I’ve recently become a Battlestar Galactica convert. GamerMan and I usually come home, make some nom noms, and knock out a few episodes each night. Which puts us squarely in the middle of season 4. GM has seen most of the series so he knows the main plot. I however have been looking up spoilers on the internet in between episodes patiently watching in awe and excitement.
As all good BG fans know, there are 12 Cylons. And since we all know how much I love coinciding numbers, it was only right that I made a 12 layer cake! What? It’s not like I named all the layers. Or did I?
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter , cut up
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Save yourself a boatload of time and buy some disposable pie tins from your local grocery store. The more the better. You’ll also want to pick up some parchment paper while you’re there because 12 stuck cakelets are going to make you go insane. Trace the base of a pie tin onto an area of parchment, fold over 12 times, staple OUTSIDE THE LINE, and cut out the circles. Spray each pie tin with Pam and place a parchment circle in the bottom of the tin, spray again with Pam. If you’re paranoid like me, dust lightly with some flour. Better safe than sorry! Now, preheat your oven to 350F.
To make the cake batter:
1. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Twice.
2. In your stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Scape the sides of the bowl down so everything gets incorporated.
3. On the lowest speed setting, add your flour and milk, alternating three times. Again, make sure you scrape the sides down. Nothing like discovering that batter at the bottom of your bowl is really a chunk of sugar-butter.
4. Beat in vanilla.
Place 2/3 cup of batter in each parchment-lined-Pam-sprayed-flour-dusted pie tin and using your finger a spoon, spread the batter around the bottom of the tin so it just covers the parchment. Position three tins in your oven ensuring they’re two inches apart from each other AND the sides of the oven, staggering so none are on top of each other, and bake for 15-20 minutes. Check frequently after 15 minutes as you’re aiming for firm centers and golden edges. Let cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cake rack. (Tip: If you think you can get away with stacking them while they cool, you’re wrong! They’ll stick together and all that time you spent spraying and dusting will have been in vain… Srsly.) Repeat with remaining tins until none remain.
Time to cook that icing! In a medium sauce pan, bring the sugar, cocoa, butter and evaporated milk to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until it reaches the consistency of chocolate syrup. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Let the icing cool until thick enough to spread, but still pourable. Since cooling can easily take an hour, you may want to cook your icing first and pop it in the fridge, stirring every time you pop a new batch of cake in the oven.
This part is extremely messy (and delicious), so take the necessary precautions (a cake rack over a half baking sheet should so the trick). Place one layer of cake, sans parchment, on a piece of cake board (Tip: Use a parchment circle as a template to cut out a cardboard circle if your local cake supply shop isn’t open at 8pm.) and cover with 1/4 cup icing. Spread it around to cover the entire layer. Repeat with remaining layers and icing, pouring the leftover icing over the final layer of cake so it cascades down the sides of the cake.
Yes, it looks like chocolate covered pancakes, but it’s not. It’s a cake, therefore it must be pretty (GamerGirl says!), so since that look wasn’t going to cut it for me, I decided to whip up some neufchâtel frosting. GamerMan loves chocolate, so I tossed more unsweetened cocoa powder in the mix and voila!
Chocolate Neufchâtel frosting:
1 8oz package neufchâtel cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1lb powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk
In the bowl if your stand mixer, cream neufchâtel and cocoa powder until fluffy. Slowly add powdered sugar, adding milk a tablespoon at a time until the frosting reaches that perfect spreads-but-stays consistency.
Though it may seem daunting, trust me… The wow factor of this cake is worth every second of mixing/baking/waiting. Plus it was way-fun to nom on each layer while we debate over who could be the Final Five!