I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all

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I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, sewer, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all, blogging, Costumed Beagle enthusiast. I am not always pleasant, although through intensive cupcake therapy I have learned not to throw knives at people anymore.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

We Call Them Helen Mirrens

Because they are that good.  True story.  I made these last year when I was working on The Sound of Music and a writer I know named them Helen Mirrens.  And the name has stuck.  These are not for the dieter in your life, since I'm pretty sure they have about 1200 calories each.

They are a derivative of the cake bite...but they are called Helen Mirrens.

You start out with a basic chocolate cake.  This is actually a pretty tasty cake on its own.  It is not fancy, but is easy to make and doesn't take any eggs.

Chocolate Cake

4 cups flour
2 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
1 ½ cup cocoa powder
2 ½ cups water
2 cups mayonnaise (or plain yogurt)
1 tsp. vanilla

1.    Heat oven to 350
2.    Prep a 13 x9” cake pan
3.    Whisk flour, sugar, soda together
4.    In a separate bowl, whisk cocoa and water together until smooth
5.    Whisk mayonnaise and vanilla into cocoa mixture
6.    Combine flour and cocoa mixtures together until combined
7.    Pour batter into pan and smooth out
8.    Bake until toothpick inserted into middle of cake comes out with just a few crumbs sticking to it. 50-60 min.
9.    Let the cake cool in the pan a couple of hours

You will then crumble the cake to bits.  My kids like to do the deconstruction of the cake.

Then make frosting:

Chocolate Frosting 
8 oz. semi-sweet or dark chocolate, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ sticks butter
2 ¼ cups confectioners sugar
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder

1.Beat butter on med/high until smooth
2. Reduce speed; add in cocoa and confectioners sugar slowly until well blended
3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave at 30 sec. increments on low power (I use 4 on my microwave) stirring between each time.  Melt until the mixture seems about half melted and then continue to stir until all the chocolate eventually melts.  Let cool for a couple of minutes so it is just barely warm.
5. Add melted chocolate to sugar/butter mixture slowly.
6. Beat on med/high until it is all light and fluffy for several minutes

Then you will smoosh the two together:  This is William's job.  He loves this part.
Then you will scoop out this chocolate stuff using a cookie scoop.  Then put in the freezer.
Eventually you will then melt more chocolate (I know...) just like what you melted for the frosting and if you into doing it "right" you dip the frozen balls, covering them, OR if you are like me and are ready to be done, you just plop some of the melted chocolate on top and swirl it around. The chocolate sets up fast since they are frozen.

Enjoy...but not too many.  Helen Mirrens are rich.


  1. I really, really want to make these today. My Sweet Tooth Fairy habit is getting a little expensive - a homemade alternative would be a good (or bad?) thing.

    1. Well, since you start out with a rather large cake, you get a LOT of them. And they freeze well, so you could store them that way and just break them out for emergencies. Like MOndays, or Fridays or Sundays or days you feel bad or days you feel like celebrating....