For the 4th of July, I thought nothing would be more American than a chocolate-chip cookie cake. I have been playing around with making ghee (clarified butter) and found this recipe for a brown butter cake, which uses a similar process. Then, why not top the cake with chocolate-chip cookie dough frosting? And for good measure, top that off with some chocolate ganache. These colors don’t run.
I still don’t like frosting the cakes I bake. I just don’t think I have the patience. Luckily, my wife does. This frosting was particularly difficult to coat evenly because of the mini chocolate chips scattered throughout, but I thought she did quite well:
This was a really nice cake and definitely hit the spot post-BBQ. Next time, I will use a vanilla bean while preparing the brown butter, and I will actually let the brown butter solidify before preparing the cake (for some reason, I skipped over that direction in the source recipe). I also think I would put the ganache between cake layers instead of using it as a topping.
Brown Butter Cake:
1 vanilla bean (or 1 tbsp. vanilla extract)
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs + 4 large egg yolks
2 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups milk
Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough Frosting:
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. milk
Batch of cookie dough (below)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 tsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
2 cups chocolate chips
3/4 cups heavy cream
- For the cake: Split vanilla bean and scrape out seeds. Place bean and seeds in a medium saucepan with the butter over medium-high heat until the butter begins to brown and smell nutty.
- When the butter is a rich brown color, remove the pan from the heat. Remove the vanilla bean, and place the melted butter in a container. Refrigerate until butter has re-solidified (probably more than an hour).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9″ round pans.
- Place solid brown butter in a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until creamy.
- Add sugar and beat until fluffy and smooth.
- Add in eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating each time until incorporated.
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Set mixer on low. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk in five additions (three flour mixture, two milk). Beat until just incorporated.
- Divide batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cake pans cool for 20 minutes before inverting cakes onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
- For the frosting: First make the cookie dough. Cream butter and brown sugar in a stand mixer.
- Add water and vanilla, mixing well.
- Add flour and salt, stirring to combine.
- Fold in chocolate chips and transfer cookie dough to a medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Now make the frosting. In stand mixer, cream butter.
- Add 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, salt and vanilla until combined, then add milk and continue mixing.
- Slowly add remaining confectioners’ sugar, mixing until well combined.
- Add cookie dough and mix until incorporated.
- For the ganache: Place chocolate chips in a large bowl. Bring cream to a simmer in a saucepan, then pour over chocolate chips and let sit for five minutes.
- Whisk until smooth, then chill for at least two hours to thicken.
- Frost cakes and top with ganache.