Friday, March 5, 2010

Janelle's Chocolate Cake

Growing up in San Leandro, a couple from our church "adopted" our family by choosing to invest in our lives, get to know us "kids" and babysit for my parents to have date nights. They lived just a few blocks away and we built essentially grandchild/grandparent relationships with them. They have been really amazing to our family.

Janelle would make this chocolate cake. One mention of "Janelle's cake" would leave ANY family member drooling. Its been at least 10 years since we had this cake, since our family moved, aged, they moved, etc. Since I've been wanting to amp up my culinary skills and because the cake is just so delicious, I've been hoping for an opportunity (excuse) to make this cake. It’s really decadent so the excuse had to be really good. And then it was my youngest brother's birthday! #18! Happy Birthday Tim! (back in February.) So I texted him, asking if he wanted the cake for his birthday. Usually he never texts me back. This time I got an immediate yes. In fact I got the "oooohhhhhhhhh" gasp from each family member when I mentioned it.

So I drove up. Tim, Amy and I were going to make the cake together. (I have forced Zach to watch the TV show Cake Boss with me. Zach had "Cake Boss" suggestions for the cake, like strawberries in the whipped cream, etc, but I rejected them. Our first time recreating the famous "Janelle Cake" had to be the original recipe.)

The exciting part of this cake is the layers. There are 4 layers of cake. Between each one is homemade whipped cream. (As you know, I am not a super pro at making this, but I'm trying.) But the frosting is truly the kicker. I've been looking at frosting recipes for a while now trying to find one I like and this one is completely different than what I’ve seen online, which explains why it is the most awesome. It uses evaporated milk, which I didn’t see much of online.

The assembly of the cake is simple. Our whipped cream was a little soft (being a newbie at whipped cream still, I'm afraid I'll make butter) and the cake layers a little thin (would have preferred to have 8inch round pans instead of 9, or maybe next time I'll have to make more cake). But, as usual the frosting held it all together for the approximately 18 hours that the cake lasted in the refrigerator. There were NO (Null. Zero. Nada.) complaints about the soft whipped cream, messy frosting, or thin cake layers.

MMM. When can I make this again??!!! I wonder if I could try a little cupcake version! Hm...

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