I was running out of ideas on what to make for a friend for her upcoming 50th so I made this cake and she was ecstatic. I knew that after dinner she enjoyed a glass of milk with an ounce of Grand Marnier mixed in, so what better way to surprise her than with this decadent birthday cake?—Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontarior
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1-2/3 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup baking cocoa
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1-1/3 cups water
- WHIPPED CREAM:
- 2-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 3/4 cup thawed frozen orange juice concentrate
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup Grand Marnier, divided
- 3 tablespoons grated orange peel
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of two greased 8-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking cocoa, salt, baking soda and baking powder; add to creamed mixture alternately with water, beating well after each addition.
- Transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.
- In a chilled large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Refrigerate, covered, 1 hour or until very cold.
- For filling, in a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over orange juice concentrate; let stand 1 minute. Stir in sugar. Heat and stir over low heat until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in 1/4 cup Grand Marnier and orange peel. Let filling stand at room temperature just until spreadable, stirring occasionally. (If mixture becomes too firm, warm in microwave to soften, about 10-15 seconds.)
- Meanwhile, using a long serrated knife, cut each cake horizontally in half. Brush layers with remaining Grand Marnier. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with one-third of the filling. Repeat twice. Top with remaining cake layer.
- To frost cake, cut a hole in the tip of a pastry bag or in a corner of a food-safe plastic bag and insert #829 or other large star pastry tip. Gently stir whipped cream; spoon into bag and pipe onto top and sides of cake. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Chocolate & Grand Marnier Cake in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2014
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