Posts Tagged ‘Celebration Cakes’
Merry (late) Christmas, everyone. For dessert this year, as the past two years, I’ve made a bûche de Noël—otherwise known as a yule log or a roulade wheel. This is the second time I’ve made this specific recipe (from Cook’s Illustrated), which features a bittersweet chocolate genoise cake, a marscapone-espresso filling, and a rich chocolate ganache to top everything with. I don’t think it’s the traditional flavors of a classic bûche de Noël, but I like them. Rich, intense, perfect with a cup of coffee or tea following a little bit of a feast the night of Christmas.
I wanted to post about a different bûche de Noël last year, when I made a recipe from Alice Medrich that had chocolate-hazelnut flavors. But this is how it went:
And you may take one look at that, and then another look at that front photo displaying the yule log I made last night, and wonder what the difference is. They both look cracked, squat, and nothing like the beautiful multiple rolls of yule log that you might find on google images. And you would be right if you thought that! But there is a difference—the recipe I followed should display a beautifully-rolled cake, were it not for the fact that the largest jelly-roll pan available in my mothers kitchen measures 12 x 8 inches. I may just be a bit biased, but I think this year’s yule log is not quite so flat and squat, despite the fact of how thick and short the genoise cake measured up to be.
The log itself takes some time, but I think its well worth the effort and the process itself is pretty fun. Bowls of varied sizes and varied fillings lie around the kitchen—one filled with thick chocolate ganache, spiked with a touch of cognac, another with the marscapone-espresso filling, still others with whipped egg whites, or glossy ribbons of chocolate and egg yolks. It’s quite the project, which actually may intimidate some. But I promise it makes you feel as if you are single-handily making magic in the kitchen, and there is no better day to do that then on Christmas.
That being said, every single year I tell myself I’m going to make a more extensive, more striking bûche de Noël. Start earlier, prep the filling and ganache, make little meringue mushrooms to attach on, you know. But then I’m busy making thick hot chocolate and cookies the night before, waking early to happily get Christmas breakfast ready, and so on and so on occupying myself with varying food and social opportunities so I can never really focus on this dessert. Every Christmas afternoon, I’m in the kitchen slaving away on this. My French professor, who is born and raised in Belgium, says that every year she buys her bûche de Noël from a local pâtisserie. With all the work and planning that goes into holiday baking and cooking, I can understand those who opt for buying some things already made up. There’s nothing wrong with being selective in what we choose to focus our energies on.
But for those of you who might find it fun to use up every size bowl in your kitchen while making the components to this cake, take to this dessert. The results are beautiful—no matter how much of a flop final product may be. Speaking of that, this yule log may be good for my cooking abilities: it’s the sort of thing that one can’t be apologetic for. Yes, so it falls a bit short of its ideal aesthetics. It put my vanity in check, forcing to me to realize that cracks along the yule log are far less important than serving it in its entirety to grateful guests on a beautiful Christmas night. (However, I am hoping to check in with you in approximately a year, presenting you with yet another bûche de Noël, made properly on a larger sheet pan, with no cracks and with meringue mushrooms on top.)
We ate thick slices of this after a feast of honey-glazed ham (pre-cooked at the store; see wise observation above about focusing one’s energies during the holidays), a most ugly yet still incredibly delicious pommes anna, roasted butternut squash, braised kale, and beautiful gougères from a beautiful new cookbook I got for Christmas. How was your Christmas, readers? What did you serve for sweets? And most importantly, any blunders or setbacks that you had to swallow your vanity on and proudly serve anyway?
Bittersweet Bûche de Noël with Marscapone-Espresso Filling
From Cook’s Illustrated
This is a very bittersweet, rich dessert—substitute semi-sweet chocolate if you think bittersweet chocolate is too intense for you. Also, if you want to plan ahead, the ganache and filling can be made a day before hand and chilled until necessary. Also, I toned down the espresso flavor—up the amount of espresso powder to two teaspoons if you want a more intense flavor. Also, a word of wisdom: read through the whole recipe before you make it to make sure you have your wits about you when dealing with all the components.
