My baking experiment #93 – death-by-chocolate hedgehog

Today is my husband’s birthday. Last year for his birthday, i baked a triple-chocolate ganache cake: chocolate cake with chocolate mousse frosting covered in a layer of glossy chocolate ganache. That cake was one of my proudest achievements yet. At that time i had just started baking; that cake was only my fifth bake! It took me an entire day and i couldn’t believe the results: the cake was so yummy & decadent, and it looked like something from a bakery. I couldn’t be happier!

So this year i just have to top myself. I asked my husband what his favorite flavor was and he said “chocolate”, so that kinda put me in a bind. I not only have to bake a better cake, i have to bake a better chocolate cake! What can i bake that will top my masterpiece from last year? So i racked my brain and came up with an idea: the only thing better than a chocolate cake is… chocolate cheesecake! And what’s even better? I’ll put them together!! Hahaha… (cue evil laughter…)

So my plan is this: i’ll make a chocolate cake with chocolate cheesecake layers, then frost it with whipped chocolate ganache. And instead of a regular round cake, i’ll make it in the shape of a dome, just like the groom’s cake at our wedding.

Phew! Now that i’ve got a plan, time to put it in action. There are three components to this cake. To make things easier, I’ll make the cake from a cake mix. The cheesecake will be no-bake. And the ganache will be decadent 😉

Ingredients

Cake – chocolate or devil’s cake mix plus water, oil & eggs.
Cheesecake – 1 1/2 packages cream cheese, softened
– 1 1/2 cups cool whip
– 1/2 cup powdered sugar
– 1/4 cup sour cream
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 cup chocolate, melted
Ganache – 1 1/2 cups chocolate
– 1 cup heavy cream

Instructions

Cake – Mix ingredients according to box directions. Pour batter into lightly greased metal bowl and bake until done. Let cool slightly and remove from bowl. Cool completely on wire rack then refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.
Cheesecake – In large bowl with electric hand mixer, mix cream cheese & cool whip until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add powdered sugar and mix until combined. Mix in sour cream and vanilla. Add cooled melted chocolate and whip 2-3 minutes until mixture is extremely light and fluffy. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.
Ganache – Microwave heavy cream 1-2 minutes on high until it just begins to simmer; be careful not to let cream boil over. Pour cream over chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes. Mix until chocolate mixture is smooth. Let cool to room temperature, 1-2 hours. Once cooled, use electric mixer to whisk on high 2-3 minutes until light & fluffy. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.

Assembly

Use sharp serrated knife to torte cake into three even layers.
Place first cake layer on serving plate. Spread half of cheesecake filling on top of cake. Repeat with next cake layer, adding remaining cheesecake filling and top with final layer of cake.
Spread thin layer of whipped ganache evenly around entire outside of cake. Refrigerate 20-30 minutes.
Place remaining ganache in piping bag fitted with star tip and pipe stars around entire outside of cake. Dust with cocoa powder if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

OMG… this is by far the most involved cake i’ve ever baked. Took me a whole day from start to finish but totally worth it! This cake is absolutely sinful: deep dark devil’s cake layered with creamy chocolate cheesecake, all covered in decadent whipped chocolate ganache. The completed cake reminds me of a hedgehog thus i’m calling it the “death-by-chocolate hedgehog“. Haven’t had a chance to cut into it yet; we’re savoring it after his birthday dinner with our friends. Hope it tastes as spectacular as it looks!

death-by-chocolate hedgehog
death-by-chocolate hedgehog

IMG_1838 IMG_1841

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