GBBO Season 1, Episode 1, Show Stopper Challenge:
This challenge coincided perfectly with my grandson's fourth birthday. He picked out this cake from a few pictures and I was so excited to try and bake it for him. To make this I combined a few recipes and I added strawberry jam. My thought was this was a lot of chocolate and I wanted to break up the flavor. The strawberry jam is optional, however, I highly recommend something to break up the flavor of so much chocolate.
In making this cake I learned a few important lessons that I can use in future bakes:
- Espresso powder in chocolate cakes enhances the chocolate flavor.
- Adding hot water to the batter it makes the cake even moister.
- Because the cake is so moist, it is best to line the cooling racks with parchment paper. If not it will stick (yep, this happened to me!)
- I filled the bucket with as many M&M's as I could. While it was a great visual, it was too much. Too much sugar and too much to handle when cutting the cake. The next time I make this cake I will use much fewer M&Ms.
Let's get baking!
- Strawberry Jam
- 1 PD of Strawberries
- 1 Cup of Sugar
- Chocolate Cake
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1.5 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- 1 cup milk
- ½cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1cup boiling water
- 3 sticks of butter
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 5 cups confectioner sugar
- ½ cup milk
- 2tsp vanilla extract
- ½tsp espresso powder
- 4 King Kit Kat's
- 1 Sharable M&M package
- Cut the strawberry into a smaller size. Cook the strawberry over low to medium heat to soften.
- Add the sugar, lower the heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, allow the liquid to boil for about six-eight minutes.
- All the jam to cool.
- I usually make this a day or two before.
- Preheat the oven to 350 and grease 2 nine-inch cake pans.
- Mix the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder.
- Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients and mix using an electric mixer.
- Once mixed add the boiling water.
- Divide the batter between the two pans and place in the oven for 30 - 35 minutes. Press the cake with your finger and if the cake springs back you are done.
- Once the cakes have completely cooled you can decorate.
- Place cocoa powder in a mixing bowl and mix out any clumps
- Add butter and beat together until creamed
- Add sugar and milk in small amounts until fully mixed
- Add vanilla and espresso powder
Assembling the Cake
- Place the Kit Kats in the freezer separated by paper towels. This will keep the Kit Kats free of fingerprints.
- Place the first layer on a cake board flat side up.
- Fill a piping bag with the filling
- Create a moat around the cake about ½ in from the edge of the border.
- Fill the moat with the strawberry jam
- Pipe a layer of frosting above the layer of strawberry jam
- Place the second cake on top of the frosting flat side up.
- Frost the cake
- Place the Kit Kats around the cake. Use a string or ribbon to keep the Kit Kats in place
- Fill the bucket with M&M's
Finally, because this is a GBBO bake I have to add in the judge's responses. The first Judge, Kurt, loved the cake! He said it was moist and decadent. He also felt like it was a show-stopper. For the second judge, my grandson, I did not get his exact response because he was eating it so fast. But he did look very happy 🙂