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Feb 27, 2011 03:19 PM

Chocolate Cake Advice Needed!

Hi everyone,

I'm a first time poster and I need some help!

A little background on my situation:

I bet my friend that he couldn't show up to an 8 am class for 3 straight weeks. Since he lost, he needs to eat an entire chocolate layer cake during a three hour dyslipidemia (i.e., high cholesterol) lecture in the front row of the lecture hall. (We're pharmacy students by the way.)

Me and my other buddies are trying to make this cake as calorie dense as humanly possible and unhealthy as well...given the fact that it is, well, a dyslipidemia lecture! He also needs to manage to be able to eat the entire thing, so it has to taste sort of good.

We don't have much time, money, or kitchen skills so were going to rely on a boxed cake. My first questions: can you substitute heavy whipping cream for water in the recipe? Can I substitute butter for the oil? Would folding in chopped bits of candy, such as reeses cups, screw with the baking of the cake? We're already planning on using a TON of icing, and I'm thinking of incorporating a layer of crushed oreo crumbs between the two layers of cake (i.e., from the bottom up: cake, icing oreo crumbs, icing, cake).

Does anyone have any other ideas to make this thing an absolute heart attack waiting to happen?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Is eating a chocolate cake supposed to be punishment? You ARE new to these boards! Baking is essentially chemistry. You can suspend items in the solution (to a point) without compromising the cake, so feel free to add candy (heath bar bits are particularly good).

    Once you start adding elements which dissolve into the batter, you run the risk of trouble. For example, honey would add a ton of calories, but will mess with the ratio of sugar in the batter. Also, honey is very hygroscopic - honey cakes tend to be dense and very moist. I don't know how it would react in a boxed mix where there is already sugar built in. Also, butter is solid at room temperature, oil is liquid. While pound cake is made with butter, it behaves differently than oil in a cake. you could substitute melted butter for oil in a boxed mix, but particularly if the cake is refrigerated, it will seem drier than an oil based cake.

    Add saturated fat in the icing - make a BUTTERcream.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sbp

      I'd be careful how much (if any) mix-ins like candy you add, as they often sink to the bottom of the batter and stick to the pan/make your cake stick to the pan. Keep the mix-ins quite small, with the heaviest mix-ins being the smallest in size/shape and quantity (i.e. you could go crazy with adding sprinkles but you need to be careful adding something like pieces of a snickers bar)

    2. I'm probably the only one that would mention that this seems mean to me. Why not just a chocolate cake with frosting? That's bad enough to make disappear. Why make it so unpleasant and full of crud that it'll be hard to swallow let alone get through the whole thing.

      I'm scared you're gonna push him into sugar overload where he'll blow up like a balloon or puffer fish or both :(

      6 Replies
      1. re: iL Divo

        ah i wouldn't feel too bad. i think he said hes gonna go without food for a few days to prepare (plus tons of running!)

        1. re: iL Divo

          Yeah, I'm with Il Divo. Making it as unhealthy as possible on top of humiliating is pretty hostile.

          Make a cake, daveyb. Extract your pound of flesh and move on with your life. Using a mix with all the artificial crap that's in it is probably punishment and health challenge enough. You don't need to be a jerk.

          1. re: rainey

            In the realm of horrible, mean punishments to inflict on a person, the eating of a large decadent cake (box mix or not!) doesn't honestly rank all that high on the list, if you ask me.

            Of all the unhealthy things that get done in university, this ain't so bad. Your buddy made the bet, he knows what he's in for, and it'll make the dyslipidemia lecture ring even truer. Heh.

            You don't want to screw too much with the recipe itself, as spb said, but milk for water should be fine.
            Cookie crumbs in between layers, sure. Crushed up candy bars, sure. Garnish and decorate the top with whatever.
            As for frosting, I'd actually take a couple minutes and make one. I suggest the frosting from this Smitten Kitchen recipe:
            It is INSANELY rich and INSANELY good. Fold in some broken-up Reese's cups, if you like. It's easiest if you have an electric mixer, but with enough arm-power you could get 'er done, no problem. The only challenge would be restraining yourself from eating it with a spoon before it got on the cake. It's difficult.

            If you wanted to make it really difficult for him to finish, don't use a cake mix at all, but a brownie mix. I think I'm becoming hyperlipidemic just thinking about it.

            Let us know how it goes!

            1. re: Whats_For_Dinner

              For my birthday, my husband got me a chocolate cake with a layer of brownies in the middle, with chocolate mousse in between. Talk about richly decadent.

              1. re: Whats_For_Dinner

                Finally someone who understands! It's all in good fun; what people don't seem to understand is that cake is unhealthy period. Whether I add all this extra crap or not, eating an entire cake just isnt good for you! haha.

                Thank you for the ideas. I will definitely put them to use.

                The lecture is this Friday, and me and friends are making the cake on Thursday evening. Stay tuned for pictures!!!

                1. re: daveyb1989

                  Maybe I'm crazy, but there is a part of me that really wants to know how this turned out.

          2. With few cooking skills the thing to do is make a box mix and make it rich and sweet with the frosting and filling between the layers. You don't want it to be that good so buy the canned frosting and add things to it...

            Buy a can of pie filling. There are numerous ones but cherry pie filling comes to mind but they have cream pie fillings too.... mostly sugar. This can be the filler between the layers.

            After the cake is frosted, add cut up snickers bars or 3 musketeers bars to the top. Gummy worms would be plenty disgusting.

            Oh.... you don't want me to be a jerk?..... Nevermind...

            In my defense, I didn't tell them to add alum to the frosting.

            If you want to be really cruel just go down to my neighborhood grocery stores bakery department and buy anything they sell.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Hank Hanover

              I do want it to taste good though! He has to be able to finish it! Don't worry I'll definately overdo the icing though!

            2. Make it a tres leches cake by mixing evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, whipping cream together and pouring it over the cake (poke holes in it first). Like this:


              Use whole milk instead of the water in the cake mix. Before baking, add candy pieces or chopped reeces cups but don't stir them in. Use chocolate ganache to frost the cake, then finish w/ whipped cream.


              Top the whole thing w/ chopped candied bacon.


              1. This chocolate cake from the Cake Mix Doctor uses sour cream so inevitably will have more calories. I wouldn't normally bake from a mix, but this is my go-to for birthday cake when I'm pressed for time as you cannot tell it started from a mix.