Friday, April 6, 2012

Chocolate Bunny Cake for Easter

Williams Sonoma Chocolate Bunny Cake
I blogged about this wonderful Chocolate Bunny Cake last year for Easter.  It is the ultimate Bunny Centerpiece.

This Chocolate Easter Bunny Cake Recipe is from Williams Sonoma's Kitchen. I've mentioned before that there are so many great places to find recipes. I actually have a different Easter Bunny 3-D cake pan for this cake, and there are lots of other bunny cake pans you can find. Double sided cakes aren't all that hard, and they're fun to make. The Wilton Cake Pan with the Eggs is the one in the recipe (first cake pan photo). If you use the second cake pan, skip the directions for the cake egg. You can make your own chocolate eggs or decorate with jellybeans or any great chocolate Easter eggs.
Other alternatives: Bake a chocolate cake and cover with a buttercream 'fur' frosting!

The following recipe from Williams Sonoma is for the ultimate Easter dessert: a bunny-shaped cake coated with rich chocolate ganache. Of course, you can also make a chocolate cake! I do.

Wilton Bunny Cake Pan

For the cake:
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
20 Tbsp sweet butter
2 cups sugar
5 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 tsp. Madasgascar vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk

For the ganache:
1 lb. dark chocolate (65-70%), chopped into small pieces
6 Tbsp sweet butter, at room temperature
2 cups heavy cream
1 jelly bean

1. Have all ingredients at room temperature.
2. To make tcake, position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 325°F. Grease and flour bunny cake pan; tap out excess flour.
3. Over sheet of waxed paper, sift together tflour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
4. In the bowl of electric mixer fitted with flat beater, beat butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 30 seconds. Add sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping mixer occasionally to scrape downsides of the bowl. Add eggs a little at ime, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla just until incorporated, about 1 minute.
5. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with milk and beginning and ending with flour. Beat each addition just until incorporated, stopping mixer occasionally to scrape down sides of the bowl.
6. Spoon batter into prepared bunny pan, spreading batter so sides are higher than center. Bake until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 35 to 38 minutes.
7. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cake cool upright in pan for 15 minutes.
8. Invert pan onto rack and lift off pan.
Let the cake cool completely, at least 2 hours, before serving or decorating.
Williams Sonoma Bunny Cake Pan

To make the chocolate ganache:
1. In metal bowl, combine chocolate and butter.
2. In small saucepan over medium heat, bring cream just to a boil. Immediately pour cream over the chocolate and butter. Whisk until they melt and mixture is smooth.
3. Transfer 2/3 cup of ganache to small bowl and let cool to room temperature. Keep remaining ganache warm and fluid by placing bowl over but not touching barely simmering water insmall saucepan.

To assemble and decorate cake, wash and thoroughly dry pan, then return both halves of the cooled bunny cake to pan. Level cake by using serrated knife to gently saw off the part of each cake half that rose above edge of pan.

Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, making sure it covers the edges of pan, and set a wire cooling rack on the sheet. Place both cake halves, cut side down, on the rack. Remove any crumbs that fall off cake onto baking sheet. Slowly pour warm ganache over the halves, coating them completely. Tap the baking sheet to allow the excess ganache to drip off. Place the rack on another baking sheet or a piece of parchment paper. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the excess ganache from lined baking sheet back into the bowl. Reheat over simmering water if not fluid. Set rack on lined baking sheet again and place egg cake halves on rack alongside the bunny. Pour warm ganache over eggs.
NordicWare Bunny Pan

Cut a jelly bean in half and attach halves to the bunny to create eyes. Place baking sheet with rack still on top in refrigerator until ganache sets and cake halves are firm enough to handle, at least 30 minutes.

Place 1 Bunny cake half, cut side up, in the center of a large piece of aluminum foil. The ganache on this side of the bunny may smudge a little. Using small offset spatula, spread 1/2 to 2/3 cup of the room-temperature ganache over cut side. Slide metal spatula under other cake half and carefully place the cake half on top of the other one. Press down on jelly bean eye to help secure the halves. Use foil to help turn the bunny upright, then squeeze bunny on jelly bean eyes, feet and tail to secure the halves. If there are any gaps in seam, place a little warm ganache on small offset spatula and fill in  gaps. Dab warm ganache on areas where you squeezed cake and on any other exposed areas. Soften any smudged areas by heating gently with culinary torch.

Carefully slide large metal spatula under base of the bunny and transfer to platter. Usingspatula, transfer egg halves to the platter.

O.K., this isn't the easiest of Bunny Cakes, which is why I have the Williams Sonoma photo of the perfect one! However, you can do it, and it will taste yummy--and look good, too!


yummychunklet said...

I saw that pan at WS but I couldn't bring myself to buy one. I just couldn't justify only using it once a year. It's cute though!

~~louise~~ said...

Of course I remember this Bunny Cake, Janet. I don't think I'll get to it this year...someday:)

Thanks for sharing, enjoy the holiday!