This blog post is a little late... maybe because it wasn't one of my best looking cakes... oh well! I was very happy to bake and bring this monstrous delight to Christmas for the Bliss Christmas day festivities, but as you can see from the recipe, they don't recommend doing anything more than a day in advance so timing was a bit tight... And it being the holidays and my birthday (And my own stupidity deciding to bake the Triple Berry Tart for The Husband since he didn't like mint), I didn't get a chance to work on the appearance of this cake! I would've put more candy canes on top but I truly was out of time and already late somehow. I was inconveniently born on December 23rd which meant I was at my parents house from that day all the way until late evening on Christmas Eve for celebrating birthday and Christmas festivities with my family. After a horribly slow ride home through the snow, I was shaving chocolate curls late into the night (and listening for reindeer on the roof) on Christmas Eve. I did bake the cakes early, while I was also baking my birthday cake (yum!) and slip-sliding around on the roads to finish up Christmas errands on my birthday.
Opening presents and making frostings made for a busy morning but it was worth the effort as the end product was very tasty. I love mint and chocolate and I also love meringue so I was really excited to try this white and fluffy frosting. I love it and would definitely try it again. The picture in Gourmet magazine (see comparison with my photos below!) looked awesome and even though mine fell short of looking that great, at least the taste was good!
The main flaw of my cake, besides the need for more candy canes on top, was that I should've read the last word of the recipe "Chill" (or at least think about it for a minute, as it does seem obvious now looking back)..... I didn't keep it cold before serving so it made it sloppy to cut anything less than gigantic pieces. The cake really was a lot taller than needed but hey - it's Christmas - might as well, right? So, if you try this recipe (and it is delicious!) - just make sure to keep it in the fridge until serving!
Devil's Food Layer Cake with Peppermint Frosting
From Bon Appetit Magazine December 2008 (cover photo)
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
2 cups ice water
Dark chocolate ganache
1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
14 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
White chocolate cream
12 oz high-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Perugina), finely chopped
3 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons pure peppermint extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
3 large egg whites
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
Bittersweet chocolate curls
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Dust pans with flour; tap out excess. Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in yolk. Add cocoa and beat until well blended. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with ice water in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating until just blended and smooth after each addition. Divide batter between prepared pans; smooth tops.
Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 15 minutes. Invert cakes onto racks and cool completely. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in foil; store at room temperature.
Dark chocolate ganache
Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat; add chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Transfer to small bowl. Chill until firm enough to spread, about 1 hour. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Before using, let stand at room temperature until soft enough to spread, about 30 minutes.
White chocolate cream
Place white chocolate in large heatproof bowl. Bring 1 cup cream to simmer in saucepan. Pour hot cream over white chocolate. Let stand 1 minute; whisk until smooth. Whisk in extract. Cover; chill until mixture thickens and is cold, at least 4 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill.
Add 2 cups chilled cream to white chocolate cream and beat until smooth and peaks form. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Rewhisk to thicken, if necessary, before using.
Using long serrated knife, cut each cake horizontally in half. Place 1 cake layer on platter, cut side up. Spread 1/3 of dark chocolate ganache over cake. Spoon 2 cups white chocolate cream in dollops over cake; spread evenly to edges. Top with second cake layer, cut side down; spread 1/3 of ganache over, then 2 cups white chocolate cream. Repeat with third cake layer, cut side up, remaining ganache, and remaining cream. Cover with fourth cake layer, cut side down. Chill while preparing frosting.
Combine sugar, 1/2 cup water, egg whites, and corn syrup in large bowl of heavy-duty stand mixer. Whisk by hand to blend well. Set bowl with mixture over saucepan of gently simmering water; whisk constantly with hand whisk until mixture resembles marshmallow creme and ribbons form when whisk is lifted, 8 to 9 minutes. Whisk in peppermint extract. Remove bowl from over water and attach bowl to heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until mixture is barely warm to touch and very thick, 7 to 8 minutes.
Using offset spatula and working quickly, spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle chocolate curls over top and sides. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome; chill.
Big reminder here:
Don't forget to chill it before serving - otherwise the light and airy fillings will squeeze out and make for sloppy cutting like I had.