Chocolate cake with blackberry frosting – ‘dinosaurs’ world’

This is my son’s birthday cake for his 4. birthday and he wished ‘dinosaurs’ world’. I did not want to use sugar fondant on the top and for decorations because it is very sweet product and without any nutrition values. I made all decorations of shortbread cookies and small angular shaped candies which pretend to be ‘stones’. I baked dinosaurs and bones shaped cookies to create the Jurassic scene and added some real plants which emphasise the prehistoric mood. The cake is a classic chocolate sponge frosted with mascarpone based frosting. Three layers of very chocolate-y (and very dark) sponge are layered with yummy blackberry frosting. The sponge is tasty, moist and velvety. The frosting is light, fruit-y and fresh. The chocolate blackberry combo is one of my favourite flavour pairs and is really yummy. Enjoy!

 

3 sandwich pans ø 8 inch

 

Sponges ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa* powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 115 ml plant oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¾  cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup strong brewed coffee (hot)

Frosting:

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 500 g mascarpone cheese
  • 350 g blackberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 9 tablespoons icing sugar

Cookies:

  • ½  cup softened butter
  • 5 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups + 1 tablespoon flour

 Decorations:

  • 20-30 pcs small angular shaped truffles or candies
  • small pieces of real shrubs

 * I used very dark (alkalized) cocoa powder. You may use ordinary baking cocoa powder – the colour of sponge will be yet brown not black and the taste will be less bitter.

 

Cookies (you may bake them day or two ahead and store in an airtight container): in the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg and vanilla, mix together. Gradually add flour still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball (the sides of the bowl should be almost clean). The amount of flour you need could vary because of flour type. If the dough is still very soft and does not shape a ball add more flour, one tablespoon at the time. When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let cool in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 1/5 inch thick circle pan. Cut out  with cookie cutter dinosaurs and bones. Place them on a lined baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes (small shapes shorter, bigger shapes longer) until golden beige with darker edges. Cool after baking.

Chocolate cake: preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease and line pans.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat oil and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and egg yolk  – one at a time and beat well after each addition. With last yolk add vanilla and almond extract.. In a separated bowl mix together flour, cocoa powder, soda, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to oil mixture in three batches alternate with sour cream, starting and ending with flour. When all ingredients are well incorporated add hot brewed coffee and mix shortly just until incorporated. Divide dough evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 25-28 minutes (until a tooth pick inserted in to the center comes out clean). Leave cakes for 10 minutes in pans then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.  

Frosting: blend blackberries until puree. If they are frozen heat in a saucepan for few minutes until soft. Drain before blending. Whip the cream until stiff. Beat in mascarpone cheese with icing sugar. Add blackberry puree, mix until combined.

Place the first sponge on a serving plate. Spread over 1/3 mascarpone frosting. Cover with second sponge and repeat spreading. Cover with third sponge. Spread the rest of mascarpone frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Place into the fridge to set.

Before serving make decorations: cover the sides with cookie bones (the frosting will glue them). Add some ‘stones’. On the top arrange knolls and walles of ‘stones’ i place dinosaurs in between. Add a little plants.

 

 

 

Category: Layered.

Tags: blackberry, chocolate, cocoa, mascarpone.