. You can see the intelligence spark in his warm eyes. He is unwaveringly caring and will do anything for a soul in need. Through all his personal demons, trials, and tribulations, he has demonstrated a strength few posses. Plus, he is a dance monster with boundless originality and creativity. It is an honor to be his friend.
For his birthday, we tried (and failed miserably) to surprise him. We settled with a movie and, afterward, busted out the cake.
The problem with a nice guy like Rich is he will eat anything and smile. I was torn on what to bake. Chocolate? Lemon? Bacon? In keeping with the winter mood, the idea of a smore cake began to prance around the brain. There were so many ideas on how to do this, the boyfriend and I started making diagrams of the layers. Here is the end result!
Moist cinnamon cake. Semi-sweet chocolate ganache. Rich brownie. Graham cracker crumbs. Marshmallows. And a marshmallow frosting. Layers on layers on layers. Sounds like such a mistake, right? Oh my gawsh. Saying it aloud makes it sound so horrible.
Personally... I thought it was too rich because of the brownie sandwiched in between the layers of cinnamon cake. I would have been happier with a ton of ganache and marshmallows instead of the brownie or a chocolate cake with graham cracker crumbs. See- again all the possibilities! If you're into that decadent dessert scene, you will love the brownie. The part I did LOVE was the actual cinnamon cake. Very moist and on-point!
The other point of frustration was the frosting. I didn't let the fluff cool down enough so it didnt have the tall whipped points planned. Instead, this cool, cloud like pattern was born.
This cake is best served warm, so either toast the top right before serving or let it warm up for a bit in the microwave or oven. Store in an air tight container.
And of course... Rich said he liked it. Mahal kita punk.
1 cinnamon cake (see below)
2 sheets of graham crackers, smashed
4 marshmallows, cut in halves
Ganache (see below) or canned chocolate frosting
1 9-inch diameter brownie (home made or box mix)
Marshmallow frosting (see below)
Cut the cinnamon cake in two with a cake cutter or long knife. Please be careful! Place the cake in the freezer for a few minutes to make cutting easier (it will be more stiff). Level the top.
Spread a layer of ganache on top of bottom layer. Be generous. Sprinkle with graham crackers and layer with cut marshmallows.
Trim the crisp edges off the brownie. I made a box mix- this aint the Martha Stewart show. Place on bottom layer of the cake. Spread more ganache. Top with other half of cinnamon cake. Frost as desired. I used a 1 M tip and made swirls. Pipe in the gap between cake layers to fill. Let it be messy. It's a s'more!
adapted from Bon Appetit
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Sift first 7 ingredients into small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add brown sugar and beat until well blended. Beat in egg yolks. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with sour cream in 2 additions. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in medium bowl until stiff but not dry; fold into batter in 2 additions. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
Bake cake until top is golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cake 10 minutes. Cut around pan sides; release pan sides. Cool cake completely on rack.
1 pound fine-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
In a small saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth. Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable (depending on chocolate used, it may be necessary to chill frosting to spreadable consistency). I found that stirring this over a bowl of ice water did a great job of cooling it off.
from Joy the Baker
4 large egg whites1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
large pinch of salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
In a large pot, bring about 2 inches of water to a simmer.
In a large, heat-proof bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar, corn syrup and salt. The mixture will be grainy, because of the sugar.
Place bowl over simmering water and whisk as it heats. The sugar will dissolve after about 5 minutes. Keep and eye on the mixture, it shouldn’t get warm enough to cook the eggs
Transfer the egg white and sugar mixture to the bowl of an electric stand mixer. With a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, on high, until stiff peaks form (about 5 minutes). The mixture will be fluffy and glossy and look like melted marshmallows. It’ll be sticky too. Beat in the vanilla extract last. Cover, and set aside until ready to frost cupcakes.