06 February 2013

Calvin's Chocolate Layer Cake

Calvin turned 6 last week.  

He requested a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  Of course.

MMMM chocolate cake.  

If you've been following me you know I've lost 35 lbs and am now back to my pre-baby size.  I've become a Health Coach with Take Shape for Life and am loving all my new energy and enjoying a healthy lifestyle.  

I believe that part of having a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight is to live a little occasionally.   

If you never allow yourself any indulgences you will find it difficult to maintain it for life.  Which I plan to.  So I allow myself a glass of wine now and then and a piece of cake on birthdays. (if you are in a weight LOSS phase... you should do your best to hold off on indulgences until the maintenance phase)

In the past I'd make a HUGE 9" double (sometimes quad) layer cake.  It would take my family a week to get through it all. 

So here is my NEW way to indulge but keep myself on track.  

Make the cake smaller!  

I'll pause for you to grasp my genius.

Did you know a standard 9" double layer cake is supposed to serve 15-20 people? 

A 6" double layer cake serves 6-8 people.  And you can use ANY cake recipe... just half it.

So now you can indulge in home made birthday cake.  Once.  And then get back on track with out the other half of the cake staring at you each time you open the refrigerator door.

(btw:  I ordered really good 6" cake pans w/ high sides and removable bottoms on amazon.com)

Chocolate Cake

6 T unsweetened cocoa powder (the best you can afford) + extra for pans
6 T super hot water
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
1 1/2 stick unsalted butter (12 T) + extra for pans
1 C + 2 T sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
1 T vanilla extract
1/2 C sour cream, room temp

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter & coat w/ cocoa powder 2 - 6" round cake pans. 

Mix together in small bowl cocoa powder & hot water until smooth. Set aside.

Mix together flour, soda, baking powder & salt in medium bowl.  Set aside. (I'm a big believer in getting everything lined up first)

Melt butter and sugar in saucepan over low heat. Stirring the whole time.  Remove from heat, beat in electric mixer (with whisk attachment) for 5 minutes at medium.

Add eggs, mix.  Add cocoa / water mixture, mix.  Add vanilla, mix.  Add 1/2 of flour mixture, mix.  Add sour cream, mix.  Add remainder of flour mixture, mix.

Divide between the two pans.  Tap gently.  

Bake for 40m.  Cool in pans for 10m, remove and cool completely on wire rack.  

Wrap in plastic wrap and chill over night if possible before frosting.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

1/2 lb bittersweet chocolate
1 C +3T heavy cream
2 T corn syrup

Put chocolate in large heat-proof bowl.

Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer over medium heat.  

Pour over chocolate.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Stir with spatula until smooth.  

Refrigerate until cool.  Using beater attachment of electric mixer... mix until light an fluffy.  This only take a few minutes.

You will use this frosting immediately.


Get a cake plate.  Put a tiny blop of frosting in the middle (to hold the cake in place).

Now.  Cut the 2 cake layers in half horizontally to make 4 cake layers.  If you do this right out of the refrigerator it should be easy.  Then simply layer, cake, frosting, cake, frosting, etc.  Only use enough frosting between layers to very thinly cover the cake.

Then do your crumb coat (super thin layer of frosting to seal in the crumbs)

And the final frosting.  This is frosted very thinly btw.  Use an offset spatula to smooth.  For a super smooth surface dip the spatula in hot water... shake off and then smooth.

Put the rest of the frosting in a plastic bag w/ a pastry tip in one corner (you'll have to cut off a small corner for the pastry tip to go through)

Do whatever detail you want.

Now enjoy your single slice of cake!  It's a special occasion after all.  And the best part is you won't have tons of left overs to call to you tomorrow when you get back on your weight loss track!


Read my Getting Healthy story.
If you are interested in learning more about getting and staying healthy please contact me!

Jennifer Z. Lewis
 Certified Health Coach
Web site: teamlewis.tsfl.com

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