When my boys were growing up, birthdays were always a big deal. Not like many of today’s kids’ birthdays where complete entourages of clowns, horses, or entertainers are brought in and there’s a location destination. No, these were birthday parties that were ‘themed’~~the kind where I went to the Dollar Store or a party store and bought Star Wars hats or Mickey Mouse horns. And, the parties were always at home~~sometimes in the back yard in the summer where the water hose would be the main fun attraction or in the family/dining room where all the kids were playing, eating hot dogs and waiting for THE CAKE!
And, THE CAKE was always a boxed cake. Always a chocolate cake. And, always filled with cheap little candles that delighted the kids to no end! Today boxed cakes are even better than back in the day, so when I asked my oldest son what kind of cake I should make for my sister’s birthday party, to which, he, of course, is coming~~even 30-something year olds still love birthday parties~~he said chocolate! Well, I’ve snazzed this cake up just a tad from the chocolate cakes of the 1980s and 1990s, but it’s still a box cake, and that’s the beauty of it~~it’s transformed into something totally amazing with ganache and a cream filling!
Makes: 1 cake
What you need:
One boxed chocolate cake mix (buy the best brand you can afford)
½ cup mascarpone (or whipped cream cheese)—room temperature
½ cup sour cream
1 tsp Rodelle Chocolate Extract
1 ½ tsp finely ground coffee (I used Coffee on the Porch ‘Frank Sumatra’ blend.)
4 heaping tbl powdered sugar
Pinch sea salt
12 oz 60-70% chocolate pieces
1 cup cream (or half and half)—take chill off by microwaving about 20 seconds
1 Tbl. butter
1 tsp. Rodelle Chocolate Extract
Pinch sea salt
Garnish: Fresh raspberries
What you do:
Cake: Prepare according to box directions making two layers.
Filling: Combine the mascarpone, sour cream, chocolate extract, coffee, powdered sugar and salt in a bowl and whip with a hand mixer for about 3 minutes or until the mixture is blended well and somewhat fluffy. Chill for about 30 minutes before spreading on layer one of the cake.
Ganache: Use a double boiler. Melt the chocolate somewhat then slowly add the cream and blend in well. Add the butter, chocolate extract and salt and blend in.
Assembly: Spread the filling on the first layer of the cake starting in the center and out to about ½’ from the edges. Drizzle on some of the ganache. Put this layer in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.