Dark Chocolate Ganache:
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1t ablespoon Cognac
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon espresso or coffee powder
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
16 ounces (about 2 cups) mascarpone cheese
Chocoalte Genoise Cake:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (3/4 ounce), Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon table salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
2 tablespoons butter, cut into two pieces
2 tablespoons water
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8teaspoon cream of tartar
—For the dark chocolate ganache (can be made ahead of time): In a 2-cup measuring cup, microwave the cream and butter on high until the mixture is just bubbling, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. (You could alternatively bring this mixture to a bubble in a small saucepan.) Meanwhile, in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, place the chopped chocolate. Start running the machine, and gradually add the hot cream-butter mixture, followed by the cognac. Continue to process the mixture until thick, smooth, and homogeneous about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the ganache to a medium bowl and set aside for at least an hour to let it thicken while making the rest of the components. When about to be used, whisk to combine and thicken; it should have the final consistency of thick icing.
—For the espresso-marscapone filling (can be made ahead of time): In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring cream to a simmer. Once simmering, remove from heat and whisk in the espresso powder and powdered sugar. Meanwhile, place the marscapone cheese in a medium bowl and stir with a rubber spatula until its softened and smooth. Whisk in the sweetened cream mixture, and continue to whisk until completely combined. Place in the fridge to thicken until needed for use.
—For the chocolate genoise cake: Adjust the oven rack to be in the upper-middle position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter an 18 x 12-inch rimmed baking sheet, fit the bottom with parchment, and butter the parchment. Dust the baking sheet with flour to coat all its surfaces, tapping out the excess. Set aside. Sift flour, cocoa and salt together in a small bowl; set aside.
Bring about 2 inches of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Set a small-medium glass bowl over it, containing the chocolate, butter, and water. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and leave it alone for about 10-15 minutes, or until the butter is melted and the chocolate is glossy and submissive to complete smoothness when stirred. (I know this sounds weird, but do it; it works. Leave it alone without stirring or bothering it until its ready to be taken off the heat.) Remove the bowl from heat, unwrap, and stir until smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool slightly.
Separate the egg yolks and whites into separate bowls, with the whites being in a larger, clean bowl. Beat the egg yolks on medium-high speed with an electic mixer until combined, about 15 seconds. Add half the sugar and continue to beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl, for about another 6-8 minutes, or until the mixture is a beautiful pale yellow and it falls from the beaters in thick ribbons. Add the vanilla and combine, beating about another 30 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir in the set aside chocolate-butter mixture into the yolks until combined. Set aside while working with the egg whites.
Turning attention to the bowl with egg whites, add the cream of tarter and beat with very clean and dry beaters until the egg whites are foamy, about 30 seconds. Add about a teaspoon of the remaining sugar and continue to beat for a minute more, or until soft peaks form. Gradually add the rest of the sugar (a few tablespoons left at this point), and continue to beat until the whites are glossy and holds stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted, about 2-3 minutes longer. Do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, stir about a quarter of the whipped whites into the yolk-chocolate mixture to lighten it. Continue by folding in the remaining whites gently until no streaks remain. Sprinkle the set aside dry flour-cocoa mixture over the egg-chocolate mixture and fold it all together quickly but gently.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and work quickly to spread it all smoothly and evenly in the pan. Bake in the preheated oven until the middle of the cake if firm and springy when touched with a finger, about 8 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. While the cake is cooling, sprinkle a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder over a spread-out clean kitchen towel. Rub the cocoa into the towel using your hands. Once the cake has cooled for 5 minutes, run a knife along the edge to loosen the cake (it should already be pulling away from the sides.) Invert cake onto the towel and peel off the parchment. Starting at the long side, roll the cake with the towel together in the classic jelly-roll style. Let cool this way for 15 minutes, then unroll the cake.
