Tuesday, February 17, 2009

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TWD: Devil's Food White-Out Cake

I beyond excited about this post. I have been waiting a year for my turn and now it's here! It took me about 1.3 seconds to decide on a recipe selection for this week. I have been dying for someone to pick the cover cake and as soon as I got the email asking for my choice, I asked myself "why can't I be the one to pick this amazing cake?" So I picked the cake and, in my excitement, I made it that very week. The cake was fantastic. It was so chocolatey, moist, and fluffy. This is definitely one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever had. I had to literally stop myself from eating the whole thing and licking the plate. Part of what made this cake so great was the marshmallow frosting. The frosting was so airy and such a great complement to the denseness of the chocolate cake. I broke my candy thermometer making this frosting but as soon as I took a bite of the completed cake, all my sadness of breaking a second thermometer disappeared (the first one was broken by Alex so apparently we both hate these thermometers). This cake appealed to my chocolate loving heart and I am so glad that I was the one lucky enough to pick it :)

I hope everyone else had as much fun and enjoyed the cake as much as I did. Thanks for baking with me this week! As always, make sure to check out the
TWD site to see how all the other bakers fared this week.

Devil's Food White-Out Cake
Source: Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours p. 247-9
Makes 12 servings


For the cake

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 cup buttermilk or whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 cup boiling water
4 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate, finely chopped, or 2/3 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips


For the filling and frosting
1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 large)

1 cup sugar

3/4 tsp cream of tartar

1 cup water
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract


GETTING READY: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-x-2-inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms with parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.


TO MAKE THE CAKE: Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.


Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugars and continue to beat for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla; don't be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the melted chocolate. When it is fully incorporated, add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter. At this point, the batter will be thick, like frosting. Still working on low speed, mix in the boiling water, which will thin the batter considerably. Switch to a rubber spatula, scrape down the bowl and stir in the chopped chocolate. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with the rubber spatula.


Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pans at the midway point. When fully baked, the cakes will be springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the centers will come out clean. Don't worry if the tops have a few small cracks. Transfer the cake pans to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. (The cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.)


When you are ready to fill and frost the cake, inspect the layers. If the cakes have crowned, use a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them. With the same knife, slice each layer horizontally in half. Set 3 layers aside and crumble the fourth layer; set the crumbs aside.


TO MAKE THE FILLING AND FROSTING: Put the egg whites in a clean, dry mixer bowl or in another large bowl. Have a candy thermometer at hand.


Put the sugar, cream of tartar and water in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, cover the pan and boil for 3 minutes. Uncover and allow the syrup to boil until it reaches 242 degrees F on the candy thermometer. While the syrup is cooking, start beating the egg whites.

When the syrup is at about 235 degrees F, begin beating the egg whites on medium speed with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer. If the whites form firm, shiny peaks before the syrup reaches temperature, reduce the mixer speed to low and keep mixing the whites until the syrup catches up. With the mixer at medium speed, and standing back slightly, carefully pour in the hot syrup, pouring it between the beater(s) and the side of the bowl. Splatters are inevitable—don't try to scrape them into the whites, just carry on. Add the vanilla extract and keep beating the whites at medium speed until they reach room temperature, about 5 minutes. You should have a smooth, shiny, marshmallowy frosting. Although you could keep it in the fridge in a pinch, it's really better to use it right now.


TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: Put a bottom layer cut side up on a cardboard cake round or on a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. Using a long metal icing spatula, cover the layer generously with frosting. Top with a second layer, cut side up, and frost it. Finish with the third layer, cut side down, and frost the sides and top of the cake. Don't worry about smoothing the frosting—it should be swirly. Now, cover the entire cake with the chocolate cake crumbs, gently pressing the crumbs into the filling with your fingers.

Refrigerate the cake for about 1 hour before serving. (If it's more convenient, you can chill the cake for 8 hours or more; cover it loosely and keep it away from foods with strong odors.)


My mini cake (I halved the recipe)
A slice of goodness.Leftover batter made for perfect cupcakes.
I don't know which was better...the cake or the cupcake.

62 comments:

Jules Someone said...

Yeah! Thanks for picking this one! The mini cake and the cupcake are both lovely!

AmyRuth said...

Stephanie, I am excited about this weeks recipe. I am looking forward to making this recipe again. Your cupcakes look beautiful and sound amazing. Thank you for being "the one" who finally chose the cover cake.
AmyRuth

Nancy said...

Yes, thank you Stephanie for chosing this recipe. I've been drooling over it all these months and now we finally all got to make it! Your cupcakes look great too.

Judy said...

This was such a great choice! I loved the frosting and so did everyone else who tried it.

Bria said...

Thanks for choosing this week's recipe!! Your cake turned out very cute!

Marthe said...

Looks like you really enjoyed this!! I regret not making it now.... :(

pigpigscorner said...

Looks gorgeous!

Katrina said...

Awesome job! Great pick. Good cake. Finally!

Debbie said...

The cake looks wonderful. I want to make this. I have the book and can't believe I haven't tried it yet! Thanks!

Dorie Greenspan said...

Stephanie, it's so great that you chose this recipe -- it's surprising it didn't come up earlier, isn't it? -- and even greater that you loved it. I think your cupcake is the cutest.

Danielle said...

Your cake came out great. I love that you made it into cupcakes!

Jamie said...

Your cake looks great, thanks for choosing this recipe!

Amanda said...

Yes I loved it! Thank you so much for picking this, yum!!

Engineer Baker said...

Yay! Beautiful job, and awesome pick! I was hoping someone would *eventually* pick the cover cake :) Everyone absolutely loved it.

Kimberly Johnson said...

