My mom wore many hats while raising four children, including: wife, mother, Sunday school teacher, tee-ball mom, boo-boo bandager, class mom, cook, vacation bible school director, entrepreneur, college student, dish washer, working woman, church volunteer, and Cake Lady.
I remember the first time my mom brought home the fruits of her labor from a cake decorating class she was taking – a round layer cake topped with icing clowns in different poses – talk about impressive! The Cake Lady was born and none of us every had a “regular” birthday cake again. Mom has made fabulous cakes and tasty confections for friends, family, friends of friends of co-workers, and professionally out of the bakery she and my father owned.
Today, the Cake Lady gets to spend a peaceful morning at church a little lighter due to a couple of missing hats: her husband is running around the kitchen whipping up a tasty Tex-Mex meal starring her fabulous beef and cheese enchiladas, her daughter will be bringing over a ridiculously indulgent cake dubbed “Dulce de Choco-leche,” and her son (whether he knows it yet or not) will be doing the dishes afterwards!
Happy Mother’s Day!
I thought about making a “Better Than Sex” cake for Mother’s Day – a 9×13 cake that you leave in the pan, soak with preserves, butter, and/or or chocolate sauce (depending on the recipe), and then frost with whipped cream. It sounded really good for a few days, but in the end, I modified the recipe enough so I didn’t “just” leave it in the pan. There’s no pressure being the daughter of the Cake Lady. Noooo pressure
I wanted rich, I wanted indulgent, I wanted decadent – if I’m baking with total disregard for Mom’s pancreas, she has to at least enjoy it! I ended up taking a few of my mom’s most-enjoyed treats, chocolate, caramel, Eagle Brand condensed milk, and bringing them together into a wonderfully indulgent dessert somewhat reminiscent of the original plan.
Dulce de Leche Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dark cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
12 oz dark chocolate chopped (divided, can use chips)
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
Chopped/shaved chocolate or chopped candy bars
To make the filling: Remove label from can and place upright in a pot of water on the stove. Gently boil the can for approx two hours making sure that the can is always covered with water (a dulce de leche bomb, while it sounds tasty, is not what you want going off in your kitchen). Remove from heat and allow to cool.
To make the cake: Pre-heat oven to 350. Prepare two 9-inch round pans using whatever method you prefer: grease and flour, grease and sugar, baking spray with flour (I prefer the latter).
Add dry ingredients to the stand mixer. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat on medium speed for two minutes. Carefully add the boiling water and mix well (batter will be pretty thin). Pour batter into the pans and top each pan with half of the dark chocolate. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans or until the toothpick test registers done. Remove from the oven. Cool cakes 10 minutes in pan and then remove the cake from the pans and transfer to a wire rack for cooking.
To make the frosting: Beat heavy cream on high until soft peaks form, add confectioner’s sugar and beat for 1 minute more.
To assemble the cake: Level both layers and spoon dulce de leche mixture over the cut tops of both cakes, spread evenly, allow to soak into the cake and repeat – once more for the bottom layer, two or three times for the top (judge the moisture level – too much liquid in the bottom layer might cause leaks). Spread the frosting on the top of the bottom layer and add the top layer. Frost the cake and coat with the garnish of your choice.