—To assemble it all: On the just un-rolled cake, immediately spread the the marscapone filling evenly over the surface of the cake, almost reaching its edges. Re-roll the cake snugly around the filling. At this point I would move the cake to a serving platter, “seam-side” down. Spread the set aside chocolate ganache evenly over the log, using an off-set spatula. Use a fork to make wood-like indentations on the surface of the ganache, if you’d like. Refrigerate the cake to set and keep it there until ready to be served.
This cake required two pounds of strawberries, eight ounces of cream cheese, a pretty good dose of whipping cream, and cake flour. Believe it or not, I did not just mention that to try and openly display that this cake is not of the most healthy or wholesome sorts. No, I listed out those ingredients—none of which were in my pantry or fridge before the making of this thing—to show that I am somewhat failing at my whole frugal use-up-what-I-have mission.
But! There was a birthday. And not just anyone’s birthday, but the birthday of one of my very best friends, Abbey. I’m kind of big on birthdays, or any sort of holiday really that gives me an excuse to prepare sweets, treats and dishes and to be extra happy for a day. But especially birthdays. I actually have a little spot reserved in one of my notebooks titled “Treats for Occasions & Birthdays,” where I have written out the favorite treats of family members and close friends so I can remember to surprise them with it on their birthday. Sometimes it doesn’t always work out.
For example, did I make my brother creme brulee a few months ago on his birthday, December 28th? No, of course not, I was still reveling in Christmas and preparing for New Year’s! (Sorry, Jimmy.) Will I make the two treats I have planned for my mom and twin sister, both of whose birthdays are right next to each other next week? Probably not, seeing as I will be stuck in the trenches of finals here in Oregon—not to mention that little fact that it is my birthday too (in case you didn’t catch the “twin sister” part!) in which case I get terribly ego-centric and attention-grabbing. But I still like to plan for them at least, and sometimes my birthday-treat plans actually do work out. Case and point: next to Abbey’s name I had written, Strawberry Cream Cake. So strawberry cream cake there will be, I thought, even if it interrupted my attempts at avoiding the grocery store.
I really ended up liking this cake, and I hope Abbey did too. It’s kind of like strawberry shortcake, only fancied up a little bit in order to be event-worthy. But with the whipped cream piled like clouds on top of the layers of cake and strawberry filling while the sides are left untouched, it still has something of a casual edge to it so that the cake doesn’t seem intimidating or too fancy. A couple of years ago I made this for the Fourth of July, which I think is a perfect event for it.
In terms of how it tastes, it really is like strawberry shortcake…but better. Rather than shortcakes, it’s a chiffon-style vanilla cake that is light and tender, but sturdy enough to handle the aforementioned clouds of cream and strawberries in a cake form. And I have to say this–when these cakes were baking in the oven it seriously sent me into a whirlwind of nostalgia into my childhood when I would smell those vanilla funfetti birthday cakes. That may be a turn off to some people, but oh gosh it smelled heavenly. Anyway, the strawberry component of this part is really parallel to its shortcake counterpart, save the fact that some are left un-macerated for pretty presentation, and the fact that the macerated berry juices are reduced down with Kirsch liqueur to further the strawberry-ness flavor of the filling. I found this part helpful, seeing as the strawberries I was using were not quite peak-of-season quality yet (errmm insert foodie-guilt from not having shelled out the $3 a pint for farmer’s market strawberries). And finally, the whipped cream. Cook’s took whipped cream and fortified it with cream cheese to make the best of both worlds: a strong enough whipped cream so that it can be used on a cake and hold without disintegrating, while still retaining a lightness that can’t be found in traditional cream cheese frosting. It’s awesome and addicting, and I’m not even a “frosting” person.
