So, this isn’t the first time I’ve incorporated cookie dough in to a cake. The first time I did it, I put a layer of just baked cookie dough at the bottom of an alternating chocolate and vanilla layer cake with salted caramel frosting. That was a great cake. This time I thought I’d try something different… I baked cookie dough in to the chocolate cake layers. Sounds plausible right? I’m quite happy with the way it turned out actually, and if i were to do it again I’d only make the cookie dough chunks slightly smaller. The whole thing was held together with the SMOOTHEST nutella frosting you can imagine. It was like a cloud made out of nutella. It added a nice dimension to the cake, though if you’re not in to much sweetness then perhaps make a swiss meringue buttercream which would also go really well with this cake.
I made this for my housemate’s birthday. Well, belated birthday (his birthday was on the 1st Jan but oh well). I don’t think I’ve ever made two cakes that look the same and there are probably a couple of reasons for this. First, I like to tailor my cakes to the individual, what they like and how they like it so it’s really THEIR cake. Otherwise it’s just any old cake and it’s not as personal, you know what I’m saying? Secondly, I really don’t think I can recreate cakes – I completely wing it most of the time so an exact duplicate would just never happen! I definitely don’t have a signature cake flavour or filling but I do think that after all this time I’ve developed a style. I hate fondant. I hate working with it and it tastes horrible so I always work with some kind of buttercream or frosting. It’s all well and good having a massive cakes that looks amazing but what about taste? For me it’s all about the taste. Taste > Style.
I’ve had a really hectic first few weeks back at uni this term, soooo many assignments (8,500 words worth WHAT)! After handing in my last one on Monday, I had to take a step back and sleep for about 12 hours and only then did I start feeling like myself again! Naturally, the second thing I did was bake. I wanted this cake to have a rustic kinda look but still have a bit of a wow factor and personally, I think it did just that. So far, all my housemates agree! I didn’t deviate too much from a normal chocolate cake, bar the whole cookie dough distraction so it was really simple to make and from start to finish only took about 2.5 hours. Considering I only have one 7in cake tin, I was pretty impressed with that kind of time!
Make the cookie dough first and let it chill while you make the cake batter for optimum time management. This cookie dough is eggless so it’s completely edible and actually shouldn’t be baked. If you have any left over, then either keep it in the fridge and snack on it for the next few days or freeze it and use it the next time someone asks you to make this cake!
For the cookie dough:
85g salted butter, room temperature
35g brown sugar
2.5 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
95g plain flour
A few splashes of milk
Large handful chocolate chips
For the chocolate cake:
80g salted butter, room temperature
280g golden caster sugar
200g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
1tbsp baking powder
1 tsp instant coffee powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
For the Nutella frosting:
100g salted butter, room temperature
400g icing sugar
A few splashes of milk
To make the cookie dough, beat the butter and sugars for about 5 minutes on high speed until paler and fluffy. Add in the flour and mix with a wooden spoon. The mixture should be dry and floury. Add milk, by the tablespoon slowly until you reach a cookie dough consistency. Stir through about a packet of chocolate chips, making sure they’re evenly distributed. Let the cookie dough firm up in the fridge for an hour or so, or put it in the freezer whilst you make the cake.
For the cake, pre-heat the oven to 170°FAN. Line a 7” or 8” round cake tin with baking parchment and spray the sides with cake release spray (if you have more than one then bake two at a time).
Add everything except the milk, vanilla, coffee and eggs to the bowl of a mixer and mix until breadcrumb consistency. Lightly whisk the rest of your ingredients together in a jug and slowly pour in to the mixing bowl, combining all of the ingredients. Keep scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go along to make sure everything is incorporated.
Now, you need to fill the cake tin. The easiest way to do this and get even layers is to weigh your cake batter! Pour it in to another bowl (with the scale on zero) and divide by three (or two if you’re making an 8” cake). Once you know how much is going in to each cake, divide that number by two again. Pour that amount of cake batter in to the cake tin and roll the cookie dough in to small balls and scatter it on top of the batter. Cover the cookie dough pieces with the other half of the cake batter, making sure the cookie dough is submerged in cake batter and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Repeat this three times if you’re making three cakes.
Let the cakes cool down and get started on the frosting.
Beat the butter and nutella together for a couple of minutes until creamy. Add the icing sugar in, a bit at a time until you’ve added it all. Add milk, by the tablespoon until you’ve reached the perfect frosting consistency, but be careful. If you add too much and it’s too slack then add more icing sugar to stiffen it up.
Place the cakes on a cake stand or cake board and frost generously. To get the lines on the outside, lightly hold an offset spatula in place on the frosting while you turn the cake round as quickly as you can – it doesn’t have to be perfect, remember ‘rustic’! Top with any remaining cookie dough and whatever chocolates you have in the cupboard. I stole Lindt from my mum at home – lucky me!