Monday, August 5, 2013

Cookie Dough Birthday Cake

     My sister is really lucky.  She's going to Duke for college, which means she'll be far away from any family, and she's turning eighteen, which means she can drive and but things on infomercials.  Also, she had her sister make her this birthday cake.
      Jessie isn't 18 yet, but I made her this cake early since she'll be in college on her birthday.  That's why I wrote out "Happy Unbirthday" and put 17 and 3/4 candles on her cake.  My sister was always obsessed with mermaids when she was younger, so I made her into a mermaid figuring on the cake. Since she's going to college, and since Monsters University is really cute, I made half of the cake with that theme.
A picture of my sister for comparison.
        I made a batch of marshmallow fondant a week ahead of time and made the decorations: the Duke and Monsters University logos, Duke chapel and Monsters University building, mermaid and Mike, books, microscope (she's studying biology), flower, and rock.  The way I planned the cake, each side of the cake would have a college logo and building, a character, a book, and a purple border.  I kept the decorations at room temperature so that they wouldn't sweat.
         On the day of the celebration, I covered the cake I made with blue fondant and put it on a cake board covered in green fondant.  Then I put on the purple borders.  I covered the Monsters top side with grey fondant "cobblestones" and the mermaid side with brown sugar "sand."  Next I just added the decorations I made, using a bit of water to "paste" them on. I cut lettering out of the green fondant on the cake board and I stuck candles around the bottom on little balls of fondant.  Then we ate the cake, and it was yummy.

             I made a chocolate chip cake with cookie dough filling and brown sugar swiss meringue buttercream.  Those flavors were perfect for the occasion; they were nostalgic of childhood but still sophisticated.  I made a huge 3 layer 9" cake, since I had a bunch of guests at my house.

             The filling is basically cookie dough, but without the eggs or baking soda, and the cake is just a vanilla cake with chocolate chips tossed in flour thrown in. You can use this cake recipe, or another if you prefer. Making the swiss meringue buttercream is just like making any other one, but you use some brown sugar in place of some white sugar.


Cookie Dough Filling

makes enough to fill a 3-layer cake


3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup whole milk or cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips


Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.  Add milk and vanilla.  Then stir in flour and salt. Fold in chocolate chips.

Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream

makes enough to frost a 3-layer cake


1 lb (4 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but still cool and cut into pieces
5 egg whites
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla


Whisk together the egg whites, sugars, and salt in a heat-proof bowl over simmering water. Whisk until hot to the touch, or 160*F.  Remove the bowl from the heat and beat the egg whites until they are thick and glossy, and the bowl isn't warm to the touch. Add butter a bit at a time and beat until thick. Add vanilla and beat for another minute.


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