So yeah, if you couldn’t tell from my heavily praising description above, I think it’s a lovely cake. A lovely cake for a lovely girl. Happy Birthday, Abbey! xx
Strawberry Cream Cake
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
Serves 8 to 10
I varied a little bit from the assembly of the cake. The cake is suppose to be a three-tiered layer cake, all the layers of which come from the slices of a cake baked in a 9-inch springform pan. I don’t have one of those, so I opted to simply divide it between two 9-inch cake pans, and end up with a two layer cake. I think I like this way better, actually: it allowed me to really pile on the strawberry filling and whipped cream without the fear of running out. That being said, if you have a 9-inch springform pan, by all means whip this up into a three layer cake–it really is beautiful that way too. Also, Cook’s Illustrated notes that the cake part of this can be made ahead of time, wrapped tightly in plastic, and frozen. Simply thaw at room temperature, unwrapped, for about two hours before continuing with the recipe.
1 1/4 cups (ounces) cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
5 large eggs (2 whole and 3 separated), room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted a slightly cooled
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 pounds (about 2 quarts) fresh strawberries, washed, dried, and stemmed
4-6 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Kirsch (optional–don’t use if you have peak-of-season beautiful strawberries)
pinch of kosher salt
8 ounces cream cheese, slightly softened (soft enough to beat and make fluffy)
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of kosher salt
2 cups heavy whipping cream
For the cake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position. Butter and flour 2 round 9-inch cake pans (or one 9-inch springform pan, see note above), and line with parchment or wax paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and about 1 cup + 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a medium-large bowl. Whisk in 2 whole eggs and three yolks (reserve the whites!), the melted butter, water, and vanilla. Whisk until the batter is smooth and thick.
In a clean bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the reserved three egg whites at medium-low speed so that they get frothy and broken up a bit, about 1 or 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and gradually add the remaining three tablespoons of sugar. Continue to beat until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes more. Take one-third of the beaten egg whites and fold it into the batter, to lighten it. Add the remaining beaten whites and gently fold until there aren’t any more white streaks and it’s pretty much evenly mixed. Pour the batter between the two prepared cake pans, dividing it evenly, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert cake onto a wire rack to cool completely (it’s necessary!), about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the strawberry filling. Halve 24 of the best-looking strawberries in your bunch and reserve. These will be used to border the layers and decorate the top. In a medium bowl, quarter the remaining berries you have and toss with 4 to 6 tablespoons of sugar, depending on the sweetness and ripeness of your berries. You should have a mixture of a little more than 1 1/2 to 2 cups worth. Let this mixture sit for one hour, stirring occasionally.
Strain the juice from the macerated berries (should be about 1/2 cup) and heat over medium high heat in a small saucepan with the addition of the Kirsch, if using, until syrupy and reduced to about 3 tablespoons, about 3 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, put the macerated berries in a food processor and whir them for about 5 one second pulses. Alternatively, like I did, you could simply chop them up best you can with your knife–you’re just looking for a mushy strawberry filling mixture. Pour the reduced syrup over the chopped berries, add a pinch of salt, and toss to combine. Set aside.
When the cake has cooled, place the softened cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and the pinch of salt in a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk at medium-high speed until fluffy and somewhat light, 1 to 2 minutes. Make sure to scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula a few times throughout this process. Reduce speed to low and add heavy cream in a slow, steady stream. When it’s almost all the way combined, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks, about 1 to 2 minutes more, scraping the bowl as you go. You should have around 4 to 5 cups–a lot!–and if you’re only making a 2 layer cake like me, you will probably have extra. I’m sure you can find a use for that.
