Friday, April 03, 2009

Triple Fudge Chocolate Cake

As I mentioned before, I am baking my way through Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes. I finished number four last night.

Earlier this week Nancy asked me if I'd be willing to bake a birthday cake for Jeffrey's birthday celebration at Afton this Sunday. I didn't hesitate! Of course I would, I was honored to be asked. I asked Jeffrey which flavors were his favorite: vanilla, chocolate, carrot, spice, devils' food, coconut, lemon..mocha, butter cream, cream cheese..etc.

Jeffrey told me chocolate and mocha would be terrific. Of course I began paging through my Sky High cookbook; looking for the perfect triple layer cake recipe. I found it: Triple Fudge Chocolate Cake. The recipe has 1.5 cups of strong coffee and a ton, yes, a ton, of different chocolates. Unsweetened, baking cocoa, bittersweet, milk chocolate, white....

After deciding on the perfect cake I figured that I had better create a tester cake from the recipe. I knew that my family would give me an honest evaluation of this cake.

On Wednesday I baked the layers. This recipe creates three 9" layers. I wanted each layer full and high. I decided to increase the ingredients by half as long as this was a tester. I had plenty of cake batter to fill the three pans; all nice and full. I increased the baking time by a few minutes and the cakes turned out very nicely. Full, evenly baked, a deep dark brown. After letting them cool 15 minutes I un-molded them and removed the wax paper. After they cooled I wrapped them into cling wrap and placed into the refrigerator until Thursday evening.

I doubled the White Chocolate Mousse; I always figure more is better. The Mousse was fabulous and oh so easy. I used all that I had and it was plenty.

For the Sour Cream Icing I decided to double the recipe as well. I wanted plenty of frosting to cover this huge cake. For the last cake I made from Sky High I didn't feel the frosting was adequate for proper coverage.

I learned a few things with this cake. I have never completed the "crumb coat" procedure before. I frosted a thin layer of frosting over the whole cake and then placed into the refrigerator for an hour, allowing to seal and firm up. By completing this step I didn't have any of the crumbs from the cake attach themselves to my frosting layer. What a great idea! I spread all of the frosting upon the cake and then noticed that my cake was crooked. I hadn't made sure that the layers were evenly lined up upon one another. Oops. When I bake this cake tonight for Jeffery's birthday I will make sure that it is level!

After the cake was fully assembled and frosted, Tyler, Troy and Steve all sat themselves at the table while I sliced them big pieces of this fabulous looking cake. They all ooohed and ahhhed as I cut into the cake and revealed the white layer of Mousse. Tyler was apprehensive. "Mom, I know you used Hellmann's Mayo and Sour Cream in this cake." He wasn't so sure about those two ingredients in this cake. He didn't need be concerned. All three of them loved this cake. They described it as moist, dense, rich and wonderful. It is the favorite of the cookbook now.

I'm excited to bake this cake again tonight to perfect my leveling technique of the layers!

You should give this a try. Really. It is wonderful!!

Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake

(This is what it says from the cookbook)
Many dark chocolate cakes contain hidden ingredients and this one's no exception. Mayonnaise is the surprise here. While it sounds retro (and, indeed, did originate with Hellmann's in 1937), there are sound reasons fro using mayonnaise rather than oil or butter; it yields an unbelievable moist, tender crumb. That's because the oil in mayonnaise contributes to richness, the eggs to lightness, and the vinegar, which cuts the gluten in the flour, to tenderness. In fact, French chefs often add a tiny bit of vinegar or lemon juice to their puff pastry.

While this is a traditional cake, the White Chocolate Mousse filling is quite contemporary. Light and minimally sweetened, it is visually striking when the dark cake is sliced and offers a pleasing contrast to the intense dark chocolate flavor of the cake and frosting.

Makes a 9 inch triple layer cake.

2 1/4 C all purpose flour
1 C unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 t baking soda
1 1/4 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
2 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 C milk
1 1/4 C hot, strongly brewed coffee
2 eggs
1 C Hellmann's Mayonnaise
1 1/2 t vanilla
2 1/4 C sugar
White Chocolate Mousse
Sour Cream Chocolate Icing

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 9 inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.
2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
3.Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the milk to a simmer. Pour the hot coffee and milk over the chocolate. Let stand for a minute, then whisk until smooth. Let the mocha liquid cool slightly.
4. In a mixer bowl, beat together the eggs, mayo and vanilla until well blended. Gradually beta in the sugar. Add the dry ingredients and mocha liquid alternately in 2 or 3 additions, beating until smooth and well blended. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.
5. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes. Let cakes cool in their pans for 10 to 15 minutes. Un-mold onto racks and peel off the paper, let cool completely, at least 1 hour. (The layers can be baked a day ahead; wrap well and refrigerate.)
6. To assemble the cake place on layer, flat side up on a cake stand or serving plate. Cover the top evenly with half the White Chocolate Mousse, leaving a 1/4 inch margin around the edge. Repeat with the second layer and the remaining mousse. Set the third layer on top and pour half the Sour Cream Chocolate Icing over the filled cake. Spread all over the sides and top. Don't worry if some of the cake shows through. This first frosting is to seal in the crumb. Refrigerate, uncovered for at least 30 minutes to allow the icing to set.Cover the rest of the icing and set aside at room temperature.
7.Frost the top and sides of cake with the remaining icing, which should have the consistency of mayonnaise. If the icing has become too soft, chill briefly; if it is too stiff,microwave on high for just 2 or 3 seconds to soften, then stir to mix well. Use an offset palette knife or the back of a spoon to swirl the frosting decoratively around the cake.

White Chocolate Mousse Makes about 1 1/2 Cups

Only a small amount of chocolate is used here, since the Mousse filling is meant to serve as both a contrast and a balance to the rest of the dark fudgie cake.

4 oz white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1C heavy cream
1 egg white
1 T sugar

1.Melt the white chocolate with 1/4 C of the cream in a double boiler or in a small metal bowl set over a pan of very hot water. Whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and let the white chocolate cream cool to room temperature.

2. When it has cooled, beat the remaining 3/4 C heavy cream until soft peaks form. In a clean bowl, whip the egg white with the sugar until fairly stiff peaks form.

3.Fold the beaten egg white into the white chocolate cream, then fold in the whipped cream just until blended. Err on the side of under mixing.

Sour Cream Chocolate Icing Makes about 2 1/2 Cups

12 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 stick unsalted butter
2 T light corn syrup
1/4 C half and half, at room temperature
1/2 C sour cream, at room temperature

1. Melt the chocolate with the butter and corn syrup in a double boiler over simmering water. Remove from the heat and whisk until smooth.

2. Whisk in the half and half and sour cream. Frost while soft. Let cool if too soft.

I'll post a picture of cake number one and cake number two. Number two should be an improvement over number one :)


Anonymous said...

Good grief I am drooling!

JojaJogger said...

Someone needs to invent a way to hand out cyber-samples!

Anonymous said...

Again- you are killing me! I am so making this tomorrow!!

Gigi said...

amazing cake julie! so tall and chocolaty!