Thursday, March 26, 2015

Money / Australian Dollars Cake

"Mum, I don't live for my life. I live for money."

I remember the first time that my son told me this, I was like... WHAT???!!!

My son started saying this when we started giving him small amount of pocket money every week. As the primary school kids in Australia don't really need any money to buy their food and drinks during their lunch time or break, the money that we gave is really a small amount. It is so little that he can't really buy a can of fizzy drink with his weekly money... LOL!

Knowing the value of money, he works diligently to save all his money. Sometimes, he volunteers to clean the shelves and TV racks for 20 cents... This happens when Mum is stingy and son is very desperate... LOL! While saving his money, my son has learned that spending money on useless or unnecessary things is wasteful and prefers to gain more money from the annual interest given by the bank and so every single cent that he saves will mostly go to his school banking account.

Knowing that my son loves his money, I know exactly what my son wants for his 6th birthday...

A money cake!

money dollar cake
A money cake for my son - Everything including the stacks of dollars are edible!

This is how I made this cake...
My son wants his birthday cake to be a chocolate cake and so I baked this always moist and reliable stir-and-bake dark chocolate sheet cake recipe from the book, The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book.

This recipe uses a significant amount of Dutch processed cocoa and dark chocolate.
As I'm baking this cake for a party of young kids, I prefer to bake with not-too-dark chocolate and used this chocolate with 45% cocoa.
Allow mixture to cool slightly.
While waiting for the chocolate mixture to cool, I did this.
And whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
Then, I did this.
And the cake is ready to be baked.
I have also baked a slightly taller cake and will be using it as the money cake base.
Although it cracks a little, it is sturdy enough to whole the weight of the entire cake.
See how moist is this chocolate cake!

To assemble the cake, I need ...
One: the classic buttercream 
Two: the rolled fondant and these edible money prints
Three: the chocolate coins

I put everything together and ...
This is the money cake for my son's birthday party!
Happy Birthday, Sweetie!
Funny that every kid at this party wants to eat the hundred dollar cake.
.. because the largest dollar denomination in Australian currency is $100!

"Mum, this is so cool!" my son screamed at me when he first saw the cake. I know that my son will like this money cake and I'm happy that he really do.

Dear son, you know that this money cake is not made of real money and yet you like it. So I wish that you will live your life to the fullest and don't live for money. I love you. Happy Birthday, my sweetie!

This is the dark chocolate sheet cake recipe that I have mostly adapted from the book, The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book.

The original recipe makes one 13 x 9 inch sheet cake which can serves 15-18 and I have scaled up the recipe to be one and a half of the original amount and this scaled up amount can bake one 20 x 20 cm (8 inch) x 4 cm (1 1/2 inch - height) square plus one 33 x 23 cm (13 x 9 inch) x 3 cm (1.2 inch - height) cake.

You will have slightly less than half of 33 x 23 cm cake as leftover if you are making 5 stacks of dollar cake. This amount can serve about 15-18 persons. Why the leftover? I always prefer to have excess cake if I'm making a cake with a structural design as I will have to trim the edges and prefer to have backup amount just in case some part of the cake break or crumble.

375g (1 1/2 cup) unsalted butter
180g (6 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, chopped - I have used dark cocoa with 45% cocoa
150g (1 1/2 cup) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
337g (2 1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
6 large eggs, room temperature
3 tsp vanilla extract
450g (2 1/4 cup) caster sugar - The cake is not sweet so please do not reduce this amount!
1 1/2 cup (375ml) sour cream

Adjust an oven rack or racks to the middle position/s and heat the oven to 350°F/ 180°C or 160°C fan forced. Line baking pans with baking paper with two sides slightly overhang for easy removal. Set aside.

Melt the butter, chocolate, and cocoa together in the microwave with medium power, stirring often, 1 to 3 mins; let the mixture cool slightly. If microwave is not available, you can melt butter, chocolate and cocoa using a double boiler over simmering water with constant stirring.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla together by hand until uniform. Whisk in the sugar until combined. Whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture until combined.

Sift about a third of the flour mixture over the batter and whisk in. Whisk in the sour cream. Sift the remaining flour mixture over the batter and whisk until completely incorporated. Do not over-mix.

The batter will be thick and so it is always good to give the batter a final stir with a rubber spatula to make sure that all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and gently tap the pan on the counter to settle the batter. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 35 mins if you are baking one 33 x 23 cm cake at a time, 40 mins for the 33 x 23 cm cakeand 45 mins for the 20 cm square cake if you baking both cakes at the same time, rotating the pan/s halfway through baking.

Let the cake rest and cool slightly in the pan for about 20-25 mins. Remove the cakes from the pans by holding the overhanging part of the baking paper and lift the cakes off the baking pans. Leave the cake with the baking paper to cool completely on a wire rack for at least 2 hours. Peel off the baking paper, then flip the cake right side up onto a serving platter or use it to shape into a money cake.