To assemble the cake, Place one layer of the cake on a cake plate and arrange a ring of the reserved strawberry halves, cut side down and stems facing out, around the border of the cake. Pour about 1 cup of the berry mixture in the center (once again, if only doing two layers like me you’ll probably have extra–I’m not saying anything but it is delicious with leftover whipped cream). Spread mixture to cover any exposed cake, but be careful not to extend the mixture out too far so that it will spill over when you add the cream and other cake layer. Next, gently spread about 1 1/2 to 2 cups (or more to your liking) of the whipped cream over berry layer. This is a little difficult, because you want to be sure not to create an incorporated mush of the two parts. Leave a 1/2-inch border from the perimeter of the cake. Place next cake layer down and press gently (!)–so that the whipped cream layer should become “flush” with the cake edge. Add another 1 1/2 to 2 cups of whipped cream and spread to make an even layer on top. (Note: if you’re making the three layered cake, here is when you want to repeat the process of the first cake layer before moving on.) Decorate with remaining cut strawberries. Serve, or chill. This cake is best served the day of, but it’s doing fine holding up in our fridge at the moment, too.
If you were to ask me if the relationship I’m in is long-distance, my immediate response would be in the negative. After a few moments, I might qualify that with a few mumblings of something along the lines of a well sort-of, kind-of, but still–not really. But thing is, I live in a different state than my boyfriend. The drive to see each other is something along the lines of three and a half hours. I’m pretty sure this fits the standard description of “long-distance” but somehow I still don’t see it that way.
I think this has something to do with the fact that my boyfriend spent the last school year in Switzerland. Actually, I’m positive it has everything to do with that. Because let me tell you learning to deal with a nine-hour time difference and trying to balance out the act of waking up at seven in the morning to chit-chat after going to sleep only five hours earlier is not something you ever become entirely used to, no matter how often you remind yourself that it’s worth it (always, always worth it). So when this routine changes to one where you can call any time of the day (!), where you don’t have to schedule out times to talk (!), and where the only thing between you and him is a mere few hours away by car (!), things don’t seem quite so “long-distance” anymore. (Do any of you have either of these distance relationships? I know you’re out there…)
Anyway, it was Waylon’s birthday this last Thursday. Instead of me shipping him a little present across that Atlantic Ocean, he drove down to spend the weekend with me. In return, as his present, I made him drive yet another three or so hours to a small town in southern Oregon whose main feature is that it runs Shakespeare productions all year long; I bought us tickets to see his favorite play, Julius Ceaser. That may seem boring to some people–sitting in a car that long just to go see a play, but I really think that car ride was one of my favorite parts of the weekend. There’s something comforting, being in a warm car buzzing along the freeway with the pitter-patter of the rain sloshing on the windshield, sitting next to a person who feels so much closer than last year but still never close enough, enough of the time. It’s nice being close.
For dessert each night of the weekend we each had a thick slice of a birthday cake I made for him. The recipe is Alice Medrich’s, from her cookbook A Year in Chocolate: Four Seasons of Unforgettable Desserts. This cake is fittingly labeled under the fall section, though there’s nothing stopping this cake from being made any season of the year. It combines her classic chocolate sour cream layer cake with a peanut butter filling and a thick, ganache-like chocolate frosting. I’m going to go ahead and claim this cake as a classic: the crumb is moist, tender, but firm, and the flavor is pure chocolate. It gets a little messy making it, but the cake component is the hardest part. The peanut butter filling is (surprise) a perfect, perfect flavor combination against the chocolate, and the two-ingredient frosting on the outside firms up really beautifully into a sleek, firm ganache. If nothing else, I know I’m going to use the chocolate sour cream cake recipe again, any time I’ll need a classic chocolate cake.
The cake is intended for a decorative touch of peanut brittle–like shiny glass shards against the rich chocolate cake. Alice sticks the shattered pieces straight out of the cake, although I like the idea of patterning them on the sides like a mosaic. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to try out the peanut brittle myself, nor did I pick some up at the store. Instead, I ended up pinning salted, roasted peanut halves around the sides: a half-hearted effort but an effort nonetheless. Besides, I don’t think Waylon would notice the difference–the poor boy doesn’t have much of an interest in any cake in general. But seeing as it was his birthday, I irrationally and somewhat selfishly decided that he needed a cake anyway.
