Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mile High Devil's Food Cake (TCS)

I'm a little late to The Cake Slice party! Better late then never, as I didn't want to miss out on opportunity to make another scrumptious cake recipe from Sky High: Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes. This month's recipe is a Mile-High Devil's Food Cake, with a choice of Brown Sugar Buttercream or Brown Sugar Seven-Minute Frosting (for a lighter frosting alternative).

I made the full recipe, with the majority being made into 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes for a work colleague's baby shower. I did reserve enough cake batter and frosting to make a 4 inch mini-cake (what a surprise), which is shown here.
The cake is really easy to make and calls for cocoa powder to deliver its wonderful chocolate flavor. The cake has a beautiful, tight crumb and is wonderfully moist.I opted for the buttercream recipe --- sure, it calls for a pound of butter, but it is totally worth the caloric investment. In this recipe, white sugar is swapped for brown sugar, which provides a subtle caramel flavor and gives the buttercream a beautiful ivory color. It was an delicious complement to the chocolate cake, and I thought the color contrast was really beautiful.

I was being a bit lazy, and didn't do a crumb coat, thus ending up with specks of cake thoughout the frosting (argh). Oh well---this little treat was for my hubs and me, and we enjoyed every bit of this cake, specks and all!

Mile-High Devil’s Food Cake
From: Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne
Makes an 8-inch triple layer cake

Devil's Food Cake

1 cup of unsweetened cocoa NOT DUTCHED PROCESSED
1 and ¼ cups of hot water
3 cups of light brown sugar; packed
2 and 2/3 cups cake flour*
1 and ½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon of salt
9 ounces of unsalted butter at room temperature [2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons]
3 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract
¾ cup of cold water
{*1 cup of cake flour is equal to ¾ cup of flour plus 2 tablespoons of cornstarch}

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper and grease the paper as well.

Place the cocoa in a medium bowl and add the hot water. Whisk until smooth and let it cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low blend to combine. Add the butter and the dissolved cocoa. Then raise the mixer to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.

In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and cold water until combined. Add this liquid to the batter in three additions scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Divide the batter among the three pans.

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a cakes tester inserted into the almost comes out clean. There should be a few crumbs attached still. Cool the cakes in the pans for 15 minutes. Then invert and remove parchment paper and cool completely on a wire rack.

{Bakers’ choice of: Brown Sugar 7-Minute Frosting or Brown Sugar Buttercream}

Brown Sugar 7-Minute Frosting

6 egg whites
1 and ½ cups of brown sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup*
2 tablespoons of water
½ teaspoon of cream of tartar
{*corn syrup can be substituted with equal parts of treacle OR liquid glucose OR light colored honey}

Do not try to make this frosting on a rainy day or if you live in an extremely humid area. The humidity will make it impossible to work with the egg whites.

Place all the egg whites in a bowl and set them aside while you make the syrup.

In a small heavy saucepan, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, and water. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to boil washing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Boil until the syrup reaches 238 degrees F (softball stage) on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove from heat.

Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites in the bowl and beat just to combine. With the mixer on medium speed gradually add the syrup in a thin stream taking care not to hit the beaters. Beat until fairly stiff peaks form but the frosting is still spreadable. If the frosting is too stiff it will be hard to work with. Use immediately.

Brown Sugar Buttercream

5 egg whites
1 and ¼ cups of packed brown sugar
¼ cup of water
1 pound of unsalted butter (16 ounces) at room temperature

Place all the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer; set aside.

In a heavy medium saucepan combine the sugar and water. Cook over medium heat stirring to dissolve the sugar. Then bring to a boil without stirring and cook until the syrup reaches 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer.

Begin beating the egg whites on medium low speed. Slowly pour in the syrup making sure not to hit the beater. Increase the mixer speed to medium high and beat until the meringue has cooled to body temperature.

With the mixer on med-low add 1-2 tablespoons of butter at a time. When all the butter has been added increase the mixer’s speed to medium and beat until the mixture looks curdled or separated. Continue to beat until the icing comes together again looking like soft smooth whipped butter.

Assembling the cake:
Place one layer flat side down and cover it with 2/3 cup of the frosting. Top with second layer and repeat process. Top with third layer and frost the sides of the cake.

Bakers Notes:
A cake topped with the meringue frosting is the best the day it’s made. It does not do well in the fridge.

If you choose the buttercream frosting you can keep it in the fridge for 3 days. Make sure to allow the cake to come to room temperature for 1 to 1 ½ hours. Otherwise the frosting will be hard and heavy.

17 comments:

Lauren said...

We are totally on the same page with this chocolate cake business. :) I love how you did the frosting on yours! It's exquisite. Bet the brown sugar flavor is fabulous.

Ingrid said...

Loved how you frosted the cake, kind of devilish! :)

Seems this was a hit with everyone. Had you not told me those little specks were cake I wouldn't have known. I just thought they were bits of brown sugar!?
~ingrid

steph- whisk/spoon said...

sure looks good! perfect treat for two!

Engineer Baker said...

That looks absolutely awesome! And the mini - I can't resist those :)

somethingsweetbykaren said...

this looks perfect. i'll admit i'm jealous of your layer cake skills! :)

Monica H said...

Glad you made this cake. It really was delicious. I made a 3-inch mini for my me and my hubs , then took the larger cake to a family gathering. I so wish I made the entire recipe.

I had specks of cake in my frosting on my mini cake so I pressed brown sugar into the frosting- yum!

Ashley said...

My goodness, I can't believe I haven't made a brown sugar buttercream yet... it looks fantastic! Beautiful pictures, too.
I love my Sky High book; wish I'd gotten to that buttercream :)

beach houses said...

Your job is well done your cake looks great.. I'll do one like yours for my mom's 48th birthday

Moogie said...

Are we voting? Because I do believe we have a winner. Great job!

symphonious sweets said...

Wow! the red devil's food cake with the buttercream frosting look sooo beautiful! Great photos of a great cake!

TeaLady said...

I TOTALLY forgot about Cake Slice this month. Brain freeze.

Yours is beautiful.

Eventually I will get to this one.

Caroline said...

Love those big piped dots of frosting on your mini cake. How adorable!

Lia "online learning" Scott said...

although your frosting doesn't look so yummy but i know its still tasty..

pinkstripes said...

Your cake looks gorgeous! I love devil's food cake.

Kim said...

This cake so looks worth the climb! I haven't had devils food cake in ages. Just fabulous!

Chris H said...

That cake looks delicious.

Grace Milton said...

I am really a good baker that is why I am a big fan of people who can bake and make great desserts. When it comes to cakes I often look for the moist cake with just the right blend of sweetness when it comes to the icing. This I want to try! The pictures just makes my mouth water.

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