I had leftover chocolate mousse and caramel buttercream from the macarons, so what did I do? I made a “redemption cake” to replace my memory of sub-par frosting on the carrot cake from the baby shower.

We only had 4 eggs left that I wanted to save for eating or for making Shakshuka (recipe to come!), and I had to bake quickly if I wanted to prep ingredients for dinner, and for the cake to cool before company came at 6:30 (it was almost 3:30).

I remembered “depression cake” that I stumbled across while looking to make an eggless cake to my very allergic-to-everything college roommate. It may not be the best chocolate cake recipe there is, but it’s rather good, considering how accessible the ingredients are, and how fast it is to make; it’s a one bowl cake, folks! The ROI is quite good, considering it takes all of 5 minutes to put the cake together.

Of course, I forgot to take a picture of it until we had sliced AND packed away the leftovers..

Make one, two, or best results, all three components of this cake and have some fun!

1) ~4 1/2 cups caramel buttercream (scroll down for the caramel variation directions)
You can also use your favorite buttercream recipe and add a bit of caramel at a time to it until you are happy with the taste and consistency. I think there is breaking point when the buttercream and caramel will separate, but Stella Parks mentions that you can add quite a bit of caramel to at least a German buttercream.

2) 1-2 cups chocolate mousse
3) one recipe of chocolate cake

I am assuming that if you will be making all these recipes, you
already know how to trim, fill, and frost a cake 🙂 If not, comment away
and I will instruct!

Caramel

 

Adapted, barely, from Stella Parks (Bravetart)
Makes about two cups

Ingredients:

7 ounces sugar
12 ounces heavy cream
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 ½ ounces butter
½ tsp kosher salt
Instructions:
1) Measure out your cream into something easily pourable.
2) Add the sugar to an at-least 3 quart saucepan and try to shake
the sugar to get it in an even layer across the entire bottom of the pot. Turn
the heat on and caramelize the sugar over low to medium low heat. If you notice
some spots getting browner than others, shake the saucepan in a side to side
motion to try to even it out. You can also do it the Stella-way, by sprinkling
a very thin layer of sugar at a time, adding more as each layer browns. I’m
sure this is the best way, but also the slower way.
3) When the sugar is a dark golden brown, add a few splashes of
cream and stir. The mixture will foam up a lot, and the sugar will clump up
(because you essentially cooled it). When the foam backs down, gradually add the rest of the cream while
monitoring the foaming, and stir and cook over medium heat until all the sugar
re-dissolves.
4) Stir in the vanilla extract, butter, and salt. Turn the heat
off once the butter is well incorporated.
5) Add more salt to taste, if you wish.
Notes/Substitutions:
-The caramel will be pretty thin (note: dribbles) at the
beginning. Fear not. The viscosity will dramatically increase as it cools!
-Use this for your caramel buttercream
-Stella’s version calls for a vanilla bean OR vanilla
extract, but I know many more people who just use vanilla extract, hence the
modification.

 

Chocolate Mousse
adapted, barely, from Carla Goncalves, owner of KooZeeDoo, and Gourmet
Makes enough for filling a 9-inch cake,
plus a cook’s treat

Ingredients:

2 egg yolks
1.5 Tbsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla
3.5 oz bittersweet chocolate (50-70% cacao), melted in a
double boiler
1 cup heavy cream
Instructions:
1) Beat egg yolks, sugar, salt, and vanilla together until
the yolks are slightly thickened.
2) Heat ¼ cup cream in a saucepan, then temper the eggs by
pouring a slow stream of warm cream into the egg mixture while continuously
whisking. When all that cream is mixed into the egg mixture, pour everything
back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until the
custard thickens.
3) Pour the custard into the melted chocolate, and stir
well. Beat the remaining ¾ cups cream to medium peaks, then fold into the
chocolate custard mixture. Refrigerate until needed, or freeze for longer term
storage.
Notes/Substitutions:
If you have some scrambled eggs because you rushed and used
too high of heat, or were lazy and didn’t stir, strain the custard through a
sieve before adding it to the chocolate.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake, aka Crazy Cake
adapted slightly from allrecipes
makes 2 9-inch layers


Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups white sugar
1 1/2 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup natural cocoa powder, sifted
3/4 cup canola/vegetable/pure olive oil
2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups room temperature water

Instructions:
0) Preheat oven to 350F.

1) Whisk all the dry ingredients together.

2) Make 3 wells in the dry ingredients. Pour the oil in one, vinegar in another, and vanilla extract in the last.

3) Pour the water on top of everything.

4) Mix until smooth. Pour into 2 greased and floured (or parchment paper-lined) 9 inch cake pans. Bake at 350F for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with few crumbs. The cake should also spring back when you touch it lightly on the surface.

Notes/Substitutions:
-You can omit the espresso powder if you don’t have it, and use coffee in place of water.