Every year my local fair hosts a King Arthur Flour baking contest along with their usual baking competitions. Some years are very specific about what you make, even giving a recipe to use. This year though was a cake free-for-all, the only stipulation was that you use King Arthur brand flour.
This year I made, what, at least in parts, are my best recipes. A beautiful black cocoa cake, a simple but delicious white cake, my signature buttercream and a new-to-me chocolate mirror glaze. Each part is amazing on its own, and together they make something that should be hard to beat. Seriously, I would just drink the warm mirror glaze as if it were hot cocoa.
The best part is the recipes were easy to fiddle with and I was able to darken the chocolate and easily cut the white in half to create an oreo-like three layer cake.
Usually my frosting skills leave some to be desired, but this only called for a smooth (in my case -ish) surface before the cake gets chilled and is ready for glaze. The glaze took some patience, waiting for the near boil to cool to 90-95 degrees was a challenge. Especially since it was after dark and the contest was the next morning. It was worth the wait though, despite my not-so-perfect crumb coat the glaze flowed over everything really nicely.
To drive home the Oreo theme I decorated the edge with half-cookies which reflect nicely in the mirror surface to give it an extra punch. Then it spent the night in the fridge and now it waits on the judging table for the final word.
**Update – it placed 2nd in the bake-off! A team of local chefs judged all the entries and we came out 2nd. This years winner was a mango-spice cake, third was chocolate raspberry. AND second prize comes with a $50 gift certificate to King Arthur Flour, I can finally splurge on some baking gear! **
Dark Chocolate Cake: (2x 9” rounds)
2 c sugar
1 ¾ c King Arthur AP flour
¾ c black cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2c vegetable oil
2tsp vanilla extract
3/4c boiling water
Mix dry ingredients, combine wet (excluding boiling water) in another bowl then add slowly. Beat for 2 mins until well combined. Hand mix in boiling water, batter will be thin. Pour into 2 greased 9” round pans, bake at 350* for 30-35mins
White Cake: (1x 9” round)
1 1/8c King Arthur AP flour
1/2c milk at room temp
3 egg whites
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
2 tsp baking powder
6 tbls room temp butter
Cream butter and sugar, mix dry ingredients, combine wet in another bowl then add alternately to creamed butter/sugar mix until well combined. Pour into greased 9” round pan, bake at 350* for 23-25 mins.
½ c butter at room temp
½ c shortening
3 c powdered sugar
~ ¼ c heavy cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
cream butter and shortening until very fluffy, alternately add powdered sugar and heavy cream, beating well in between, add vanilla. Beat additional 5-7 mins until very light and fluffy.
Stack cakes (chocolate – white- chocolate) filling between layers then frosting entire cake with a thin, smooth layer. Freeze.
Chocolate Mirror Glaze:
3 ½ oz sweetened condensed milk
6 oz semi sweet chips
¾ c sugar
3 ½ oz water
1 tbls gelatin powder
¼ c cold water
3 tbls black cocoa powder
Mix gelatin and 1/4cold water in bowl, let bloom 5-10min
In saucepan – add 3 ½ oz water, sugar, s.c.milk and cocoa, bring to just boiling, remove from heat and stir in gelatin/water mixture until dissolved. Pour over chocolate chips, mix until melted. Use immersion blender until liquid is completely smooth. Let cool to 90*-95*
pour over chilled cake let set, decorate with halved mini oreos on top edge of cake
** I am not affiliated with King Arthur Flour, nor do I receive anything for using/naming their product, I usually do not specify brands but since this was a contest creation I’ve left it as such **