This is an exceptionally sweet Monday.
Not only do we have a Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Cake (Yes, really, you read that right), but also a new short film from The July 4th premiers today. It’s a video for their song Uranus.
I wrote about The July 4th here when their debut album, The Planets, was released in September of this year.
‘The Planets’ is an electronic extravaganza full of emotion and intricate layers of music that holds my attention every time I play the album. I tend to prefer music with lyrics, but here the instrumentals are so interesting and engaging that I don’t mind the lack of words.
I have it on good word that Brian, from the band, loves cheesecake. And this one is special enough to celebrate the new video.
So, grab a slice of cake and dig into the video. Both being very delicious.
Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Cake
Chocolate Cake Layers
1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) round pans.
3. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
6. Spoon the batter in prepared pans.
7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 to 10 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks.
8. Split layers in half horizontally. Place one layer, cut side down, on a serving plate. Spread with a thin layer of chocolate icing (recipe follows)
9. Spread one fourth of raspberry sauce (recipe follows) over the icing. Repeat layers once.
10. Stack chocolate cheesecake layer (recipe follows) top side down, on cake. Spread cheesecake with a thin layer of icing and one fourth of the raspberry sauce. Top with third cake layer, cut side down. Spread with a thin layer of icing and remaining raspberry sauce. Top with remaining cake layer.
11. Spread top and sides of cake with remaining chocolate icing.
12. Garnish with raspberries if desired.
13. Cake can be stored in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Recipe from Paula Deen’s Holiday Baking Magazine 2011
1 1/4 cups butter
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and cocoa at medium speed until creamy.
2. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth.
3. Gradually add heavy cream and beat until smooth.
1 (12 oz) package frozen raspberries, thawed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons seedless raspberry preserves
1 Tbs raspberry flavored liqueur
1. Combine the raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
2. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
3. Stir in preserves and liqueur, stirring until preserves melt.
4. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, into a bowl, and discard solids.
5. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.
1/4 cup butter
6 (1 oz) squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 oz sour cream
1. Spray a 9 inch cake pan with nonstick baking spray which contains flour. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Spray parchment with baking spray. (Note: I used a 9 inch springform pan and it made things much easier)
2. In a small saucepan, combine butter and chopped chocolate. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
3. Preheat oven to 300℉.
4. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, cocoa and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well until combined.
5. Stir in melted chocolate mixture and sour cream until blended. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
6. Bake at 300℉ for 45 minutes. Turn oven off and let cheesecake stand in oven, with door closed, for one hour. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 2 hours.
Okay, now for the video.
As described by the band:
“The more I live life, the more life seems dreamlike. These are not dreams of fabulous wealth, historical fame, eternal life. But dreams of living an existence closest to one’s purpose, realizing why one would come to this place, remembering the path that brought us here.
As we arise out of dust and light and return to dust and light memories form and after further examination they are no more real that the sensations of life as we are living right now.
Uranus was shot over the year of 2011 during recording sessions, capturing the nature around us as we created “The Planets”. ”
Reading that you know this video is going to be good.
I especially love the lighting. All of the flickering and the darkness at the beginning of the video. How the piano picks up on the subtle images that are being shared. Halfway through the film, suddenly there is color and the guitar takes over. It’s magic and very moving.
Watching this short film is like being offered an intimate glimpse into the lives of Brian Bradley and Nicholas Barr. I am always sorry each time the song comes to an end.
You can buy ‘The Planets’ here.