Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Devil's Food Cake

Devil's Food...doesn't that just automatically sound delicious? Something sinfully rich, dark and sweet. Sounds right up my alley.
Well, we had major intentions to make a Honey Raspberry Cheesecake this time around, but due to an extremely lengthy10 hours needed until we could enjoy the fruits of our labor, we went with something we knew we could do, and we knew would be good. From Illinois, state number four on our trip around the country with Warren Brown's United Cakes of America, we bring you Devil's Food Cake.

Devilish. Rich. Decadent. Chocolaty. It's supposed to represent the opposite of Angel Food Cake, and well, it does. The Cooked-Meringue Buttercream frosting we use can be infused with vanilla, chocolate, lemon, lime, rum, orange, and raspberry.

I've got to say... we botched this one. Yep, after four or five perfect cakes, we missed the bar. So pay really careful to the directions, and you'll have more success. By the way, Amie and I have a guest chef. Welcome my boyfriend and eating connoisseur, Alex!

Melting chocolate and butter together may be my favorite hobby
Dry ingredients... how boring are you?
It's important to have a candy thermometer here. We didn't.

You have to be patient when making meringue. We're not.

Stiff peaks? Well... it was stiff... but maybe not in the best way. If only we had my brand new mixer!

Pretty color with the egg yolks.
Definitely a different consistency than we're used to. Our fault? Or the recipes?

Everything is better drowned in frosting!

Okay, enough pictures. Here's the recipe.

What ya need:
2 oz Unsweetened Chocolate (100% Cocoa)
2 oz Bittersweet Chocolate (60% Cocoa)
5 oz Unsalted Butter (Very Soft) Divided
1/2 Cup Half and Half
1.5 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 Eggs
1.25 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 Cup Water
Cooked-Meringue Buttercream: See Below
What ya do: (I'm going to include my blunders, for your comic relief)
1. Preheat the oven to 335 degrees and line the bottoms of two 9-by-2 inch round pans with parchment
2. Melt the chocolates, 1 oz of butter and half and half over a double bouler. Once melted, remove pot from water and whisk to combine ingredients. I accidentally used 1/4 cup half and half, oops.
3. Measure cornstarch, flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
4. Separate the eggs and set the yolks aside. Our eggs were bad and so a drop or two of yolk fell into the "whites" bowl
5. Combine the 6 oz of sugar and water in a saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. I added all 10 oz. Sugar overload.
6. Place 4 of the egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer with a wire whip attachment and beat on high until stiff peaks form. We didn't have a mixer. Our peaks were, well, not right. (Keep the extra egg whites for the frosting!!)
7. When the sugar syrup measures 240 degrees on a candy thermometer, drizzle it into the egg white mixture ("meringue") on high speed. Whip for 20 seconds and then remove meringue from bowl and set aside. We didn't have a thermometer. Try guesstimating 240 degrees... not easy. Plus, WAY too much sugar in our "syrup."
8. Add the reserved yolks and 2 oz of sugar to the mixer's bowl and whip with wire whip (you don't need to clean the bowl/whip). Continue on high speed for about 2 minutes, or until yolks are yellow. We added 1 oz of sugar in attempt to make up from the previous overload...oh geez
9. Reduce speed to low and add remaining 4 oz of butter.
10. Alternately add the dry ingredients with the melted chocolate until done. Remember, my chocolate was ruined by too little half and half, so instead of a smooth mixture, it was fairly clumpy... gross.
Gently fold in meringue in two stages. It will be stiff initially but then smooth out. Don't over mix here!
11. Divide batter into 2 pans and cook 22-24 minutes, or untilk done.
12. Cool the cakes for about 20 minutes and then remove from pans. Cool completely.
13. Slice each cake into half horizontally with a serrated knife to create 4 layers. At this point, our cake was a flat dense mess. We opted not to split it.
14. Spread about 1 cup of frosting between each layer and stack. Spread with spatula.

For the frosting...

What ya need:
1.25 Cup Granulated Sugar, divided
1/4 Cup Water
5 Egg Whites
16 oz Butter, softened, and cut up into"bite size" pieces

What ya do:
1. Combine 8 oz of sugar anf water in small saucepan over medium heat until temperature reaches 245 degrees. Again, no thermometer!
2. Meanwhile, whip egg whites on high speed to stiff peaks in bowl of standing mixer with wire whip attachment.
3. Just before sugar syrup is ready, add 2 remaining oz of  sugar into the egg whites and continue to whip on high speed
4. Slowly pour sugar syrup between the revolving whip and side of the bowl. Reduce speed to medium high after 30 seconds and continue to whip for 3-4 minutes
5. Add butter to the meringue and increase speed until fully incorporated

So, the cake tasted okay. Honestly, I think had we followed directions better it would have tasted great. Unfortunately, this is a cake that doesn't get my thumbs up. I love Devil's Food Cake though, so I will give it another try. The whole making meringue with yolky egg whites and measuring the temperature of syrup without a thermometer and adding too much sugar and too little half and half. Wow. And all that ruined, it still was alright! In fact, Amie's dad really enjoyed it. So, look back for a re-trial. This was truly a mess, but I'm sure we'll bounce right back.

Any kitchen blunders worth you sharing? I'd love to hear!


Rick said...

That doesn't look like a complete blunder. I have one every week but you know about those lemons life gives you, make something without lemons.

The Chocolate Priestess said...

I love it when we are honest about our errors as well as our successes. Sometimes on food blogs you'd think everyone was Martha Stewart but the fact is that Martha Stewart only shows us her best and she too has mess ups.

The most important part though for me was how chocolaty was it?