It's Cake Slice time again!! You knew it was bound to happen, didn't you? A big tall chocolaty layer cake wrapped in a creamy chocolate frosting was coming. It was just a matter of time! I almost talked myself out of it. In fact, I did talk myself out of it at least two or three times. Who needs a three layer devils food cake? I mean it is a TON of butter, and it was just Christmas... We survived 12 days of cookies, but how far do we want to push it. Maybe you should just make one of the smaller cakes. Doesn't a lemon cake sound lovely?
But in the end, I had to do it. I mean it really wasn't much of a choice. I knew K.C. was making his fish and shrimp chowder for New Year's Eve, so I figured I would take advantage of the group and make them eat cake too. (They really have it rough. I don't know how they manage.) So I made sure the cake was highly visible before dinner so everyone knew to save some room. The next day we had dinner with the in-law's and luckily they don't mind helping eat half eaten cake. So really this beast didn't stick around long.
This cake is actually the cover shot for the book we are baking out of, World Class Cakes by Roger Pizey. His cakes are all so beautiful. He topped his with chocolate shavings and it is gorgeous. I thought about it, but ended up just dressing my cake up with a few mini chocolate chips. It was a lot easier and seemed appropriate. I have been enjoying playing with the french style buttercreams in this book. I haven't made frosting like this before and I have to say I enjoy it. They come out silky, rich and buttery and aren't too sweet. I really like using granulated sugar rather than powdered sugar too. I actually used a higher cocoa content chocolate than he called for in the frosting and somehow my frosting still ended up lighter in color than what it seems his is, but not one person complained. In fact, my grandpa went up for a second piece. And that is really saying something when we are talking three layers of cake and frosting!
The cake came together easily enough and really so did the frosting. It does take a few extra minutes to get the sugar up to temperature and separate the eggs. But it was nothing I couldn't do with the help of my three year old sous chef. He is really getting to know his way around making cake and frosting. If he could read I could probably farm out the whole process to him. Then I could just kick back and eat bonbons and take all of the credit. Maybe in a year or two!
In the meantime we'll spend the time together in the kitchen. It is fun quality time afterall. And if six inch tall chocolate cakes happen to result, all the better!
Devil's Food Cake
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup boiling water
3/4 cup whole milk
1 1/3 cup butter, softened
2 1/3 cups sugar
1 T vanilla extract
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cups butter, cubed and chilled
3/4 oz semisweet chocolate (Roger recommends 70% cocoa solids minimum)
- Preheat your oven to 325 F and prepare 3 9" round cake pans. I always use the spray with the flour in it, but you can use whatever method works best for you.
- Sift the cocoa powder into a small bowl and stir in the boiling water until it is smooth. Allow to cool slightly and then stir in the milk.
- In your mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla and then beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the mixer bowl after each addition.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just incorporated. Add the cocoa batter, mixing again until just combined. Then mix in the remaining flour mixture.
- Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for about 35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto wire racks. Cool completely before making the frosting.
- For the frosting: Put the egg yolks in your mixer bowl. In a medium saucepan, cook the sugar and water over medium to medium-high heat until it reaches 244 F. Start beating the egg yolks on medium-low. When the sugar reaches 248 F remove it from the heat. Turn the mixer up to medium and slowly (and CAREFULLY!) drizzle the hot sugar syrup into the egg yolks. Add in the chilled butter cubes one at a time until it is all incorporated. Melt the chocolate until just smooth and allow to cool for a minute or two. Beat into the frosting until completely incorporated, being sure to scrape the sides of the bowl a couple of times.
- Assemble cake as desired and serve with coffee.... yum!