Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chocolate Birthday Cake

Did anyone else have to read that Agatha Christie book, And Then There Were None in middle school?  It was probably the best thing we read (i.e. most fun to read) for years.  Well, this picture reminds me of that, because about ten seconds after this picture was taken, "then there were none" cake slices left.  Yes, I realize that sentence is a bit of a stretch (well, more than a bit). 

It's a testament to this cake that we actually went through the whole thing in a few days.  Usually with just a couple of people, most of a cake will go to waste, but this one was so delicious that we managed to go through it all (with some help from Natalie and Mich on day one).

My memory card was full during the mixing of the cake batter, so you'll just have to read the instructions below.  It's a devil's food cake, and let me tell you, there are a lot of steps.  But this is a Magnolia Bakery recipe people, and no cheap tricks are going to get you Magnolia Bakery taste.

It's always important to make sure you bake your cake with enough time to allow it to cool before you need to ice it.  But it's also a good idea to ice your cake before your guests arrive.  Didn't follow that advice myself when I made this.  Whoops!

When you make layer cakes, make sure you cut off the domes so that the cakes have completely flat tops.  This way you also get to have a nice little cake snack in the middle of the afternoon.  Shouldn't all days be like this?

The chocolate buttercream icing was my favorite part (though the cake was John's favorite).  Both the cake and the icing use melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder, which gives it a super rich, deep chocolate flavor.

We let the birthday boy cut his own cake, which meant we ended up with some mighty thick slices. 

No, we didn't eat half the cake on the first night, but we ate a big chunk and then gave Mitch a thick slice to take home.

Next time you want to celebrate a birthday, do so the Magnolia Bakery way.  It's the right thing to do.

Devil's Food Cake
From the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) softened unsalted butter
2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
8 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Separate the eggs while cold and let them come to room termpature.  Grease and flour two 9 or 10-inch round cake pans (the recipe calls for 9-inch ones, but I only had 10-inchers) and then line the bottoms with waxed paper.  In a bowl sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.  Using a double boiler (or glass mixing bowl over a bowl of simmering water), melt chocolate over low heat for 5-10 minutes until smooth.  Allow chocolate to cool for 5-10 minutes.  In a separate bowl lightly beat egg yolks until thick and bright yellow (about 2 minutes).  In the bowl of a stand mixer cream butter and sugar for about 3 minutes. Beat in egg yolks until well combined.  Mix in chocolate.  Add dry ingredients into batter mixture in thirds, alternating with milk and vanilla extract.  Beat well after each addition.  In another bowl beat egg whites on high speed of electric mixer until soft peaks form.  Gently fold beaten egg whites into batter.  Evenly distribute batter into two pans.  Bake for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees (until toothpick comes out clean).  Cool cake in pans for 10 minutes and then invert cake onto cooling racks and remove from pans.  Ice cake when completely cooled.

Chocolate Buttercream
From the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon milk
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled to lukewarm
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

Melt chocolate in double boiler (or glass mixing bowl over simmering water) on low heat for 5-10 minutes.  Stir occasionally and melt until completely smooth.  Allow chocolate to cool for 5-10 minutes.  In the bowl of a stand mixer beat butter until creamy (about 3 minutes).  Carefully add milk and beat until smooth.  Add cooled, melted chocolate and mix well.  Beat in vanilla for 3 minutes.  Slowly add confectioner's sugar and mix until creamy.  Will cover 24 cupcakes or a 2-layer cake.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails