TWD: Black and White Cake

February 5, 2008 at 12:47 am | Posted in Cake, Chocolate, Tuesdays with Dorie | 14 Comments

What a DISASTER. Between the boob issues last week that kept me down for a few days and the Superbowl madness I ended up making my cake just as my hangover was starting to wear off Monday night. At the beginning everything seemed to go according to plan. I made the whipped white chocolate filling with zero problems. I had been a wee bit worried because other people had problems with it, but no problems there. Then I made the chocolate filling, no problems again. At this point I was feeling pretty good, the worst thing that had happened so far was was dropping the corn starch all over the dog when I was getting my cake flour. Since flour is always all over the place and I get a cheap thrill out of covering the dog with flour and flour like substances I was doing good and I only had the cake left to make. I’ve made enough cakes in my day that I was 100% confident. Then the problems started.

When I went to put the cake pans in the oven it was reading a perfect 350 degrees so I tossed the cake pans in and wondered off. I smelled the cakes a little early, so off to check on them I went. Ut oh, the stove had gone crazy and was now at 400 degrees. I suspect that a portion of the problem is the fault of the heater in our apartment. It’s ghetto and comes out of the stove. Heats the apartment cheap and well, but I have an inkling that it went on high while my cakes were in the oven. They weren’t burnt, but the edges were a little, well a lot, darker than I wanted them. Easy fix, I just did a little surgery on the cakes and they looked beautiful again.

Then came the part I was sure I was going to screw up, cutting each of the cakes in half. It’s been awhile since I’ve done it and I was nervous, but surprisingly enough all went flawlessly. I was in the home stretch now, all I needed to do was frost the bad boys and I was golden.

Here is when things go horribly wrong. I frosted a THIN layer of white chocolate on two of the layers and thought to myself there is no way the rest of this is going to frost the rest of the cake. Damit. As we like to say at work, RTFM (read the farking manual!) or look at the pictures. I needed two layers of dark chocolate and one layer of white. Well it was too late to do anything about it now, I had already heaped on a massive layer of dark chocolate because I had so much.

So I assembled my cake and was only able to frost the top with the white chocolate. I then had what I thought was a brilliant idea. I’ll just decorate the sides with the can o’ whipped cream G got at some point. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but just in case I took my potential mess to the floor. I have no counter space so I often do things like this on the stove and whipped cream all over the stove seemed like a bad idea. I was right!

Remember how I mentioned that my stove is the heater for the apt, well I ended up with melted mess of whipped cream. I did have a blast with it though because it quickly went from using the can to seeing it melt off the side off the cake to me using my hands to try to fix it. I wish I had pictures of me covered in whipped cream because it was pretty funny, I did make sure to get pictures of the mess on the floor and the far from beautiful cake. In the end though I wiped off all the whipped cream and served G a slice. G actually really liked it, but I wasn’t a huge fan. I don’t love white chocolate and there was too much of it for my taste.

Lesson learned: Pictures and directions are your friend

Recipe after the break

Black and White Chocolate Cake
For the cake:
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

For the dark chocolate cream:
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 sal t.

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.



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  1. Oh my, this did give you a bit of trouble. I feel the same way you do about white chocolate. I like it but only as an accent and not as the main attraction. At least G liked it.

  2. I’m not a big white choc. fan either. I’d rather have the real stuff any day. So at what point do you let the dog in to clean up the leftover mess on the floor?

  3. You did have a hard time with this! At least it still tasted good!

  4. I’m sorry this didn’t go smoothly for you! At least it still turned out edible, and G liked it πŸ™‚

  5. Awww, Im so sorry it gave you trouble. It was one of the harder things I have baked in a while. Of course, I was a total doofus and assembled the cake while making grilled cheese for the kids and doing laundry. Yeah… wtg laurie.

    I think you did a great job in spite of all the issues!

  6. i love white chocolate! maybe that’s why i liked this recipe so much πŸ™‚ i’m sorry you ran into some trouble putting the cake together, but at least G enjoyed it!

  7. I have a mental picture of your apartment covered in melting whipped cream. I hope your cake tasted really yummy to make up for the frustration.

  8. Sorry it didn’t go as planned but at least you tried making the most of it. The taste is the most important in cake, looks come second. I’d love to have had a slice, I love white chocolate!

  9. Haha it drives me crazy that my problems were with assembly. There was custard and whipped cream involved and I screw up the assembly. Really, who does that?

  10. Thank goodness I wasn’t the only one struggling! Yours turned out adorable, and unlike mine at least it’s white!

  11. Hee hee, I’m still giggling about “getting a cheap thrill out of covering the dog with flour and flour like substances.” We’ve all had baking experiences like this at some point…but it sure sounds delicious!!!

  12. I had so much fun with mine too, even though I cut the layers uneven and then one broke in half. I forgot to tell that part of it in my post! LOL

  13. Assembly was definitely the part where I got in trouble too – uneven layers anyone? I’m glad that G liked it though!

  14. this cake was a tough one for a lot of us! you can have satisfaction that your white choco cream came out right!

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