Great choice Stephanie! Your cake looks divine! I made a cupcake too (I liked the cupcake better).

LyB said...

Thank you, thank you! This was a great pick! Your cake looks absolutely beautiful. :)

Leslie said...

Thanks so much for a perfect pick! I think we were all fired up about finally being able to make this cake! Yours looks amazing! The frosting was sooo tasty. I'm sorry this one was a thermometer killer for you!

Pamela said...

Thanks for a fabulous choice! Your cake turned out beautifully.

LLove said...

I was lucky enough to eat this cake when Steph made it! DEEEELICIOUS! i love the airy frosting the most!

Di said...

I'm so glad you picked the cake--we all really enjoyed it. I love the idea of doing cupcakes, too.

dharmagirl said...

Thanks for choosing this glorious cake, Stephanie! I loved making it:)

chocolatechic said...

So glad that you picked this one.

It was wonderful.

Joelen said...

Great job and I love the cupcakes too!

Flourchild said...

Great looking cake, you did a nice job.

Secret Server said...

Thank you for choosing this! I thought it was fabulous. Your cake turned out spectacular!

Chez Denise et Laudalino said...

GREAT pick Stephanie! I loved this recipe and have been dying to make it! I love how yours turned out - looks great!

The other half of Chez Us is from Boston - where do you live out there?

www.chezus.com

Amy said...

Great pick! Your mini cake is adorable! I thought about doing cupcakes too, but at the last minute decided to do the whole cake - I was glad I did. Such a pretty cake!

-Amy
www.singforyoursupperblog.com

Teanna said...

Thank you so much for the fantastic pick! You answered all of our prayers!

n.o.e said...

This was truly a wonderful pick. I was so tempted to make cupcakes, but I need the practice with layer cakes, so I did it that way.
Nancy

farah said...

Thank you so much for picking the cover recipe! The cake is really, really delicious. Good job on your cake and cupcakes :)

Steph said...

Thanks for a great pick! I think the fluffy frosting compliments the cake very well too!

Piggy said...

thanks for choosing the recipe, the cake tasted great!

Robin said...

Stephanie, just wanted to pop in and say thanks for picking this week's recipe - it was fun to bake!

Linda said...

Yipee --- a great choice this week...the recipe was fantastic!!!

I love your mini-cake --- too cute!

Natalie said...

i made the mini cake, too.. so delicious! thanks for finally choosing the cover cake! :)

Tammy said...

thanks for a great choice! this has been one of my favourites!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

how fluffy and delicious! i'm sure the whole group appreciates your pick!!

Carol Peterman said...

I too have been waiting patiently for this pick. Thanks! It is such a great cake. I see it makes lovely cupcakes too - nice job.

amanda said...

Thanks for choosing a great one! Yours looks fabulous!

Cristine said...

Thanks for picking the cover cake!!! Yours looks amazing!

Gabe's Girl said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for choosing the cover cake. It is so much fun reading about it. Your cake and cupcakes look so pretty. Well done!

Emily Rose said...

thanks for picking this one- I've been wanting to try it for a long time too! Oh, and I'm in awe of your frosting- I think I must have done something wrong with mine because it ended up really frothy- and I made it twice!

elizabeth said...

LOVE the way your cupcake looks! Thanks for choosing this recipe - we really loved it. And I am SO making the cupcakes next time. :)

Karen said...

stephanie, thanks so much for picking this one. i want to go the cupcake route with these too one day. you can borrow my candy thermometer next time now that i've found it! :P

The Food Librarian said...

thanks for picking this one!!! it was great. my frosting didn't work out so i'm going to try that again! thanks for a great choice.

Tracey said...

Thanks for your pick! I love the cupcake idea. Sometimes you just don't feel like making an entire layer cake and cupcakes would definitely fit the bill there!

Ivette said...

Great pick!! I thought we would never get to bake it! Your cake looks great and you're right, it tastes great!

margot said...

Thanks for picking this cake; I can't wait to find another excuse to make it.

Matt's Kitchen said...

Thank you for choosing this recipe. I'm not even a fan of cake, but I loved this!

Amanda said...

Definitely good, but boy the Devil got me on this one. I had one challenge after another!

vibi said...

Thank you so much, Stephanie for chosing this recipe for us this week... I had a lot of fun playing around with it!
It was also a great way to discover and learn how to make that marshmallowy icing!

Yours looks absolutely and divinely moist and yummy! BRAVO!

Thanks again!

Erin said...

I kept wondering who was going to be the one to pick the cover cake! I'm glad you chose it. I loved this cake. Yours looks great!

Carla said...

Oh the cupcakes are brilliant! I want to make this cake again but since my family is small, I can scale it down. Yay!

Anyway, thanks for picking the cover cake! I wasn't crazy about the frosting but the cake part was amazing.

Stephanie said...

Thanks to everyone for participating! I am so happy that you liked the cake :)

Lillian said...

We really liked it on the second day, although not so much on the first. Thanks for choosing it!

Jess said...

Thank you, thank you for picking this cake! Your versions look scrumptious.

pinkstripes said...

I'm so glad you picked the COVER CAKE!! Your cake and cupcakes look gorgeous. YUM!

Jessica Eiden Smedley said...

Your cupcakes look amazing!

TeaLady said...

Great choice Stephanie. I have been waiting for someone to pick it, or hoping no one would until it was my turn. Yours turned out great - both the mini and cupcake look delicious.

Jaime said...

thank you for finally picking this cake!!! i thought no one would ever pick it!! i loved it :)

Walrus said...

I was surprised when I didn't see "white-out" in the ingredients list. I am disappointed with you.

alex216 said...

I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.
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