Sunday was Ann’s birthday and so with a wonderful excuse to do some proper baking (which I hadn’t done in quite a while) I picked the most complex cake recipe I could find, raided the grocery store for enough chocolate to make everyone else in line raise an eyebrow (and look on quite jealously) and scoured the kitchen for anything that could make my job easier (I’m still using plastic pint glasses as measuring cups as they don’t have American style measuring cups here and we don’t have an ingredients scale).
The recipe I decided to use was from Martha Stewart’s website and is a Devil’s Food Cake with Chocolate Ganache (picture from her website above) which is basically an excuse for chocolate covered chocolate covered chocolate cake with chocolate filling. I’ve reposted the ingredients below so you can get a sense of how rich this cake is:
Makes one 9-inch layer cake
* 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
* 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted, plus more for pans
* 3/4 cup hot water
* 3/4 cup sour cream
* 3 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 1/4 cups sugar
* 4 large eggs
* 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
* Chocolate Ganache
For the instructions, check out the cake on Martha’s site.
I had used this recipe once before – in an attempt to make the cake while at college at Colby. Unfortunately due to a series of scheduling conflicts, we didn’t end up in the kitchen we had planned on using and found ourselves continually sticking the cake and the ganache out in the Maine snow in an attempt to get the chocolate to cool. This time, with at the very least a refrigerator, I wanted to prove that Martha’s cake couldn’t master me.
I’m not sure I entirely did so. The cake turned out pretty well (and quite delicious) but there were a number of minor issues. First – I would advise you NOT to try this recipe if you don’t have an electric mixer. I did it by hand and beating the ganache for the middle layer took about 40 minutes of whisking. Also, I didn’t have two layer cake pans so used a single, larger 9-inch pan, planning to cut the cake in half to create two layers. This worked alright, although it doubled the baking time which meant that the outsides were just a tad overdone. Unfortunately, in my impatience to get going with the frosting (which I had just spent 90 minutes preparing, including 40 minutes of whisking), I tried to start spreading the ganache before the cakes had cooled which caused the chocolate to melt all over the counter – and the top layer to break in half!
In the end, the cake came out surprisingly well and looking a lot more like the picture than I had ever expected. Let me know what you think: