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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Upside-Down Chocolate Chip Layer Cake with Butterscotch Filling and Semi-Sweet Chocolate Glaze

A 70th birthday is a hallmark occasion that calls for a special cake...don't you agree?  Perusing through cookbooks for inspiration for my big brother's 70th recently, I ran across a recipe I had made years ago called Chocolate Chip Cake from Betty Crocker's Cookbook.  Although I loved the concept of this recipe, I was never 100% satisfied with the results.  With many adjustments, including method of preparation, along with quantity and placement of ingredients, I took the original recipe from a two-layer cake to a decadent four-layer cake.

With my version of a chocolate chip cake, the chips settle on the bottom of the layers, creating upside-down chocolate chip cake layers.  Stacking the layers, chocolate chips side up, with the butterscotch filling results in a rich, beautiful combination of chocolate and butterscotch between the layers

If you want a celebration dessert, this cake definitely delivers one tall, magnificent presentation with flavors sure to please!          
                                             What a Gorgeous Cake....

                                           When Do We Cut Into It?                       

Serves approx. 12

(You can make a two-layer cake from this recipe if you like:  adjust the ingredients for the layers and filling accordingly...leave the ingredients for the glaze and walnuts the same.)

The Cake
  • 4 c. sifted all-purpose flour (I use White Lily)
  • 2 TB baking powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 c. (or 2 sticks) room-temperature, salted butter
  • 2 c. packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room-temperature
  • 2 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 1 TB pure vanilla extract
  • 2 c. (12 oz.) semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • Non-stick baking spray
The Filling (Makes approx. 3 c.)
  • 2  c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 c. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. lukewarm water
  • 1/4 c. (1/2 stick) salted butter
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
The Glaze
  • 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c. (1/2 stick) salted butter
  • 2 TB light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
The Garnish
  • 1/2 c. medium-chopped walnuts

                                   So, What Do You Call This Cake?



The Cake
  1. Spray 4 each identical 9"x1 1/2" (exactly measured) cake pans with the non-stick baking spray.  Set aside.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, sift together the pre-sifted flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.
  3. Cream the butter with the brown and granulated sugars in a 5 qt. heavy-duty mixer* until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes with a KitchenAid on high speed).  Scrape the bowl.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Scrape the bowl again.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350ยบ.
  6. On low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk to the creamed mixture.  Scrape the bowl.
  7. Continuing on low speed, stir in the vanilla, then gently the chocolate chips, just until incorporated.
  8. Equally distribute the batter between the pans.  Place two filled pans on the middle rack of the oven and two on the rack immediately below, being careful that the pans do not touch each other and are at least 1 inch from the edges of the oven.  The pans on the middle rack and the pans on the rack below should crisscross each other in order to receive maximum heat distribution.
  9. Bake approximately 40-50 minutes, or until the layers spring back when lightly touched with the finger and a toothpick inserted in the middle of each comes out clean.  Cover with clean dish towels and cool the layers in the pans overnight on wire racks.
If you have one, use a guard for your mixer (ideally with a chute); because this recipe makes a lot of batter that can fly!

The Filling
  1. In a 2 qt. or medium saucepan, sift together the brown sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Whisk in the water and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens and boils.  
  2. Reduce the heat to low, then boil and whisk for 1 minute more.  Remove from the heat, then whisk in the butter and vanilla. 
  3. If your filling needs to be more smooth, finish off the heat with an immersion blender (but with great caution, as the mixture will be very hot), until the desired consistency is achieved.  Set aside and cool.
The Glaze
  1. In a 1 qt. or small saucepan, heat the chocolate chips, butter and corn syrup over low heat, whisking constantly, until the chocolate is almost melted.  
  2. Remove from the heat and whisk until all the chocolate is melted, then whisk in the vanilla until well blended.  Cool slightly.

Assembling The Cake

1.  Releasing the layers:  The chocolate chips will have mostly settled onto the bottom of the layers, forming a chocolate chip coating...this is intentional.  To encourage release of the layers, gently run a knife around the edges of the pans, carefully lifting the cake as you go.  (These layers are very tender and need to be handled gently.)

To release the first cooled layer, cover it with wax paper; and, while holding a plate over the pan, invert the layer.  Shake the pan a little and gently pull it away to see if the cake releases easily (it should).  If the layer does not release easily, go around the pan and very carefully lift the layer a little section at a time with an offset spatula to further loosen.  Attempt to release the layer again; and if necessary, very carefully press any loose chips or cake back onto the layer with the back of a plastic spoon...the filling will cover the imperfection, and no one will ever know.  Leave the chocolate chips side up.

Use the above method to release each succeeding layer.  Stack the layers on a holding plate with wax paper in between the layers until ready to complete the cake.  

2.  Filling the layers:  Carefully lift a layer from the holding plate and center the layer, with the chocolate chips side up, onto a serving platter.  Spread about 3/4 c. of the filling over the entire surface of the layer.

Stack each succeeding layer with the chocolate chips side up...spreading about 3/4 c. of the filling over each of the second and third layers and the remainder of the filling over the top, fourth layer.

3.  Glazing the cake:  Being careful not to mix with the butterscotch filling, spread the slightly cooled chocolate glaze entirely over the top of the cake and let the glaze drizzle as it may over the edges.

4Garnish with the chopped walnuts.
Serve with or without a premium vanilla ice cream and enjoy the wow!

                                          Speaking of Birthdays...

                              My Grandson Recently Slid Into His 4th!

Printable Recipe