Yup. That's him. Digging into his cake at his second birthday, circa 1989. He still does this by the way. Now I'm pretty sure he never reads my blog (thanks Mike, thanks), but that doesn't mean I don't love him enough to dedicate an entire post about him (and it lets me secretly post pictures of a small, chubbier version of him 23 years ago).
Growing up there was one thing my brother (Michael is his name if you didn't catch it) wanted on his big day: Macaroni Grill's Warm Chocolate Cake with Fudge Sauce. So every year, on December 15th, that is where my family would head for dinner. And dessert. (And I grew up in an anti-chain eating household, so this was extra special!). We would arrive to the restaurant and wait patiently to be seated while watching the nearby chefs prepare and toss pasta dishes. Our buzzer would eventually go off and we would then be taken to a paper-lined table where us kids would proceed to color every inch and play countless games of tic-tac-toe. Finally, after dinner was served and cleared, the waitress would bring out a huge candlelit slab of the warm cake, make my brother stand on a chair with a napkin draped over his head and sing an a cappella rendition of "Happy Birthday". Then, 8-year-old to 13-year-old (those are roughly the years we kept this tradition) Michael would dig in. And eat the entire...single...piece. By himself. (Oh don't you worry, I got my own slice).
But before I tell you about this cake I made just for him, I must first tell you that he also loves oreos. So when I saw this recipe over the summer for an Oreo Chocolate Bundt Cake (I adapted it with my own twist, as you can see, it's obviously not a bundt), I knew I would be making this come December. Three layers of chocolate cake spread with cookies and cream cheese filling and topped with a thin, sugary glaze and oreo crumbs. A chocolate-meets-cake-meets-oreo-lovers dream.
Happy Birthday little bro!
Makes one 6-inch round cake (If you would like to make it in bundt form, click on the link embedded in the post or at the end of the recipe)
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup + 6 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons boiling water
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons buttermilk
Place melted butter and sugar in large mixing bowl and mix to combine. Add in egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Fold in flour, baking soda, and salt until no lumps remain.
Heat water until boiling (I did this in the microwave in a 2-cup glass pyrex). Whisk in cocoa powder. Add in chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and combined. Whisk in buttermilk . Stir chocolate mixture into batter until combined.
Pour into 3 greased 6-inch round cake pans (to distribute evenly, use a third-cup dry measuring cup and add a third-cup at a time to each one until there is no more batter. Each layer should take about two and a half, 1/3rd cupfuls). Preheat oven to 350 and bake for 15 minutes.
While cake is baking make the filling and glaze.
5 oreos, crushed
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Place oreos in a food processor and pulse until crumbled. Alternately, place oreos in a ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to crush. Set aside 1 tablespoon of crushed oreos for topping,
Cream together cream cheese and sugar. Add in vanilla. Fold in oreos. Set aside.
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 to 1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon crushed oreos (saved from earlier)
Add powdered sugar and milk to bowl and whisk to combine until desired consistency is reached and it can be poured over the cake.
Once cake has cooled, spread half of filling on top of one layer. Place second layer on top of filling and spread the rest of the filling evenly over the second layer. Top the second layer of filling with third layer of cake. Pour glaze over top of third layer and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon crushed oreos.
Adapted from Bakers Royale.