I present to you a cake made just for the joy of making cakes.
There are rainbow sprinkles to celebrate!
Little gold balls for flash!
And toasted sesame seeds because some of us might be grown ups with a sweet tooth?
And it's all tossed onto the most carefree frosting application I've attempted yet,laid on in just swoops and swirls, no OCD smoothing or piping to be found.
And inside is a deep chocolate cake with too much tahini-laced frosting and chopped halva.
The whole thing is just FUN with an adult sensibility, chocolate and sugar mixed with nutty sesame. It's like chocolate and peanut butter everything, but more sophisticated, and bonus, no one with a nut allergy will die! Yay!
Also, I think, it makes a nice breather from the gingerbread and spiced things crowding the dessert field in December. So if you need something fun to bring to a party or want to whip up a cake to alleviate the ennui many of us seem to be experiencing in 2017, this takes just a short while in the kitchen, basic cake assembly skills, and a healthy disregard for your own sugar intake tolerance.
Chocolate, Halva and Tahini Cake
Chocolate cake adapted from Molly Yeh
For the cake:
- 3/4 cup + 2 tbs sugar
- 3/4 cup + 2 tbs flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 tbs vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 6 tbs boiling water
For the frosting:
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tbs
- 1 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted & cooled slightly
- 2 tbs tahini paste
- 1/4 cup chopped halva
- sprinkles, for decorating
- toasted sesame seeds, for decorating
- Make the cake: preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and line the bottoms of two 4-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and oil, then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine, then whisk in the boiling water.
- Divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake. Check to see if done at 20 minutes, but bake until toothpick comes out clean and cakes have begun to pull away from the sides a bit. Let layers cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then transfer and turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
- Make the frosting: Set bowl of mixer over a pot of simmering water, and add the egg whites and sugar and whisk to combine. Continue whisking until sugar dissolves and mixture is very warm to the touch.
- Transfer bowl to stand mixer and beat egg white mixture with the whisk attachment on high speed to stiff but not dry peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, 6 minutes.
- Switch to the paddle attachment and beat on medium-low speed, adding the butter a bit at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in chocolate and tahini, then beat 2 minutes on low until smooth.
- To assemble: mix halva into about 1/2 cup of the frosting and set aside. Trim the domes off the cake layers. Lay first layer on a cake board or plate and spread with the halva frosting. stack with 2nd layer and transfer to the fridge to firm up a bit, about 15 minutes. Then, frost cake with a crumb coat and then remaining frosting and decorate as desired.