Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tanti auguri Sonya!

Yesterday it was my friend Sonya's birthday. We had dinner in a 'fancy restaurant' (her definition :) ) on 4th street, in Berkeley, and then we went to our place for a small after dinner party with cake, candles, and birthday song! I love this part of birthdays - otherwise I feel like something is missing! So, it was really nice to be able to host this in our new place.
The cake is a chocolate-rum layered cake that I made on purpose knowing Sonya's taste. :) - Keep reading for recipe and more pictures!

Torta a strati al cioccolato e rum / Chocolate-rum layered cake
(I found the recipe online here. Notice how it's said to be 'Martha's chocolate and rum cake' :) )
(Notice the nice dish the cake is on - it's a gift from Stefano, it has also a super-nice glass lid, very high, for super-tall layered cakes :)

1 oz. unsweetened chocolate for dough + 3 oz for filling
1/2 cup butter + 1/4 cup for filling
1 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 3/4 cake flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup rum + 1/2 cup for filling
4 cups confectioner sugar for filling (I used 2 cups of regular sugar)
1 tsp vanilla extract for filling (I used powder)

Melt 1 oz chocolate with half a cup of water (I did this in the microwave). Let cool down. With a mixer, cream butter, add the brown sugar to it, then eggs. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda. Add this to the butter mixture, alternating with the rum (add 1/3 cup total).
Originally the recipe says to divide this into three 8 inch pans, lined with waxing paper, and bake separately for ~20 min each. I had only one 9 inch pan, and the amount of dough didn't seem enough to make 3 disks, nor my patience. So I baked it altogether for ~30 minutes, and cut later. I'd think if you baked the three disks separately they'll probably raise more. In the future, I'll try to buy some smaller pans on purpose for this type of cakes.
Make the filling by melting 3 oz chocolate with 1/2 cup rum in a pan over low heat, then add the sugar, a little at a time (the regular sugar that I used gives kind of a nice crunchyness to this, but if you want a smoother version, go for the confectioner sugar. Not sure if 4 cups would be too sweet or not, in that case). Then add the vanilla and the butter, let it melt, and use warmish to fill and frost the cake.

The cake was really good: rich, but not excessively sweet, and very rummy! I served it with some whipped cream made on the spot, which I also used to (try to) decorate. I'm really happy that Andrew at Spittoon extra accepted this as a super late entry for 'Waiter there's something in my layered cake' event, but I'm really past the deadline. You can check out the wonderful roundup and be inspired with even more amazing layered cakes!

And here is Sonya cutting the cake:
And here are the other party friends: Robyn and Megan, and Al and Lucas.
I really enjoyed the evening.. again, happy birthday, dear Sonya!


bee said...

your friend is a lucky lucky gal.

Ferdzy said...

I'll second that... that is a most fabulous looking cake.

Sihi said...

just as bee mentioned...sonya is really lucky!