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Sean’s Dark Chocolate & Berry Birthday Cake

July 8, 2012

Last week was Sean’s birthday, so he needed a cake. He introduced me to a social life in Georgia, thanks sir! I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe found here. 3 layers, with raspberry preserves followed by raspberry swiss buttercream and another layer of blueberry preserves and blueberry swiss buttercream. Here’s what I found with experimenting with flavoring swiss buttercream: Many websites suggest extract, but I’m the kind of girl who likes to keep it real. I know I make vanilla, but it has no place in my berry icing. So I added about a handful of fresh berries and about 2 tablespoons of preserve to each batch of icing. My mistake was that I should have pureed the berries first (too chunky), I assumed it would do that on it’s own when mixing.

Also, the buttercream wasn’t AS berry-flavored as I would have liked. I should have added more preserves. I hesitated since as phenomenal as swiss buttercream is, it’s very finicky to make and can fold easily. Often when adding the butter, it disintegrates before it comes together.  Also, the most important part of icing a cake is a crumb layer, those are not pretty. A thin layer of icing outside in the fridge for a minimum of 15 minutes will seal any icing/crumbs from making an unsightly crumby icing job.

The icing was dark chocolate ganache that I poured on. You have to make sure that the cake is nice and chilled before you do that. Also, don’t have the icing be right off the stove, maybe let it cool 2 minutes. Some websites say chill the cake 15 minutes, I would do it a minimum of a half hour.

Happy Birthday Sean!


Chocolate Ganache

  • 12 ounces chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Melt chocolate pieces in a large metal bowl over a pot of simmering water on stove (double boiler). Add heavy cream and mix until smooth. Cool a minute or so before pouring over cake.

Swiss Buttercream

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 26 tablespoons butter, softened (3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons)
  • Either 1 ts of extract or 4 tbsp of fruit preserves

Whisk egg whites and sugar together in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until you can’t feel the sugar granules between your fingers. Transfer mixture into the mixer and whip until it turns white and about doubles in size. Wipe condensation off the bowl so that no water gets into the egg whites. Add the vanilla, butter and preserves and whip.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Priyanka permalink
    November 16, 2012 10:01 am

    The cake looks wonderful! 🙂 Are the Blue written words the Swiss Buttercream? Was looking out for a writing piping recipe for my chocolate ganache iced cake!

    • November 16, 2012 10:07 am

      Thank you! Yes, it is swiss buttercream in the writing. Good luck and let me know how your cake turns out!

      • January 6, 2014 3:49 pm

        Hi there, I just attempted the imbc for my very first time..tastes wfuredonl but .it’s doesn’t seem to have that white color you mention and seems more heavy like butter (it’s slightly fluffy) rather than light and fluffy. It was mixed for a good 10-15 min after butter (unsalted bought from costco ) added. was that toooooo long? Can I fix it? I do love love love the NO GRIT feeling like american buttercream I really hope I can perfect this. I enrolled for the icings class but I am being to impatient, so I decided to try UGH Thanks and love the blog.

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