This week on Tuesdays with Dorie, April of Abby Sweets had the honors of picking the recipe we would all bake, the Black and White Chocolate Cake. I was immediately intimidated. I have never made a cake like this before. To say I was out of my comfort level is an understatement. In fact I procrastinated, and procrastinated. Then my cold became worse and I no longer felt like baking. I buckled down anyway to get the job done. My cake was not finished until Monday night at 8pm. I’m such a slacker.
I have to admit besides the intial intimidation about this cake, it doubled because of the issues the other TWD ladies were having, mainly, with the white chocolate cream. When it came time to get down to business, I was thrilled that I had no trouble. The white chocolate cream came together well. I stopped whipping when it held a good peak. I was not going to over whip this cream. I did not have it in me to go back to the store! The chocolate cream tasted like a great homemade yummy, pudding. It is soooooo good. I could eat it right out of a bowl, no problem. The cake was easy as can be. The house smelled oh so good when it came out. I love when the house smells like fresh cake.
On to the assembly. I haven’t made many layer cakes. None of the layer cakes I have made required me to cut the cakes in half. I used a long searated knife. It didn’t go so well. Especially with the second cake. The one half was pretty thick and the other was really thin. I should not have been making dinner for the kids and trying to get melted crayon off laundry, all the while assembling a cake, I knew would be trouble for me. Yes, I am a total idiot. I had a lot of trouble with the sides. The frosting seemed to be sliding off. I finally got all of the cake frosted and called it a day. I took some doilies and used them as a stencil for some cocoa powder on top. You know, to church it up. I was happy enough with it. I do need more practice with layer cakes. I should look into taking a class or something.
The verdict, this cake is really good! Its not often I have a chilled cake. The white chocolate was not overly sweet. The chocolate cream is killer and the cake was perfect. I would totally make this cake again, paying more attention to the assembly. It would be a great cake to make for an event or birthday. Not too difficult, with lots of WOW factor.
TWD is growing, very quickly. In the past week we have doubled in numbers. Please check out how the rest of the TWD gals faired with this cake. The blogroll is listed on the TWD blog.
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 (10 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temp
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
6 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp corstarch, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces, at room temp
For the white chocolate whipped cream:
6 oz. premium quality white chocolate
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9X2 inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.
To make the cake: Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Working with a stand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, and then the yolk, beating for 1 minutes after each addition. Beat in the vanilla; don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and 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. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 28-30 minutes, rotating the pans at the midway point. When fully baked, the cakes will be golden and springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the centers will come out clean. Transfer the cakes to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, then unmmold, remove the paper and invert to cool to room temperature right side up on the rack.
To make the dark chocolate cream: Bring the milk to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the egg yolk with the sugar, cornstarch and salt until thick and well blended. Whisking without stopping, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk-this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won’t curdle-then, still whisking, add the remainder of the milk in a steady stream. Put the pan over meduim heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly and thoroughly (make sure to get into the edges of the pan), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Whisk in the melted chocolate, and let stand for 5 minutes. Then whisk in the pieces of butter, stirring until they are fully incorporated and the chocolate cream is smooth and silky. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the cream to create and airtight seal and refrigerate the cream until chilled, or for up to 3 days. Or, if you want to coool the cream quickly, put the bowl with a cream into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water and stir the cream occasionally until it is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.
To make the white chocolate whipped cream: Put the white chocolate in a heat proof bowl and put the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Stir frequently to melt the chocolate evenly. Meanwhile, bring 1/2 cup of the heavy cream to a boil.
When the white chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the pan. Pour the hot cream into the melted chocolate and let it sit for a minute. Using a small spatula, stir the chocolate gently until it is smooth. Let it sit on the counter until it reaches room temperature-it can’t be the least warm when you add it to the whipped cream.
Working with the stand mixer with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream only unti l it holds the softest peaks. Turn the machine to high, add the cooled white chocolate all at once and continue to beat until the whipped cream holds firm peaks. Turn the whipped cream into a bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap gently against the surface to create an airtight seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 6 hours.
To assemble the cake: If the tops of the cake layers have crowned, use a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them. Slice each layer horizontally in half. Place on layer cut side down on a cardboard cake round or on a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment.
Remove the dark and white chocolate creams from the refrigerator and whisk each of them vigorously to loosen and smooth them. With a long metal icing spatula, spread enough dark chocolate cream (about 1 cup) over the cake layer to cover it completely. Top the cream with another cake layer, cut side up, and cover this layer with white chocolate whipped cr eam, making the white layer about the same thickness as the dark layer. Cover with a third layer, cut side up, and cover with another cup or so of the dark chocolate cream. (You’ll have some dark chocolate cream left over.) Top with the final layer of cake, cut side down, and frost the sides and top with the remaining white chocolate whipped cream. Decorate with chocolate shaving or curls, if you wish.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.