But really, there is only so much he can complain about because it’s all relative, don’t you think? Sure, he may not be over the moon for cake, but the fact of the matter is he spent his birthday eating a treat I made for him. And there is something to be said for that when only a year before the only sign of birthday-affection from his girlfriend came in the form of a package in the mail and a happy e-mail. Yes, I think that maybe we aren’t so long-distance after all.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake
Adapted from Alice Medrich’s A Year in Chocolate: Four Seasons of Unforgettable Desserts
Serves 10 to 12
Amy’s Notes: I made my cake in 9-inch cake pans, but I think 8-inch ones (as called for) are preferable, seeing as they create a taller cake. I increased the amount of frosting because I ran out and had to make more–this might have been due to the larger surface area of my cake, but you might as well make extra and layer it on then run out anyway. The frosting is pretty strong and seriously chocolaty, if you’re hesitant to extreme chocolate flavor, you might want to sub-in your favorite chocolate frosting.
2 layers Chocolate Sour Cream Layer Cake, baked and cooled completely (recipe follows)
2/3 cup natural smooth peanut butter (Alice recommends Adam’s
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted after measuring
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
1 cup sour cream
4 to 6 ounces peanut brittle, or dry, salted, roasted peanuts for decoration
Beat the peanut butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, and butter until just blended and smooth. Turn one cake layer upside down on 8-inch round cardboard circle or on a serving platter. Spread the peanut butter mixture evenly over the cake. Top with the second later, right side up. Set aside.
For the frosting, place the chocolate in a small bowl and set in a pan of barely simmering water (as a double boiler). Stir frequently until melted and smooth. Off heat, scrape the sour cream on top of the chocolate and stir until combined and the sour cream isn’t streaky anymore. Use immediately (really!) to frost the top and sides of the cake. If the frosting becomes too stiff to use or loses its gloss, set the bowl in a pan of hot water again for a few seconds to soften. Decorate with peanuts or shards of peanut brittle–as I mentioned earlier, I think creating a mosaic on the sides of the cake with the broken pieces of peanut brittle would be very pretty.
Cake keep at room temprature in a covered container for two to three days.
Chocolate Sour Cream Layer Cake
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/8 teaspoon baking powder (sounds weird, I know, but I just went with it)
3/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, at room temperature
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened (I zapped it in the microwave for a bit)
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 8-inch round cake layer pans with a round of parchment paper and lightly grease or spray sides with vegetable oil spray.
Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together, or whisk very well. Set aside. Combine the sour cream with 1/4 cup water. Set aside.
In a standing mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter for a few seconds until creamy. Add the sugar in a steady stream and continue to beat at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
Meanwhile break the eggs into a cup or small bowl, add the vanilla, and whisk to combine the whites and yolks. Beat the eggs into the butter mixture gradually, taking 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, beating constantly.
Stop the mixer and add one third of the flour mixture to the bowl. Beat on low speed only until no flour is visible. Scrape down sides of bowl. Next, add half the sour cream mixture, beating again on low speed only until just blended and stopping to scrape down bowl afterwards. Repeat with another third of the flour mixture, followed by the remaining sour cream, and then finished by the final third of the flour mixture–stopping the mixture each time you add the ingredients and beating on low speed only enough to incorporate the ingredients after each addition. It’ll help to scrape down the sides of the bowl throughout as well. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans and spread evenly. Note here that the batter will be thick, almost like that of brownies. But don’t fret! It will bake up to a beautiful cake.
Bake until the cake starts to shrink away from the sides of the pan (it will especially start doing this once taken out), and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes before unmolding. Invert each layer on a plate and peel of parchment liners. Turn the cakes right side up on a wire rack to cool completely. At this point the cake can be wrapped well and kept at room temperature for 1 to 2 days before using, or put in the freezer for up to three months (I froze mine about 3 days before using and it worked out great).