ITS RICH’S BIRTHDAY!
The is just one problem with loving to cook, starting a food blog, improving your cooking skills, and dating someone who loves to eat my cooking. That is: when I offer the world for his birthday, he decided to take it and challenge me to get an awesome birthday cake this year. I love a challenge, so was ready to try making Chocolate Cake Cheesecake (you know kinda like the Cheesecake Factory’s classic dessert) when that was what Rich requested. After some Foodgawker searching I found Erin’s Food Files version that she recently made and decided I was up for this birthday challenge. Since last weekend I made a chocolate-peanut butter cake (and Rich didn’t want a peanut butter frosting) I decided to search for a different frosting (Rich requested a fudge-like chocolate frosting) and decided to roughly base my frosting on Beantown Baker’s Chocolate Frosting.
Be sure to set aside some time (cheesecake the day before) to make this cake – but once all of your parts are ready it is a fast assembly! The cheesecake layer is nice and smooth not a super solid cheesecake so it fits perfectly with the soft layers of the cake. Feel free to decorate however you want (I went with sprinkles since it was a birthday!) and just enjoy this cake for a special occasion [or whatever].
- 1 1/4 pounds bar cream cheese (20 oz), room temperature
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Boil a pot of water. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, scraping down side of bowl. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract and salt. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down side of bowl after each addition. Beat in sour cream.
Cut parchment paper in a circle and line the bottom of the cheesecake pan. Wrap bottom half of pan in foil. Pour in filling; place in a roasting pan. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up side of springform. Bake until just set in center, about 45 minutes. Remove pan from water; let cool 20 minutes. Run a paring knife around edge; let cool completely. Cover; chill overnight, then on day 2 take out of the springform (leaving bottom on) and wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.
- Butter, for greasing the pans
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour [plus more for pans]
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 extra-large or large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee OR Guinness warmed up (since Rich loves our Guinness cake but it not a coffee drinker)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (9-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
- 8 Tbsp butter (1 stick)
- 4 oz cream cheese (1/2 a block)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup milk (or Baileys) – I did a 50/50 mix & used Vanilla Almond Milk
Cream butter and cream cheese and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Slowly add milk until frosting reaches desired consistency, then beat another 5 minutes until creamy.
Place first layer of cake on cake stand. If desired, frost with a little frosting. Remove cheesecake from freezer, unwrap, and remove from metal bottom of the pan, then be sure to peel off parchment paper. Place cheesecake layer on top of the cake. If the cheesecake is wider than the cake & its necessary to to trim it, wait approximately 10 minutes for the cheesecake to soften, then trim it with a knife. Place top layer of cake on top of the cheesecake, and coat with a layer of frosting (crumb coat). Refrigerate approximately 30 minutes, then frost the remaining frosting. Top with shaved chocolate, chocolate chips, or decoration of your choosing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.