Chocolate Speculoos Reindeer Cake

Cookie Butter, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cinnamon, and a warm Chocolate!!!! Brown tones for this cake :’) Dressed up into a Rudolph for NUH Masterchef charity event. So so much fun and best worth it day of leave hehe. Spent the whole Sunday making the cakes and other goodies!

My favorite new discovery for this cake is the Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream. My first time making it and it’s definitely a winner! No changes made to the original recipe :’) Super smooth and chocolatey, and though I also like chocolate American buttercream (which is cocoa powder such as Sally’s Baking Addiction’s “Favorite Chocolate Buttercream” or Stella Park’s “American-Style Chocolate Buttercream Recipe” from Serious Eats,  there is usually more of a bite due to the icing sugar used. Oh, for chocolate buttercream I don’t really care that it’s too sweet, just use darker cocoa, it’s going to be sweet anyways as you’re gonna be indulging in chocolate.

Other chocolate icings I did want to try include pudding based, like the Awfully Chocolate / Lana Chocolate cake type – I haven’t really experimented but I’m quite sure they’re caster sugar based, as opposed icing sugar, and possibly cooked with cornstarch. Examples are likely Fudge Icings such as here, or here. Will definitely wanna experiment with these and chocolate mirror glaze next time! Hehe but for layer cakes, Swiss meringue is the way to go for the foolproof stability. Give it a try and hope you like it!!

Makes 1 cake
makes one 7-inch 3 layer cake
Black Magic Chocolate Cake adapted from Hershey’s Kitchen

1-3/4 (224g) cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup strong black coffee
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream from Handle the Heat

2/3 cup (133 grams) granulated sugar
4 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 sticks (340 grams) unsalted butter
12 oz (340 grams) semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Homemade Speculoos / Biscoff Cookie Butter adapted from Wander Cooks

150 g Lotus Biscoff speculoos biscuits
100 g evaporated milk
Salt to taste
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Additional Decorating Ingredients

Christmas sprinkles (bought from a small shop at Bukit Merah)
Food coloring

To make Black Magic chocolate cake (my go-to!)

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 7-inch round baking pans. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (Batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pan

Bake 30-40 minutes until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen cake from side of pan and remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

To make Chocolate Swiss Meringue buttercream:

Combine the sugar, egg whites, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set bowl over a saucepan filled with 1-inch of gently simmering water. Whisking gently and constantly, heat mixture until sugar is dissolved and mixture is slightly thickened and foamy, about 3 minutes. (I judge based on.. temperature of warm milk you can feed babies)

Fit stand mixer with whisk attachment and beat the egg white mixture on medium speed until slightly cooled and thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the butter, 1 piece at a time, until smooth and creamy. If the mixture looks curdled, that’s okay. Just keep beating until it becomes smooth. If the butter becomes too warm and greasy, refrigerate the bowl for 10 to 15 minutes then continue to beat until smooth.

Add chocolate and vanilla and mix until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light, fluffy, and well combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

To Assemble and Decorate:

Trim off dome of the cake. Place first first layer on cake board and fill each layer with a generous amount of speculoos cookie butter (homemade if possible!). Crumb coat, place in freezer to set, and then frost the cake again in chocolate. Use a cake turntable to smooth white frosting over entire cake. Pipe on rosettes for the head and then leaves as well as fondant decoration.

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