This is the classic and easy buttercream recipe that I always used at here, here and here.

100g butter, soften at room temperature
240g icing sugar
2 tbsp warm milk

Beat butter with electric mixer until as white as possible. Gradually beat in half the sifted icing sugar, milk then remaining icing sugar.

To assemble the cake, you need:

a cake board
about 2-3 packs 750g rolled fondant in white colour
9 edible actual size money prints
(I have scanned the dollars and get then printed at an online baking supply shop)
rolling pin
roller cutter
metal ruler
alphabet cookie cutters, optional
colour gel, optional
chocolate gold coins that you can buy from any party supply shops, optional

Roll fondant into 3-4 mm thick and cut it accordingly to the cake board size and line the cake board with this rolled fondant. Set aside.

Trim the edges of the 20cm square cake and trim it further to the size of two dollar notes that are aligned together. Do the same for the 33-23 cm cake and trim it further to the size of 3 individual dollar note. Roll fondant into large sheet with 3-4mm thickness and cut the sheet into the sizes of the dollars and also 4.5 cm and 3.5 cm long strips to wrap the sides of the cakes.

Apply buttercream at the bottom, top and the sides of the trimmed cakes. Wrap the cakes with the rolled fondant that are trimmed according to their sizes and brush very little amount on the area of the fondant that you need to adhere the money print. Note: I have adhere the front and the back with the money print only for the $100 dollar cake that is facing the front of the cake. The rest are just the top of the cakes. Stack the cakes according to the way that you like. Use a lengthy edge metal ruler to press on the sides of the cakes to create lines to look like there are stacks of money in every block of the cake. Ta dah!!! Now, you have this stacks of money cake!

To decorate the cake further, you can 1) adhere more money print on rolled and cut fondant and place around the cake 2) colour a batch of rolled fondant and use the cookie cutters to cut out words like "Happy Birthday" or your name 3) decorate the cake with chocolate coins when serving the cake.

Happy Baking
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  1. Zoe, this is such a creative cake that mummy has thoughtfully and lovingly made for her little one! A happy blessed 6th birthday to your son, I can imagine the happiness and excitement he showed when he first saw the cake! The kids who ate this money chocolate cake at the party surely feels rich and contented!

  2. Wow, the money chocolate cake looks so real, so good, I can finish the whole cake, eating with just my hands, no need cut.. The chocolate cake looks so so moist, so fudgy, so rich.. Speechless liao :)))))

  3. Oh my.... should I dig into the cake or should I just staring at it !!!! haha.... You did a super great jb Zoe. Kudos !
    Hope you're having a fabulous day.
    Blessings, Kristy

  4. Wow Zoe, what a nice birthday cake for your son! if is my gal, she will ask me "mummy, how about also giving me the real $?" hahahaha

  5. perfect !! i want to eat , than money will come more ...... ha .. ha..

  6. Love it! My little brother used to save every bit of money he got. He would even iron his paper money to make it neat. Anytime my sister or I needed money we would ask him but he wouldn't lend it. This would have been the cake for him! I bet your son really loved it! :)

  7. You are really good to come up with this great idea of banking money cake. At first glance I thought it was real money. Happy belated birthday to your son.

  8. Zoe, you are really amazing! You know that, right? Your son sure does!

  9. Wow....beautiful and heanvely cake...... :)

  10. wow so beautiful looking cake :) Zoe you have done so well :) very creative. well i was on holidays now em back ;)

  11. wow...this looks amazing...ur son is one lucky guy to have u as his mom

  12. Haha! This is fabulous!!! That's lovely zoe! I remember charging my mom $1 for ever room I magic mopped/swept up when I was a child in singapore! I would keep all of my coins and then when I had a bunch get my dad to deposit them for me into my account (he's deposit cash and use the coins) I think you did such a great job! So creative and your son must have been smiling from ear to ear! That's great to start teaching and allowing your son to handle and keep his own small amounts of money.

  13. Haha your son is so young and already knows how to appreciate value of money. Great job on the cake too!

  14. this is a marvelous cake and so RICH haha. what a clever idea and it turned out so well. kudos to you!

  15. OMG, the cake is so cute! Where on earth did you get those money prints? They look so real, Zoe! xoxo

  16. This looks amazing!! You should be very proud of how you made a wonderful cake for your family. I can understand why your son and his friends would be screaming that it is the coolest cake. Best wishes to your son for a blessed 6th year!

  17. Zoe , gahhhh , I want those dollars :D The cake for sure looks AWESOME ! I bet your little boy is over the moon over this beautifully-crafted cake !

  18. Hi Zoe,
    Wow, the cake is beautiful!
    You are a great baker! I would never have thought of making something like this, and with money too! The most delicious money I have ever seen!
    Happy Birthday to your little boy!

  19. Wow...this is amazing, Zoe. Beautifully done! :D

  20. Great idea cake! Fun and Rich (ha ha ha)!