Even FitSugar admits that a birthday party is a wonderful occasion to splurge on a decadent dessert. Or in the case of her little girls' birthday party, two decadent desserts. Since it's a joint event that celebrates both her daughters birthdays, she is letting them each choose a dessert.
One has asked for a delicious cherry chocolate layered cake, and the other requests chocolate chip cupcakes. A spectacular mom, Fit will be using the following recipes to whip up these treats. Look at them when you
2 (approximately 12 ounces each) chocolate pound cakes
1/2 cup black cherry jam
1/2 cup cherry brandy
2 cups drained bottled sour cherries (recommended: Morello)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, minimum 70 percent cocoa solids, chopped
1 1/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon milk
1 1/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
8 egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
3 cups heavy cream
1-ounce bittersweet chocolate
Special Equipment: Large wide trifle bowl [or any large bowl - preferably clear so that you can see the layers]
- Slice the chocolate pound cake and make jam sandwiches with the cherry jam, and layer the bottom of a large wide trifle bowl. Pour over the cherry brandy so that the cake soaks it up, and then top with the drained cherries. Cover with cling wrap and leave to soften while you make the custard.
- Melt the chocolate on low to medium heat in the microwave, checking after 2 minutes, though it will probably need 4 minutes. Once the chocolate is melted, set aside while you get on with the custard.
- In a saucepan warm the milk and cream.
- Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and cocoa in a large bowl.
- Pour the warm milk and cream into the bowl whisking it into the yolks and sugar mixture.
- Stir in the melted chocolate, scraping the sides well with a rubber spatula to get all of it in, and pour the custard back into the rinsed saucepan.
- Cook over a medium heat until the custard thickens, stirring all the time. Make sure it doesn't boil, as it will split and curdle. (Keep a sink full of cold water so that if you get scared you can plunge the bottom of the custard pan into the cold water and
whisk like mad, which will avert possible crisis.) The custard will get darker as it cooks and the flecks of chocolate will melt once the custard has thickened. And you do need this thick, so don't panic so much that you stop cooking while it is still runny. Admittedly, it continues to thicken as it cools and also when it's chilling in the refrigerator.
- Once it is ready, pour into a bowl to cool and cover the top of the custard with cling wrap to prevent a skin from forming.
- When the custard is cold, pour and spread it over the chocolate cake layer in the trifle bowl, and leave in the refrigerator to set, covered in cling wrap overnight.
- When you are ready to decorate, softly whip the cream for the topping [if you don't have an electric mixer, this could take a while] and spread it gently over the layer of custard. Grate the chocolate over the top.
2 packages (3 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups miniature or regular semisweet chocolate chips
1 box devil's food cake mix
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 container vanilla frosting
- Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
- In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and 1 egg with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the chocolate chips; set aside.
- In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil and 3 eggs on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Divide batter among muffin cups (1/4 cup in each). Top each with 1 heaping teaspoon cream cheese mixture.
- Bake 17 to 22 minutes or until tops spring back when touched lightly. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove from pan; cool completely, about 30 minutes.
- Frost with frosting. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.
Makes 24 cupcakes.