the temperature at which sweets happen

Happy Birthday to Me!

I’ve been craving birthday cake; I always do. My new years resolution is: Eat More Cake!

Last year, you may remember, Gabriel made me a two tiered vanilla and chocolate cake for my birthday accompanied with a pledge that every year he would make a bigger and better cake than the previous year.


This year, Gabriel worked 22 hours straight the night before my birthday, and arrived home at 6:30a waking me up with a piece of bakery red velvet cake topped with shining lit birthday candles. After serenading me with a classic version of the Happy Birthday Song,

Gabriel said,
“I wanted to be the first to wish you a Happy Birthday.”


It was bigger and better; it was perfectly sweet!

Gabriel works extremely hard for our family, to say the least. Even after an insanely long day and night and morning, and heading back to work for another few hours on the morning of the 23rd, he took me out for the evening: PF Changs, Dessert, a New Bosch Bowl, and Movie. Our final celebratory destination was slated to be Wingers for a piece of Asphalt Pie… but they were closed!!! On my birthday?

I aggressively hinted the next day that I still wanted a piece, so when he went out to pick up our traditional Christmas Eve Chinese take-out… they were closed again! Seriously?!

Asphalt Zebra Cake

Though I’m still craving a piece of Asphalt Pie, finally, I just had to make my own solution. I easily could have recreated the original Asphalt Pie, but after catching up and reading through all the Christmas blogs and seeing all the amazing cookie platters and dinner spreads, I felt an insatiable longing to get my hands dirty – especially after not having been able to for what seems like the entire Christmas season!

Six layers of cake: two dense mint, four moist dark chocolate; plus six layers of frosting: four fluffy mint, two creamy chocolate; then coated with a thick chocolate buttercream and topped with a gorgeous mint buttercream, and finally slathered with double stuffed Oreo cookie crumbs.

Chocolate Cake:
1 cup butter
½ cup canola oil
2 cups sugar
Cream together

Add
1 tablespoon mexican vanilla
4 egg yolks
1 cup evaporated milk
Mix until fluffy

Melt
1 ½ cups water
4 oz. unsweetened
4 oz. dark baking chocolate
Pour and mix into batter

Stir in
2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Whip 4 egg whites and fold into batter

Pour into 2 prepared pans
Bake at F350°, 25-35 minutes until cake springs back to the touch
Invert, cool on wire rack

Mint Yellow Cake:
½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
Cream together

Add
1 teaspoon mexican vanilla
2 egg yolks
1 cup evaporated milk
4 teaspoons mint extract
Mix until fluffy

Stir in
1 – 1 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

Pour into prepared pan
Bake at F350°, 25-35 minutes until cake springs back to the touch
Invert, cool on wire rack

Buttercream Frosting
2 cups butter
2 pounds powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup milk
2 egg whites
Beat together with mixer until smooth, creamy and spreadable
Add water until desired consistency is reached

Divide batter in half
Mix ½ cup cocoa powder and 2-3 tablepoons milk into one half
Mix 2 teaspoons mint extract and one drop of mint gel food coloring into second half

Finalè:
Slice each cake round in half
Spread mint frosting between chocolate layers
Spread chocolate frosting between yellow cake layers
Assemble two chocolate cake rounds and top with mint frosting
Top with two yellow cake rounds and frost with mint
Complete with final two chocolate cake rounds
Frost top of cake with mint frosting
Frost outer rim of cake with chocolate buttercream
Press 1 package of Oreo Cookies, crushed, onto sides and top of cake

Happy Birthday to Me!



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