June 05, 2009

Two Spoonfuls: Sandwich Cookie Cake

Jenn and I decided that this week we're going to mix things up (no pun intended) and try something new. I told her about this cool cake pan set I'd seen at Williams Sonoma and she suggested we do a little product review. So, I went and picked up my new Sandwich Cookie Cake Pan Set. I decided to go with the recipe on the box for a chocolate cake and quick buttercream frosting (my favorite!).

The cake pan set is basically two identical round pans that are shaped like those chocolate sandwich cookies in the blue wrapper that we all know about, but it says "cookie" instead of something else. Get it? They're really nice pans, as fun shaped pans from Williams Sonoma usually are. Remember, I've got this one and a really nice mini bundt pan too. I love fun cake pans!

The instructions say to use a pastry brush to grease the pans with shortening or softened butter, then dust thoroughly with cocoa powder. Well, I don't have a pastry brush, so I used a paintbrush. I also went with Alton Brown's magic flour and shortening mix to grease my pan. I figure it's the same as greasing and dusting (and that's what Alton says). I should have still dusted the pans with cocoa, I forgot that step. oops

So, the cake recipe is pretty straight forward, though the batter was REALLY thick. That seems weird when you're supposed to pour it into a pan with all sorts of little crevices and such. You can see how thick it was in the photo, look at the peaks! I'll admit, I forgot to tap the pans on the counter to release some of the air bubbles. I don't think it would have made a huge difference because of the thick batter. oops, again

I put each layer in it's own oven (my new house has a double oven...a very small double oven, but double none-the-less). While the cakes were baking, I made the quick buttercream. It was, in fact, quick, and also incredibly good. I could have eaten the whole batch. Sooo good. That recipe's a keeper for sure.

I already know from only a few uses that my oven tends to run a little hotter than it says, so I set it 5 degrees cooler. I still totally burned the cake in the lower oven. Did I mention what a rubbish baker I am? I always check things about 5 minutes early, but for some reason I didn't do that this time. I should know better when using an oven that I haven't developed a relationship with yet. Anyway, both cakes were overdone, but this one was really bad.

Neither one came out nice as far as the pattern from the pan either. They both had a lot of air bubbles, I think this was from the major thickness of the batter, rather than operator error. I tossed the crispy layer and still frosted one. It was pretty much a brownie with buttercream. Okay, but not great. So, I decided to give it another shot.

Plan B: Betty Crocker to the Rescue!

I was curious about how a store bought cake mix would fit in these pans, so I gave it a shot. I know using a cake mix isn't as cool as handmade, but hey, this cake took me about 10 minutes to make. 3 ingredients!!

I baked them on one level in the same oven this time. I watched the thermometer and it fluctuated up & down throughout the process by about 20 degrees in either direction. Not good. (I can't wait for my new convection oven to arrive).

This one, like the other, had the most issues in the "cookie" area, but otherwise came out pretty clean. I went with cooking spray this time too, just to try another greasing method.

Luckily, that buttercream recipe makes about a ton of the stuff, so there was plenty for the second cake.

This cake was lighter in color, but that's because I chose to use a milk chocolate cake mix. A devil's food or dark chocolate cake would likely mimic the look of the sandwich chookie a little better. The cake mix method seemed to fill the pans just fine, but I did end up trimming off a bit to flatten out the layers. Anyway, it's delicious! Anyone want to come over and help us eat it?


Note to Self:

1. Remember to tap the pan to release air bubbles when using funny shaped pans.
2. Betty Crocker is awesome!
3. Get a pastry brush that's not silicone so it'll work on those little crvices.
4. Always test the cake early, especially in a bad oven that you aren't familiar with.

5. More buttercream! Slather it on, don't be shy.


Hey Jenn, what's cookin' at your house? Any leftovers?

1 comment:

Heather said...

Okay.....that is seriously cool and on my want list! Would you share your buttercream recipe? I seriously love that too!