So today is a pretty celebratory day... first off, it's Kailey's birthday (happy birthday girl!) and it's John's last day at work (it's a good thing)... I wanted to make something unique for the two of them.
I was looking at some of my favourite blogs/ websites and ended up on One Smart Cookie and found a recipe for a Third-Month-of-the-Year Cake (originally from Chocolate by Trish Deseine)...
This cake incorporated a chocolate base with a meringue topping... strange - and yet what could be wrong with that?
So in honour of both Kailey and John - here is my version of this cake!
1/2 c. butter, softened (1 stick of butter)
1 1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. espresso powder
1 c. hot water
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. b. powder
1/4 tsp. salt (I used my vanilla salt)
3 egg whites
1/2 c. w. sugar
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Line your 2 round cake pans with wax paper and spray them with nostick spray... I used my spring form pans so that I could also remove the sides without ruining the top... read on and you'll understand the reason to be so careful.
Then, stir your cocoa and espresso powders into the hot water - whisk everything really well so that you don't have any lumps.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and the sugar together - you want a fluffy combo. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the cocoa-espresso mixture and the vanilla. Add the flour, b. powder and salt, beating at a low speed until just combined.
Divide the batter between your two pans. Bake for 30 minutes.
Just prior to taking the cakes out of the oven, start on your meringue.
In a large bowl, beat your egg whites - starting at a lower speed until they get foamy, then slowing increase the speed on your hand mixer. Once you have some volume, add the sugar - about a tbsp at a time. Once all the sugar is in, put the mixer at high speed and bring the meringue to that point where it's glossy and has stiff peaks.
Divide the meringue between the two cakes. You want to spread the meringue ontop of the cake batter gently. Make sure that there is at least an inch around the edges so that it can expand while it bakes.
Bake in the oven for another 10 minutes - the meringue will be golden and the cake will be springy to the touch (and your kitchen will smell of chocolate goodness). Let them cool in the pans until just warm, then (and this is where the spring form pan is important) remove the cakes gently from the pans and peel off the wax paper. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Now - if you decide to make this into a layer cake - whip up some whipping cream and put that between the two layers.
Drizzle with some slivered almonds.
Happy Birthday Kailey! Best of luck John!
You both deserve the very best :0)