Even though i had every intention of making a birthday cake over the course of the week, how i eventually came to making this cake in particular involved the strangest of ways. If you believe in fate, i guess you could say it was as though i was fated to make this cake.
Since the start of the year, i had been trying to hunt down the much loved and raved about Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours. Lady Luck didn’t seem to be on my side as every store i went to either didn’t carry the book or couldn’t find their copies of it in both Singapore and Melbourne.
So just as i had started to put the book out of my mind after a nearly year long search and resign myself to rely on her numerous recipes shared on other websites, one of my best friends and i wandered into Kinokuniya a couple days ago. Lo and behold, guess what i found? Yup, Baking From My Home to Yours- multiple copies of them neatly stacked up at that.
That, in a very compacted nutshell, is how i came to be a proud owner of the book. The long version would involve how i ended up making a dent in my pocket by buying both the book and Jill O’Connor’s Sticky Messy Chewy Gooey, no thanks to my total lack of self discipline whatsoever, and how the two of us stood there, mulling forever over which cake i should make, totally mesmerized by all the gorgeous pictures. You should have seen it- “ooh this one” *flips the page* “noo this one” *flips the page* “this one!”, yeah i really did mean we stood there forever.
As tough a decision as it was, it was finally decided the Devil’s Food White-Out Cake, aptly in the chapter of Celebration Cakes, was to be made. I had fallen in love with the look of it long before i realized it was the cover picture and was just unable to get it out of my mind.
Made up of two components- layers of dark, intense chocolate cake sandwiched between and then frosted with homemade marshmallow frosting, this elegant show-stopper was honestly no easy feat for multiple reasons. Firstly, i had used a 9″ cake pan, instead of the 8″ the recipes calls for which saw each cake too thin in itself to be sliced into two layers. To rectify that, i ended up baking another two layers, essentially doubling the amount of cake the recipe calls for. Secondly, my candy thermometer was acting a little strange which saw the temperature of the sugar syrup dipping several times before rising to the specified temperature. Despite that, the frosting came out really well.
The cake layers were a little more fragile than i had imagined they would be so sandwiching them proved to be a little problematic for me, which was quickly solved by my brother’s little work of magic- he very daringly (which i can only assume was magnified because it wasn’t his cake he was risking although he was well aware failure would result in incurring my wrath and possibly tears after all that work) lifted both the frosted and unfrosted layers at an angle and smacked them with a huge leap of faith.
The little hiccups which were really misjudgements on my part aside, the recipe worked beautifully and came out exactly as Dorie promised. Frosting the cake was really where all the fun came in- there was no need for neat frosting since the cake was gonna be covered in cake crumbs.
We didn’t get a chance to cut (or taste) the cake but i did hear from the birthday boy the day after, raving about the cake adding that the frosting held up really well despite long hours at room temperature the night before. Oh well, any reason’s as good as any to whip this one up again.
I think like everyone else, i’m officially in love with Dorie Greenspan.