Friday, March 11, 2016

Hello Kitty Cake: a chocolate cake with chocolate mousse and buttercream frosting.



This past weekend was my daughter's birthday . Her only request was that she wanted a Hello Kitty cake. I have been making her birthday cakes for the past three birthdays now. I made an Elsa cake the last year and a Barbie doll cake the year before that. This year, due to time constraints, I didn't want to make a 3-D cake and therefore decided to make a Hello Kitty face cake.




My daughter loves chocolate and so do majority of the kids. I therefore decided to make a simple chocolate cake filled with chocolate mousse. 



I chose simple buttercream frosting as I needed the frosting to be white to make the face. I used the Wilton Hello Kitty pan to make the cake. I got the chocolate recipe from a friend at one of the food groups and the buttercream recipe was from here. I am thankful to Ms. Sarita Bhat for sharing her recipe with me. This is by far the easiest chocolate cake recipe and it tasted pretty good. I was dreading piping the entire cake using a star-tip but I found it to be a breeze due to the excellent fluffy, creamy frosting. This was the best frosting I have ever made!! It was easy to work with, without hurting my hands , firmed up quickly upon placing in the refrigerator and didn't collapse after the cake was placed at room temperature. This was definitely one of the best cakes I have made in terms of ease and convenience. As for perfection, I have never claimed to be a baker and will never claim to be one! I am just a Working Mom who  tries to make her children happy and a tiny bit healthier!







Servings: 12-15 ( 2inches x 4 inches  piece).

Ingredients:


All purpose flour: 1 & 3/4 cups
Granulated sugar: 2 cups
Cocoa powder ( unsweetened): 3/4 cup ( I used Hershey's)
Baking powder: 1 & 1/2 tsp
Baking soda: 1 & 1/2 tsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Eggs: 2, large
Coffee/ warm water: 1 cup
Milk: 1 cup ( at room temperature)
Canola oil: 1/2 cup ( any cooking oil can be used).
Vanilla essence: 1 & 1/2 tsp

For the frosting: ( makes 4 cups)

Powdered sugar: 4 cups
Unsalted butter: 1 cup
Vanilla essence: 2 tsp
Milk/ water: 2-3 tbsp
Salt: a pinch


For the Chocolate mousse:

Semisweet chocolate chips: 1 cup
Heavy cream/ whipping cream: 1 cup

Method:

Buttercream Frosting: 


Sift the powdered sugar and keep ready.

Add the butter to the mixer bowl and cream the butter on medium setting until smooth.

Add vanilla essence and salt and beat for a minute. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating for 10 seconds after each addition.

Add milk/water 1 tbsp at a time, beating for few seconds until you have reached the desired consistency.

Take 1/2 cup of the frosting in two bowls. Add red color to one and black to the other. Mix well. Take 1/4 cup frosting and make it pink ( optional). I used this for the center of the bow as I had some leftover pink frosting. You don't have to do it.

Add it to the piping bags and keep ready. Prepare the piping bag with the white frosting as well.

You can refrigerate the frosting until ready to use.

I made the nose using yellow candies that I had leftover from a cookie-decorating kit.


The Chocolate mousse:



Take the chocolate chips in heat proof bowl.Heat the cream on the stove top until it bubbles.  Add this to the bowl containing the chocolate chips and stir well until all the chocolate had melted . The heat from the cream will melt the chocolate.
Let it cool down for until it comes to the desired consistency. I usually make mine ahead of time and leave it in the refrigerator.

You could keep it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

The cake board:



Place the Hello kitty pan upside down on a big piece of cardboard. Trace the outline of the pan on the cardboard. Cut the cardboard into that shape. Cover it completely with aluminum foil or any other kind of fancy foil/ material that is waterproof. Keep aside.



The cake:


Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.

Grease the Hello Kitty pan and keep ready. Cover the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Mix the granulated sugar to this mixture.

In a separate bowl, whip the eggs. Then add the canola oil, vanilla essence, milk and coffee/water.



Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well. The batter will be pretty thin. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.


Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake at 350 deg F for 30 mins or until the toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake.



Take the pan out of the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 15-30 mins before upturning it on a cake rack. Let it cool completely ( atleast 2-3 hours) before trying to frost it.



Level the cake before frosting. 

Apply a little frosting to the center of the prepared cake board and place the leveled side of the cake on the cake board.

Using a serrated knife/ cake leveler or floss, cut the cake in the middle so as to get two equal layers. Keep the top layer aside.

Spread  the chocolate  mouse on top of bottom layer so that it forms a filling for the cake.



Place the other half of the cake on top of the mousse.

Crumb Coating: 

Apply a thin coat of the white buttercream frosting and crumb-coat the cake. Place it in the refrigerator for atleast a couple of hours ( or overnight) before decorating the cake.



Decorating the cake:


Take the cake out of the refrigerator. Using a toothpick, roughly outline the bow, the eyes, nose and whiskers.


Using an offset spatula and white frosting, frost the sides and smooth it.

Using Wilton tip # 3 draw the whiskers of the kitty with black frosting. Also fill up the eyes and make the outline of the bow.



Using the star tip # 18 an red buttercream frosting, fill in the bow, except the center of the flares of the bow which I have colored pink.



Now using the star tip #18 and the white frosting fill in the rest of the top of the cake and the bottom line on the cake board. I purposely didn't fill in the sides as firstly, I didn't want too much frosting and secondly, the stars tend to give into gravity and collapse.



I wrote the birthday message using the black frosting and tip # 3, on the cake board.

I am bringing this cake to my friends at  Throwback Thursday # 29, Angie's Fiesta Friday # 110 ,where co-hosts this week are my two dear friends Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Apsara @ Eating Well Diary. I am also bringing this to Saucy Saturdays


Cooking made easy:

If you are apprehensive about making cake from scratch, you could always use a boxed mix and make the cake. Of course, there is nothing like home-made!

If you do not have the Wilton gel colors and do not want to be bothered with preparing piping bags with colored frosting, just buy the Wilton ready-made frosting tubes that are available in a variety of colors.
For the above cake, you will need the following:
White Wilton frosting: 1 tube
Yellow Wilton frosting: 1 tube
Black Wilton frosting: 1 tube

Tip for healthy living:


The reason I like to make the desserts for my kids is because I can control what ingredients go into it. Most store-bought cakes have high-fructose corn syrup in them and the frosting is often made with shortening and not butter. My making desserts at home, I can also choose the level of sweetness that they will have.

One more important tip I would like to share is that for birthday parties, keep the cake small. While serving, cut it into small/ thin slices. Nobody really eats the entire piece of cake! It is the concept of the cake that most kids like. And of course, if anyone wants, you can always serve second helpings!

Food for thought:


It is clear gain to sacrifice pleasure in order to avoid pain. Arthur Schopenhauer


Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!