25 Jun Chocolate Chips Ahoy Dinosaur Cake
I’d like to pretend that the timing of this cake was intentional. Carefully planned to coincide with the film release heard around the world (or at least by those of us whose formative years fell in the 1990s) – the feat of computer-generated imagery (though perhaps not storytelling) that is Jurassic World. Or in other words, the movie that made you really want to see Chris Pratt shirtless…the guy whose abs, three years ago, we were all pretty sure we’d never even dream of shirtless. Or maybe I’m just late to the game?
Okay, backing up. This place of chocolate cake pushing and butter praising is definitely not the platform for objectifying rock hard abs. Forget abs. Love cake.
And this cake, which ever-so-conveniently happens to be dinosaur-themed during the record-setting run of one of the most anticipated film releases of the year that also happens to be dinosaur-themed? Coincidence. Swearsies.
The inspiration, I think, is even cooler. A 60-something geologist, owner/grower/manscaper of what I think has to be a record-setting 45-year-old mustache, with a strong affinity for stiff bourbon cocktails, western movies, cargo shorts and who uses his iPhone exclusively for Googling whatever he’s watching on TV – or, the dude, my numero uno, my dad.
A self-proclaimed “purist”, he’s a die-hard fan of both simple chocolate cakes & the lunchbox staple Chips Ahoy. Since crushed Chips Ahoy look like rocks (remember, geologist), and Sunday was Father’s Day, this fortuitous cake was born into creation. And just for funsies, (and to tie my rambling loose ends together) we did go see Jurassic World, which, while maaaaybe a little underdeveloped and mostly hokey, I thoroughly enjoyed.
Two tiny T Rex arms up!
This is a somewhat simple cake that pays homage to chocolate in all of its finest forms, those being: cake, icing, ganache and cookie. If I could have fit in ice cream, I would have, but ice cream cakes don’t last long in the Texas summer heat so instead I just ate a big, fat scoop on the side.
So let’s break this monster down. Two layers of my favorite chocolate cake (yes, again), frosted with a light, fluffy chocolate buttercream, covered in rich, unsweetened chocolate ganache (which looks like lava and, for some reason, lava reminds me of dinosaurs – and we’re sticking to a theme, here!) and piled high with crushed Chips Ahoy cookies (because, rocks…and cookies). Oh, and some more crushed cookies thrown in between the two layers for good measure.
And because your ten-year-old would LOVE this and from what people with children tell me, ain’t nobody got time for from-scratch cakes, cheater alert: this one could easily be faked, ahem, adapted, to be made top-to-bottom with store-bought mix and icing. Though, if you have the time, I highly recommend making it from scratch, because I’m a food blogger and I’m supposed to say things like that. (But really, you do you.)
- Ina Garten's Beatty's Chocolate Cake prepared in 2x 8-inch layers
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 4-5 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk
- 2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- 4 ounces heavy cream
- 16 Chips Ahoy cookies, crushed
- Prepare the chocolate cake according to instructions and let cool completely.
- To prepare the frosting, place softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on high for 2 minutes until it starts to become fluffy. Add the cocoa powder and blend on low until well mixed. Add in the powdered sugar and cream alternating one cup of powdered sugar to one tablespoon of cream, starting and ending with cream. If icing is still too thick, add in the final tablespoon of cream then turn the mixer to high and beat for 4-5 minutes until frosting has become much lighter in color and texture.
- To prepare the chocolate ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream in the microwave in 30 second intervals until hot, being careful not to let it boil over. Add the cream to the chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes the chocolate will have melted, stir well until glossy and fully combined.
- To assemble, place the bottom layer of cake on a cake board or serving platter. Scoop about 1/2 cup of icing onto the cake layer and spread evenly. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of crushed Chips Ahoy over the icing and then top with the remaining layer. Use the rest of the frosting to fully ice the cake and then place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to chill.
- Once your cake is chilled, it's time to pour over the ganache glaze. If your ganache has thickened at all, you may need to reheat in the microwave for 10-15 second. It should be fairly thin and easy to pour, once it hits the cold cake it will thicken fairly quickly.
- Pour over the chilled cake and use an offset spatula to gently push some of the ganache over the cakes edges, helping it to form those coveted drips. Place back in the fridge for 5 minutes to chill completely and stop the ganache from running off the cake completely.
- Top with remaining crushed Chips Ahoy cookies and decorate with toy dinosaurs, if desired.