Novin celebrated his 26th birthday (somewhat) recently, and he was less than thrilled. He came to the realization that time is rapidly progressing without mercy, and his number one fear of balding…can become a reality just about any time now. Thankfully he got to ring in 26 with a full head of hair.
So to celebrate, I threw him a party, bought him a bottle of Pendleton whiskey, a really really big glass (See Figures A and B), and made a delicious homemade Smore cake. Well…the cake was probably more for my own benefit than his…But how can a Smore cake NOT make you look forward to every future birthday, bald or not?
Making this cake involved too much multitasking that I didn’t take photos of the process. But I do have lots of photos of the finished product and oozing marshmallow filling. This cake takes about 3 hours to make from start to finish, and with four layers and all its richness, it can feed a ton of people.
3 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1-1/2 cups brewed coffee, cooled
3/4 cup canola oil
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups baking cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/4 teaspoon salt
Approximately 12 oz. Marshmallow Fluff
Chocolate Ganache Frosting
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
12 ounces heavy cream
Graham Cracker Streusel
1-1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup of brown sugar (loosely packed)
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup melted butter
Leftover Graham Cracker Streusel
To make cake:
In a large bowl, beat the sugar, buttermilk, coffee, eggs, oil, chocolate and vanilla until well blended. In another large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt; gradually beat into buttermilk mixture until blended.
Pour into 2 greased and floured 10-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
To make ganache:
Heat the heavy cream in a quart-sized, microwavable container and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes on high, or until it just begins to simmer; be careful not to allow cream to boil over. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes. Mix together until smooth. Let it come to room temperature. Using a mixer, beat ganache on high until it becomes thick like frosting.
To make graham cracker streusel:
Mix together graham cracker crumbs, butter, cinnamon and sugar thoroughly (easiest using hands to form clumps). Spread evenly ov
er a greased baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees, or until golden and crisp (It will look a lot like granola chunks). Cool completely.
On a flat surface using a sharp knife, cut each cake layer in half to form four cake layers. Put first layer on large serving plate and frost the top with a thin layer of ganache. Then spread a thin layer of marshmallow fluff over ganache. (Be careful not to get carried away with the marshmallow, I did, and it started oozing out of the cake.) Generously sprinkle graham cracker streusel over marshmallow layer. Repeat with the next two cake layers. After final cake layer is added on top, frost the whole cake with remaining ganache frosting. Decorate as desired with remaining streusel, mini marshmallows and chocolate chips.