Ipso Fatto Instant Photo: Liam Turns Eight

This year for his eighth birthday party, my friend Dorothy's son Liam requested strawberry cupcakes and a "surprise" cake. I decided the surprise cake would be the "Golden Anniversary Chocolate Chip Brownie Cake" from Marcel Desaulniers' Death by Chocolate Cakes.

I am perplexed why this is called a "Chocolate Chip Brownie Cake" when the only chocolate in the cake is chocolate chips. I would expect a brownie cake to include cocoa powder or melted chocolate. I think it would be more accurate to call this a "Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake" because the cake is made with brown sugar and tasted almost exactly like a chocolate chip cookie in cake form. The frosting is a French buttercream flavored with caramel.
You fill and frost the two cake layers with the caramel buttercream, pour caramel on top (that is held in by a buttercream border; I went overboard with the size of border because I didn't want to waste any buttercream), and press chopped golden sugar (sugar caramelized with a bit of lemon juice) onto the sides.

This is an impressive looking cake but I found it disappointing. The cake itself was meh; the texture was not fine and the chocolate chips made it seem clunky. I think that miniature chocolate chips would have been better. Or honestly, just a different cake recipe. The buttercream and the puddle of caramel sauce on top were excellent. But still, I would not make this again unless someone specifically wanted a chocolate chip cookie-flavored cake.

Recipe: "Golden Anniversary Chocolate Chip Brownie Cake" from Death by Chocolate Cakes by Marcel Desaulniers.

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